£1.6m logistics investment takes expanding East Trans team into 'pick and pack'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 15 Aug 2017

FAST-growing South Bank logistics operator East Trans has made a £1.6 million investment in a new, high-quality warehousing facility to capitalise on the rapid growth in online transactions.

The Stallingborough-based business, one of the Humber’s leading integrated logistics suppliers, has invested in the 40,000 sq ft, high-bay warehouse, enabling the business to win a major new customer.

The significant new contract is with a leading medical supplies company. A total of 16 new jobs are being created, bolstering the 100 staff at the £18 million turnover business.

It also represents East Trans’ first move into “pick and pack” logistics – a growing market driven by consumers and businesses favouring the speed and convenience of online purchasing – taking the business to a new level.

The investment means East Trans can now offer customers a total of 200,000 sq ft of newly-built or recently refurbished warehousing over nine acres, on the doorstep of Britain’s biggest port by tonnage, Immingham, with 75 per cent of the UK’s manufacturers, importers and exporters within four hours’ drive time. 

Managing director Paul Hickling said: “This is a major, long-term investment for the business. It enhances our ability to serve existing and new customers requiring reliable, secure and cost-effective logistics and underpins our position as the leading company in the Humber region for high-class warehousing.

“Although the Humber is an important hub for logistics, there is very limited availability of high-class, modern storage facilities such as this around the estuary.

“The new warehouse is equipped to the latest standards and is technically far superior to many other facilities – in some cases storage amounts to no more than a big box in a field or on an industrial estate.

“Our expanded storage capacity has already paid dividends by enabling us to provide a pick and pack service to a major new customer, supported by full fibre connectivity across our site which gives the client 24/7 visibility and instant stock information.”

COMPLETE LOGISTICS SOLUTION: Investment in technology inside, ensures stock levels and orders can be monitored

East Trans serves more than 200 clients, including many for whom it has been a key, long-term logistics provider. 

It is owned by Mr Hickling and fellow director Peter Aarosin, and was acquired 11 years ago from Icelandic-owned international transportation company Eimskip, which remains an important customer. Since then it has grown from having a dozen vehicles and turnover of £1 million to operating more than 100 HGVs and 160 trailers. 

Mr Aarosin, former Bondholders chair, said: “We’re now well positioned for further growth as existing and prospective clients respond to the ever-growing demand for online purchase and fulfilment, which require much more sophisticated logistics support.

“As trusted warehousing and distribution partners we can meet that need, giving our customers peace of mind that their stock management and deliveries are in very good hands.

“That confidence is underpinned by technology. We’ve created a bespoke service for our new client, including incorporating their IT systems into our facility.

“The full fibre connectivity on site also means they have their own online window into the warehouse. The client can see at all times the efficiency and accuracy of the pick and pack operation and that their stock is being managed professionally and carefully. It’s as good as them being on site.”

The new 8m high, heavy duty warehouse has a reinforced floor, offers flexibility of use and is built to food grade standards. It was built by Immingham’s PK Construction, with Scunthorpe’s CR Parrott Consultants project managing – both long-established partners who have played key roles in East Trans’ impressive growth.

Mr Hickling added: “We’re delighted with these new facilities and the added capacity they offer to develop our services.

“It has also been great to work with trusted, long-term partners, who have supported us from day one, to deliver this latest chapter in the East Trans story.”

The investment has been backed by NatWest Bank, and attracted a £136,000 Local Growth Fund grant from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, via North East Lincolnshire Council. 

Senior relationship manager at NatWest, Nick Spencer said: “We have been delighted to support the team at East Trans with the opening of their new warehouse. The business continues to go from strength to strength and the new facility will provide East Trans with the space needed to expand further.”

Maggie Campbell, lead investment officer for economy and growth at North East Lincolnshire Council, added: “It’s always good to see a local company growing, taking advantage of available grant funding and creating jobs.”

Joining the handover celebrations, were the principals behind he construction team.

Chris Parrott, managing director of his eponymous business, said: “We provided full project management, architectural and structural design services, working closely with the client and main contractor to deliver a high-specification warehouse facility. We wish East Trans well for the future and for their ongoing development.”

Andy Knowles, a director of PK Construction, said: “East Trans were a joy to work with on this project, with a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve and by when, sharing our energy and drive to complete the project on time.”

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