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AKW News


January 2015

AKW Global Logistics reveals new logo

AKW Global Logistics has revealed its new logo, symbolising the merger of two of Trafford Park’s most successful logistics firms.

AK Worthington Ltd and Global Logistics (UK) Ltd (including GL Central Ltd) joined forces in December as AKW Global Logistics Ltd.

Over 30 of the company’s articulated units are now in the new AKW Global Logistics livery with more to follow in the coming weeks.  

The logo, which retains AKW group’s traditional red with a new contemporary typography,  also appears on signage recently installed at the newly acquired 12 acre Alba Way site on Trafford Park where the combined businesses are now operating from.

Carl Murray, Commercial Director of AKW Global Logistics, said: “We are delighted with the new logo, the design is very bold and strong, reflecting the merged businesses and creating a single identity going forward.

“We have received some great feedback from those who have already spotted our new livery out on the roads and I’m sure it won’t be long before people begin to recognise it as a symbol for quality.”

AKW Global Logistics offers a broad range of logistics services including UK & International transport, warehousing and contract packing services to a large client base and the new group will have a turnover of £33m and employ 400 staff. 


   



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December 2014

AK Worthington Ltd and Global Logistics (UK) Ltd join forces as AKW Global Logistics Ltd


Manchester based logistics companies AK Worthington Ltd and Global Logistics (UK) Ltd (including GL Central Ltd) today announced that they are in the later stages of talks to merge the two businesses as AKW Global Logistics Ltd.

The combined businesses will operate from the newly acquired 12 acre Alba Way site on Trafford Park bringing together two of Trafford Parks most successful logistics companies and creating an ideal platform for further growth.

‘This is an exciting time for all involved and whilst in the short term there is a lot of work to be done I am confident that the combined businesses will be stronger than the two individual parts’ stated Tony Worthington Chairman of the AKW Group Plc.

Paul Welsh Managing Director of Global Logistics (UK) Ltd added ‘Tony and I have known each other for many years and the timing is right for us to join forces. Both companies have a great reputation for delivering quality services to our clients and we will continue to invest in our people, systems and our premises to add value to all of our stake holders’.

Julian Richards Managing Director of the AKW Group advised ‘ A full integration plan is being rolled out and further communications to customers, staff and suppliers will be made at the appropriate time’.

AKW Global Logistics offer a broad range of logistics services including UK & International transport, warehousing and contract packing services to a large client base and the new group will have a turnover of £33m and employ 400 staff.





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September 2014
 
AKW Group secures SRG Warehousing Contract
 

AKW Group, the Manchester based logistics business, has secured the warehousing contract for SRG Apparel, the fashion-house whose head office is in Whitefield, Manchester. The 4,000 pallet contract was a key target for AKW Group, who operates over 500,000 sq feet of quality warehousing on Trafford Park.
 
“This is an important contract for our business and builds further on our reputation in attracting more and more companies to use our extended range of logistics services,” stated Tony Worthington, Chairman of AKW Group.
 
Mahesh Patel, MD of SRG, commented “We had used AKW Group to service one of our more sensitive clients for over a year prior to making the decision to switch our main warehousing contract over to them we knew they could deliver.
 
“Both companies work great as a team and the transfer went remarkably smoothly considering the relatively short time lines involved and the size of the task.”
 
AKW Group offers warehousing, UK transport, contract packing, and air and ocean freight services to over 300 clients from their three sites on Trafford Park.



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July 29, 2014

Trafford football club kick starts new season with sponsorship from AKW Group


Trafford’s largest community football club is chasing its fourth consecutive promotion after receiving sponsorship from a leading logistics company.

Urmston Town FC is being backed in its latest Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur Football League campaign by AKW Group, based on Trafford Park.

The club runs teams across all age groups from Under 6’s to the Division Two Open Age side and has one of the largest player memberships in Trafford and the surrounding areas with more than 400 players registered with the club.

“We are delighted to be able to support Urmston Town – especially as so many local people are involved with the club and we wish them all the best in what could be another promotion bid this season,” said Tony Worthington, chairman and founder of AKW Group.

The firm, which employs more than 300 people from its Trafford Park premises and provides extensive transport, warehouse, contract packaging and international freight, will provide funding towards new training equipment and kits for the 2014-15 season.

Daniel Watling, Traffic Planer at AKW group and striker for Urmston Town, said: “It’s great for the club to have the backing of AKW, which means the players can now concentrate on the season ahead.

“The team has been in training since late May in a push for extra fitness and if we can start like we finished last season there is no reason why we won’t be pushing for promotion and the top spot come the end of the season.”






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July 2014

Network growth sees AKW Group invest in new Palletforce fleet


LOGISTICS company AKW Group has invested in new Palletforce-liveried trucks thanks to the network’s growth in the last 12-months. The Manchester headquartered business already has a substantial fleet of over 100 vehicles in its transport division – known as AK Worthington Ltd - and joined the Palletforce network in 2004.
 
AKW Group, which now employs over 300-people from its Trafford Park premises, was formed in 1981 as a traditional haulier dealing in the movement of freight to and from Manchester’s docks before starting a warehousing operation in 1986. In recent years, it has branched out into the world of TV and film and has seen its 500,000 sq ft warehouse feature in a series of popular programmes such as Coronation St, and well-known dramas including Prey and Prime Suspect.
 
“We’re really pleased to invest in our fleet with smart new Palletforce trucks. The business has gone from strength to strength over the past year, so we are confident our investment will be a successful one,” said Jason Bradley, Operations Manager for AKW Group.
 
“In addition, we have a young driver scheme, where less-experienced drivers can learn their trade in 7.5 tonne trucks before moving up to Class 2 and Class 1 HGVs. It means we have a steady stream of professionally-trained drivers who understand AKW Group and are ready to take the business forward and help us invest in more vehicles in the future.”
 
AKW Group also includes international freight movement and contract packing among its services.
“Seeing one of shareholder members continuing to grow and invest in its fleet is fantastic, and the new trailer and cab look great in our distinctive orange livery” said Dave Holland, Sales and Marketing Director of Palletforce.
 
“AKW Group is one of the many high-quality companies in our network, and we look forward to sharing in their successes for many years to come.”
 
Palletforce is the UK and Europe’s leading palletised network, with over 100 depots operating from its £30m distribution hub in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.

 



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June 2014
 
Lights, camera and action for AKW Group


There’s been plenty of lights, camera and action for AKW Group over the past 12-months as the Manchester-based logistics experts has had its Trafford Park warehouse feature in a host of TV productions.
 
Since signing a five-year deal in 2013 with Provision, which is owned by ITV, the company’s premises has been seen in some of Coronation St’s major storylines, along with recent ITV drama Prey, and Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.  Previously, other programmes including the BBC hits In the Flesh and The Street, Prime Suspect and Sky’s Mount Pleasant, and a number of adverts and small scenes in other programmes were also shot there.
 
In addition to its warehousing facility, several of its offices, yards and vehicle parking locations have been filmed for various shows.
 
“We have seen an upturn in our location services division thanks to the fact we are in very close proximity to the creative hub of Media City and can offer programme makers a great location at a very competitive price. We are delighted we are able to continue with our history of working with the vibrant TV and film industry in Manchester,” said Rebecca Davies, director of AKW Group.
 
“Our locations are perfect for TV, film and advertising due to their scale and flexible, as well as situation. We have extensive secure car parking and security on site too, which makes it very appealing to the North West’s thriving creative scene.”
 
AKW Group has over 500,000 square-feet of warehousing and a dedicated contract packing operation at Trafford Park. It also runs a transport operation with a fleet of over 100 vehicles and an international freight movement service.

One of the most famous scenes filmed at AKW’s warehouse was the fire in Coronation St which destroyed the Rovers Return.






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Thursday 3rd April 2014
 
Logistics Company to join Trafford Business EXPO this summer


A leading Manchester Logistics Company is joining up to 60 other North West businesses this summer at the Trafford EXPO, the only focused Business Exhibition to take place in Trafford.
 
Staff from AK Worthington Ltd in Trafford  Park are specialists in UK & European Transport, Warehousing, Contract Packing, Air Freight and Ocean Freight Services and will be exhibiting at the FREE event at Emirates Old Trafford from 10am - 4pm on Tuesday 1st July.
Attending the EXPO will give businesses the opportunity to network, take part in informative workshops and win unique business prizes and with 600 FREE car parking spaces next to the stadium including accessible and convenient disabled parking, everyone can get involved.

A variety of speakers will also be hand including:-
• Alex McCann - Altrincham HQ
• Brigit Egan – The Oakridge Centre. Brigit is a member of the CBI Regional Council
• Professor Lynn Martin PhD, Manchester Metropolitan University and President of ISBE
• Andy Preston, the UK’s Number One Recommended Sales Speaker and Trainer
 
Carl Murray, Commercial Director at AK Worthington Ltd said, “The Trafford EXPO is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to get together and network with other companies and suppliers from the same area, foster good relations, generate new business leads and strengthen business in Trafford.
 
“This is the fourth exhibition that we have taken part in and they are fun days and a great event to meet present and potential clients face to face and discuss their business needs.  
 
“It also gives businesses a better understanding of what their customers are looking for and the chance to showcase what we can all provide to help with the business growth both in Trafford but for the North West economy as a whole.
 
“I really hope businesses will see that the Trafford EXPO is an event not to be missed and come along and talk to AK Worthington Ltd and the other businesses that will be there.”
 
The Trafford EXPO will take place on Tuesday 1st July 2014 at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford, Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0PX from 10.00am - 4.00pm.

For more information on the Trafford Business EXPO and how you can register for FREE visit the website - www.trafford-business-expo.co.uk or follow them on Twitter - @traffordexpo and mention the hashtag #traffordexpo
For more information about AK Worthington Ltd, please visit www.akwgroup.co.uk or follow us on Twitter - @AkwGroup

 

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Wednesday 19th March 2014
 
Logistics and Haulage Companies join forces to plug skills gap in the industry and offer job opportunities


A logistics and haulage company in Trafford Park has joined forces with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and several other similar companies to work with college leavers and people looking for employment to train and develop them and help plug the current skills gap in the logistics sector.

Jason Bradley, Operations Manager for AK Worthington Ltd chairs the project group which includes representatives from Austin Wilkinson & Sons Ltd, David Bratt & Sons Ltd, TW Bowler Haulage Ltd  and Stanian Transport Ltd. 

The Group which is fully supported by both Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Road Haulage Association has been working together over recent months and has not only identified a skills gap but also predicts that there will be a significant shortage of skills in the coming years.

As a result, the group has secured funding which will be used to train and develop staff which not only provides fantastic employment opportunities but also helps local people develop much needed life skills and helps boost the local economy by getting people into training and work.

Jason Bradley, Operations Manager for AK Worthington said, “The work we have done over recent months has given us the opportunity to look at the skills needed within the logistics sector and we can foresee a skills gap.

“Therefore, we were keen to work in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and as a result we have secured funding and will be providing secure employment to 25 college leavers and unemployed people over the next few months.

Janine Richardson from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce added “Considering many of the companies in the group are direct competitors, I have been astounded by the commitment that has been given to working together to attract more people into the logistics sector.

“This project offers a solid career path for people considering entering into the logistics sector and as such is a ‘win win’ situation for all involved”.

The group are keen to expand and attract other local logistics businesses to be involved in the project. Any companies interested in joining should contact Janine Richardson at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce on 0161 237 4149 or Jason Bradley at AK Worthington Ltd on 0161 873 7355.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

Jason Bradley, Operations Manager, Chair of the Project


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AKW Group works in partnership with L’Oreal
 

THE UK operation of global cosmetics giants L’Oreal has successfully teamed up with a Manchester contract packing specialist to prepare its goods for sale.
 
AKW Group is managing the in-house contract packing at L’Oreal’s recently expanded Fraser Place facility, on Trafford Park, opposite its own Bond 26 site at the iconic World Freight Centre.
 
“We’re delighted to develop our good working relationship with one of the largest brands in the country.  As a company we share L’Oreal’s dedication to quality and our partnership has already been extremely successful in the first few months,” said Rebecca Davies, who heads up the contract packing operation for AKW Group.
 
Since the operation was launched in mid-August AKW has already produced over 600,000 units for L’Oreal –including labelling, gift set assembly and bespoke promotional packaging.
 
The partnership also boosts L’Oreal’s green credentials as they do not have to transport their goods to be packed for sale.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

 



Contract Packing at AKW


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Friday 3rd January 2014

Positive year for World Freight Centre Ltd
 

The warehousing division of a leading logistics specialist in Manchester has increased its turnover by £1million in the last financial year.
 
World Freight Centre Limited, part of the AKW Group, based at its iconic headquarters on Trafford Park, has increased its turnover by 17 per cent to £6.8million for the year ended 30 June, 2013.
 
“The latest results are extremely pleasing and the success comes as a result of our continued focus on customer service which enabled us to retain our client base and win new business,” said Tony Worthington, chairman and founder of AKW Group.
 
“This in turn means we have significantly increased the occupancy of our 500,000 square feet of warehousing.”
 
World Freight Centre’s warehousing portfolio includes over 60,000 racked and bulk pallet spaces.  It is also HMRC wet and dry bond approved which enables wines, spirits, beers and other dutiable goods to be stored under bond.
 
The company also has storage with lower tier Control of Accident Hazards (COMAH) status enabling it to safely handle aerosols and other products that contain compressed gases or liquids within a segregation hazardous product area.
 
“Despite a more positive current outlook for the economy many challenges remain for the logistics sector, but our latest results show what we are meeting these challenges and continuing to offer our clients added value,” said Tony Worthington.
 
The contract packing division of AKW Group, which has clients including L’Oreal, P&G, Unilever, and Diageo, also increased its turnover by £244,000.
 
This division offers a range of specialist product packing options including gift sets, shelf ready packing, shrink wrapping, retail pallet displays and labeling.
 
AKW Group also includes the transport division AK Worthington and international freight movement services.
 
The positive figures ensure that AKW’s plans to achieve a group turnover of £25million in the next four years remain on track.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

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Wednesday 27th November 2013
 
AKW invests over £600k on vehicle fleet

 
A LEADING logistics specialist in Manchester is driving forward with its ambitious expansion plans as it invests £694,000 in new trucks and trailers.
 
AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, has purchased four new Scania trucks for its transport operation AK Worthington as its plans to take its turnover to over £25million in the next four years.
 
“As the UK economy continues to shake off the recession our investment in the vehicle fleet is crucial as we aim to offer our new and existing customers greater flexibility to transport more of their goods,” said Jason Bradley, Operations Manager for AKW Group.
 
AKW has also invested in two urban trailers, two wrap around double deck trailers and four double deck trailers, taking the total in its fleet to well over 100.
 
“This is a major investment however as a well-established transport firm built on quality customer service it is important to invest in the latest technology to meet our customer’s needs,” said Julian Richards, Managing Director of AKW Group.
 
AKW Group also has over 500,000 square-feet of warehousing, a dedicated contract packing operation and an international freight movement service.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

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Wednesday 9th October 2013

AKW Director Success in Women in Logistics Awards

 
THE head of one of the UK’s leading contract packing firms has been recognised in prestigious national awards celebrating the country’s top female logistics professionals.
 
Rebecca Davies, Contract Packing Division and Group Accounts Director for AKW Group, was a finalist in the ‘Women of the Year’ category at the Women in Logistics awards held in September.
 
“I’m proud to have been a finalist in such a prestigious award alongside some of the leading women in the logistics sector,” said Rebecca Davies.
 
In a career spanning over 25 years in the logistics sector, Rebecca, 42, has risen to become not only a director of a leading independent logistics firm but an industry leader in her field.
 
Her achievements have earned recognition from some of the country’s largest blue-chip companies including L’Oreal, P&G, Unilever, Kellogg’s and Diageo.
 
Rebecca has been instrumental in developing AKW into a business that in the past 10 years has taken its turnover from £7million to over £18million and which has gone from having 80 to over 300 staff – securing it as one of the country’s leading logistics firms.
 
AKW Group, based at the iconic World Freight Centre, on Trafford Park, in Manchester, also includes the transport division AK Worthington and over 500,000 square feet of warehousing as well international freight movement services.
 
“Rebecca’s influence on the business has been tremendous and we are delighted that her effort and dedication has been recognised in these important national awards,” said Julian Richards, Managing Director of AKW Group.
 
Rebecca has balanced a successful career with being a parent, proving that with the right drive and determination it is possible to balance both responsibilities.
 
In an industry which is still widely regarded as being male dominated Rebecca has demonstrated the necessary business acumen and leadership skills to head up an area of the business which at its annual peak employs 180 staff.
 
Many of the staff within Rebecca’s team are women showing her passion for providing employment and training opportunities for other women in the sector.

“We are very fortunate to have Rebecca as part of the team at AKW Group and I hope her success will serve as inspiration for a new generation of women in logistics sector,” said Tony Worthington, Chairman of AKW Group, who set up the business in 1981.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

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Wednesday 4th September 2013

Lights, Camera, Action – AKW Group and Hough End Junior Griffins JFC shoot special video


A Manchester logistics company and local junior football club have celebrated the start of the new football season by teaming up to film a funny promotional video.

AKW Group and Hough End Griffins under 14s FC came together with marketing specialists Mason Media to create a story about the team visiting AKW to sign a sponsorship deal…with hilarious consequences!

The story was then shot at AKW Group’s Trafford Park facility, which includes a transport operation of over 100 vehicles and over 500,000 square-feet of warehousing as well a dedicated contract packing operation.

Carl Murray, Commercial Director of AKW Group, aka ‘The Manager’ said: “The film is all about doing something fun and a little bit different to promote our company and also the great work done by Hough End Griffins in the local community.”

“It was a long day filming but the end result is fantastic. We had plenty of laughs putting it together and saw some brilliant displays of footballing skills from the youngsters in some unusual places.”

AKW Group Chairman Tony Worthington and Bozz Walker, Chairman of Hough End Griffins JFC, also make an appearance in the video.

Hough End Griffins JFC Head of Coaching Paul Evans has worked with the team for seven years, winning the Manchester County Cup in 2012 as well as several league and cup titles over the years.

Paul said: “As an inner city football club we are focused on equality and creating an integrated community. Football is a great facilitator in achieving this and the video tie in with AKW Group will highlight our club to a wider audience.”

Hough End Griffins JFC was formed in 2005 with just one team and now has over 20 teams all run by volunteers. In 2010 they were Manchester FA Charter Development Club of The Year.

The link to the video can be found on both organisations’ websites www.akwgroup.co.uk or http://www.houghendgriffins.com/ You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.


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Thursday 19th September 2013

Marks & Spencer Gift Voucher Draw


We are pleased to announce Trevor Roscoe as the winner of the £50.00 Marks & Spencers Gift voucher for the draw that took place on 9th September 2013. Well Done Trevor and happy spending!

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.


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Wednesday 28th August 2013

ProVision Moves to New Premises in Trafford Park


ProVision, the broadcast equipment rental business, is moving to new premises in Trafford Park. The ITV Studios-owned business will relocate to AK Worthington’s site close to MediaCity UK, built by Russells Construction.

ProVision has, alongside AK Worthington and Russells Construction, created a bespoke office and storage facility which provides production and staff with a modern working environment. Situated in Trafford Park, directly opposite the MediaCity hub, the 16,000 sq ft unit will house cameras, lighting, grip and sound rental equipment.

ProVision’s commercial manager, Graham Waite, said: “Finding a new facility in Manchester has been a carefully thought out project which considers ProVision’s long term future. The AK Worthington site has been a natural choice considering location, security of the site and the proactive approach AKW took to support what we wanted to achieve. With the move to a new base in Manchester, combined with our new London office making a real impact and continued investment in new technology, our team is well equipped for the future”.

Tony Worthington, chairman of AKW Group, said: “This deal builds on a long history of AKW Group working with the film and TV industry in the Manchester area. We identified this site as being an ideal extension to Media City and believed it would be of interest for a tenant in this sector, for whom proximity to the TV channels was important. Clearly as a leading supplier of equipment to the studios, ProVision needs to be nearby but also requires space and security, both of which we can offer at our site in Westbrook Road.”

To complement the move, ProVision has recently invested in technology including Cooke S4i lenses and Arri Alexa’s for drama and commercial production along with Canon C300’s, XF305’s and Sony PMW200’s to enhance the range of equipment available.

Recent ProVision credits include Vera Series 4, Mrs Biggs, 4 o’clock Club, Britain’s Secret Homes, DCI Banks, Peaky Blinders, For The Love Of Dogs Series 1&2, The Syndicate Series 2, Utopia, Celebrity Super Spa and The Great Train Robbery.


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Wednesday 31st July 2013

Long standing support for apprentices helps AKW Group to grow


WHEN Jason Bradley started out on his career in logistics as an apprentice with AKW Group in 1986 the company had six drivers and three office staff…27 years on he is now AKW’s operations manager and the firm employs over 250 people.

From painting wheel rims and loading and unloading trailers to overseeing the day to day operations of a firm with a turnover of over £20 million, Jason, 41, from Sale, says AKW’s commitment to supporting his development has been crucial to his progression.

“Whether it was gaining my fork lift truck and HGV drivers’ licences or the accountancy and director development courses I’ve completed more recently, the culture of the business has always been to help me achieve the most I can,” said Jason.

“I’ve been with company from its earliest days and to have been given the opportunity to develop my career as the firm has gone from strength to strength is something I’m really proud of.”

Another employee who has benefitted from the training and support offered by AKW Group is Shaun Kelly, who also joined the company from school as a general administration apprentice, in October 1997.

Shaun, 31, who grew up in Stretford and now lives in Salford, is now the warehouse manager for AKW Group’s Bond 3 facility, part of the 500,000 square-feet of warehousing the company has at Trafford Park.

“So much has changed since I started with AKW Group and if there is an opportunity to progress within the company they will always give you the opportunity to take it,” said Shaun.

“Now the more experienced staff like me are passing on our advice and experience to the next generation of apprentices within the firm in the same way.”

AKW Group currently has three apprentices ranging from 17 to 23-years-old. Tomasz Skwara is an IT apprentice who is currently learning his trade with AKW Group.

"I enjoy working for the AKW Group, I am learning all aspects of managing servers and the IT requirments of my internal customers,” said Tomasz.

“We have always valued the importance of long term planning and nurturing the next generation of talented people to ensure the company remains in a strong position in the future,” said Tony Worthington, chairman and founder of AKW Group.

“We are an ambitious company and we want that ambition to filter through at every level within the business.”

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.


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Friday 5th July 2013

Logistics firm in drive to recruit more female drivers

 
A MANCHESTER logistics firm is hoping the success of its trio of lady drivers will help encourage more women to join its ranks.
 
AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, is looking to recruit more women to join its current drivers Steph Butler, Alison Carr and Kelly Ratican who collectively have over 14 years’ experience with the company.
 
“AKW Group is very fortunate to have a skilled team of drivers.  Alison, Kelly and Steph are a really important part in this team helping to deliver a quality service to our customers,” said Jason Bradley, Operations Manager of AKW Group.
 
“Our company aims to encourage ambitious and motivated people and I hope their success will encourage other women to pursue a career in the logistics industry.”
 
AKW Group, which also has over 500,000 square-feet of warehousing and a dedicated contract packing operation, is keen to take on more women drivers as part of its plans to expand the business to a £25million turnover within the next five years.
 
“The best part of the job is that no two days are the same, every day brings new challenges and you get to meet new people and see new things all the time,” said Alison Carr, who makes deliveries as far and wide as Glasgow and London.
 
“Some people still think lorry driving isn’t a job for women but I think all three of us have proven we can do the job just as well as the men and we’ve always felt like we’re a respected and valued part of the team at AKW Group.”
 
All three women would like to progress their careers and train to become Class 1 drivers, enabling them to drive the largest vehicles.
 
AKW Group is currently recruiting professional, qualified, Class one and two drivers.   To find out more call 0161 873 7355 or email sales@akw.co.uk.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

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Friday 14th June 2013

AKW staff take on endurance challenge for charity
 

SEVEN intrepid staff from a leading Manchester logistics firm are preparing to take on a 27-mile endurance challenge in the Peak District for charity.
 
The team from AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, will aim to complete the ‘Trekfest’ challenge which begins and ends in the Hope Valley and takes in some of the Peak District’s most breath taking footpaths and bridleways.
 
“We’ve all been doing some practice walks in the run up to the challenge but none of us are really regular walkers so we are expecting it to be really tough,” said Alex Buckley, Sales Office Co-ordinator for AKW Group, who is one of the seven AKW staff taking part.
 
“It’s nice to be taking part as a team of work colleagues because we are all supporting and motivating each other which makes the preparations a bit less daunting.”
 
Also part of AKW’s team is Ashleigh Worthington, Ash McCann, Stephen White, Steve Copas, John Bowater and Gary Russell, with each member choosing their own good causes to support.
 
The charities that will benefit from the team’s efforts are the NSPCC, Tommy’s, Make a Wish, the RNLI, Francis House Children’s Hospice and Cancer Research UK.
 
“We all have our individual reasons for supporting the charities we’ve chosen which also makes us all extremely determined to do the best we can to support them,” said Alex Buckley.
 
Outdoor clothing specialists and AKW customer Regatta are also supporting the team by supplying jackets, trousers and rucksacks.
 
To read the team’s reasons for nominating their charities and to sponsor them in their efforts please visit www.justgiving.com/teams/AKW-Group

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.

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Monday 3rd June 2013

Marks & Spencer Gift Voucher Draw


We are pleased to announce Alison Carr the winner of the £50.00 Marks & Spencers Gift voucher for the draw that took place on May 31st 2013.

Well Done Alison and happy spending!


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Tuesday 28th May 2013

AKW Director joins Greater Manchester Police ‘Give and Gain Day’

 
A director at a leading logistics firm in Manchester swapped his office for the beat to see how Special Constables help the local community.
 
Carl Murray, Commercial Director of AKW Group, based on Trafford Park, which provides extensive warehouse, transport, contract packing and international freight movement services, took part in Greater Manchester Police’s Give and Gain Day, on Friday, May 17.
 
The event was part of a national initiative which saw more than 11,000 employees across the UK donate their time to help out the communities they live or work in.
 
Donn Houldsworth, AKW’s Group Compliance Manager, who is a Special Constabulary Inspector with over 20 years’ experience at Greater Manchester Police, asked Carl if he would like to take part.
 
“On behalf of AKW Group I was delighted to come and see the fantastic work that Specials do across Greater Manchester.  It was a very interesting experience and I thank Donn and Greater Manchester Police for the opportunity,” said Carl Murray.
 
Donn was one of more than 40 Special Constables given a day’s paid annual leave to support the day of action and Carl was amongst a range of work colleagues invited to see what they do first hand.
 
“AKW Group supports Donn in his work as a Special Inspector because we recognise the significant benefits it brings to both him and the company,” Carl added.
 
“The experience and training Donn has received in his voluntary role with the Specials has helped him to progress his career with AKW Group to a senior management level.”
 
During the day Carl observed Specials during a normal shift which involved a variety of different tasks including warrants, an automatic number plate recognition operation and burglary initiative.
 
“I’m extremely lucky that AKW Group allows me to take time away from my job to fulfil my special duties and it was great that Carl got the opportunity to come and see what the role involves first hand,” said Donn Houldsworth.
 
Other businesses which supported the national day included Tesco, Inspire 2 Independence (i2i) Ltd, Willmott Dixon Construction, Lloyds Banking Group, NHS Blood & Transplant Service, Ofsted, The Department for Work & Pensions, Bury Council, Asda Pilsworth and BT.
 
Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley, programme director for the Special Constabulary, said:  “Being a Special Constable enables individuals to gain hands on experience in dealing with challenging situations that they might not encounter in any other career. This helps to improve confidence, develop communication skills and manage conflict, which can help them in both their personal and professional lives.
 
“I would like to extend a personal thank you to AKW and all the organisations that have allowed their staff to take a day off to help make Greater Manchester a safer place to live, work and visit.”


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iPad Mini Winner - Multi-Modal 2013

I am pleased to announce that Emma Carr from Bradford is the winner of the AKW Group Bulls Eye Challenge held at this years Multi-Modal Exhibition. Well done Emma.


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Monday 15th April 2013
 
AKW Group warehouse lights up for Coronation Street

 
The prestigious 26 Bond Warehouse owned by leading logistics specialist, AKW Group, based at Trafford Park was used as the location for filming the destruction of soap’s most iconic buildings.
 
Crew from ITV’s Coronation Street spent four weeks building an exact replica of the Rovers Return Pub inside one of AKW Group’s bonded warehouses – an insulated area within a larger warehouse.

The building was then set on fire, under the supervision of the Fire Service, for dramatic scenes aired recently as part of  the fatal arson storyline.

“Before Coronation Street took occupation the warehouse area had been storing raw materials but  we relocated  this to our Springfield Depot,” said Rebecca Davies, Director at AKW Group.

“Together with a replica of the whole pub the crew also built an upstairs set and the cellar.  We  were lucky enough to  witness the whole operation which was  very impressive and  of course we also had  the cast members who were involved with the fire scenes on site while they were filming , it was a fascinating insight into how much work goes into a few single scenes of quality television.

“It was  of course very controlled with supervision from the fire service and health and safety teams  both from ITV and AKW Group.”
 
AKW Group has over 500,000 square-feet of warehousing and a dedicated contract packing operation at Trafford Park as well running a transport operation with a fleet of over 100 vehicles and an international freight movement service.

The company enjoys a long-standing relationship with ITV and BBC, which has only been strengthened since the broadcasters relocated to nearby MediaCityUK, and its facilities have previously been used for filming shows such as Prime Suspect and The Street.

As it is a high security bonded warehouse with extensive parking facilities the site was perfect for ensuring no media leaks before ITV were ready to publish.

“Due to the scale of our warehouse facilities we are an attractive site for Film, Advert & TV filming.  We’ve also had  music videos shot here in the past,” said Rebecca.

Following the recent Coronation Street filming, AKW Group managed to rescue a memento from the fire – a Newton and Ridley beer tray which now has pride of place in our display cabinet,” said Rebecca.


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Monday, March 4, 2013

AKW invests over £100K in its IT systems

 
AKW Group has installed high speed microwave internet access across its sites at Trafford Park.
 
“As AKW looks to grow its turnover to over £25 million over the next four years it is important our I.T. systems are able to facilitate this expansion.  This is why we are continuing to invest so significantly in this area,” said Donn Houldsworth, Group Compliance and IT Manager for AKW Group.
 
The company – which provides extensive warehouse, transport, contract packing and international freight movement services – has also installed new servers to run alongside its existing system providing added security for its 24 hours a day operations.
 
AK Worthington Ltd, the transport arm of AKW Group, has invested in a new labelling system allowing customers to generate and print out their own consignments labels as they place orders.
 
“The labelling system gives the customer the control and assurance of knowing that they have labelled their goods before they have left their site.  These labels are scanned when they come into us so the customer will be able to see where their consignments are.  It also means we can ensure they get to where they need to be as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Donn.
 
The labelling system links in to a freight optimisation platform which allows AK Worthington Ltd to optimise the load of each vehicle and plan the most efficient journey routes.  As well as saving the company thousands of pounds on fuel, it is also good for the environment by reducing carbon emissions.
 
This will also allow the customer to receive real time updates on where their consignments are from the moment it leaves the warehouse to when it arrives at the customer’s premises.
 
“We aim to update all our systems on a three year rolling basis to ensure we continue to provide the best for our new and existing customers and help us to achieve our growth targets,” said Julian Richards, managing director of AKW Group.
 

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Monday, January 21, 2013
 
St Ann’s Hospice receives a late Christmas present from AKW Group

 
A Manchester hospice supporting patients, families and carers affected by cancer and other life limiting illnesses has received a late Christmas present from a local logistics firm.
 
AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, auctioned off gifts it received before Christmas from suppliers and other partners to its staff and raised £276.70p for St Ann’s Hospice.
 
“Our staff chose to give the auction money to St Ann’s Hospice because they recognise the fantastic comfort and support this brilliant local charity provides to its patients and their relatives, carers and friends,” said Carl Murray, commercial director of AKW Group.
 
Every year St Ann’s Hospice helps around 3,000 people affected by life-limiting illnesses, supporting patients as well as their families and carers.  As a charity, the hospice has to raise the equivalent of £16,000 every day just to keep its doors open.
 
Joel Oxberry, Corporate Fundraising Officer at St Ann’s, said: “We are hugely grateful to everyone at AKW Group for their generosity – and for helping the Christmas spirit live on into the New Year.  Without companies like AKW making the effort to support us and raise funds for us, we simply couldn’t continue our work here at St Ann’s.”
 
The donation will support the services at the charity’s Little Hulton site in Worsley.



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Manchester logistics firm embarks on European expansion

A LEADING transport business in Manchester is expanding its services into Europe in partnership with other top UK hauliers.

AK Worthington, the transport division of AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, is now offering delivery services to France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy through the Partnerlink haulage consortium.

“The new European delivery platform enables AKW Group to provide an additional service to our existing customers and target new firms who are looking to export to Europe,” said Julian Richards, Managing Director of AKW Group.

AKW Group is a principal shareholder in Partnerlink, an 18-strong UK haulage consortium established 13 years ago, which recently announced it has teamed up with partners on the continent to offer the new European delivery service.

Partnerlink had previously focused on UK deliveries and collectively the membership has 3,800 trailers, 5,000 staff and 750,000m² of warehousing space at its disposal.

John Davidson, director of Partnerlink, said: “The benefits we have seen from Partnerlink have been huge. Partners can offer a next day solution to anywhere in the UK, all at competitive prices, and with a quality service that our customers demand.

“It was only logical for Partnerlink to mirror this same success and branch its services out to the European market. We are very excited at the prospects.”

The expansion into Europe comes as AKW Group, which also provides extensive warehouse, contract packing, freight forwarding and container freight and international freight movement services, plans to expand its turnover to over £25million within the next four years.

“This is an extremely exciting time for the business and despite difficult economic conditions we have remained dedicated to offering our customers the best possible service,” said Julian Richards.

“We remain focused on identifying new ways to develop our services and within a two year period we are looking to increase our European sales to over £2m per annum.”


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Leading logistics ladies help drive AKW Group forward

FIVE years ago Steph Butler was working in a typical office job in Manchester...now her office is the cab of a lorry as she delivers goods across the country.

Steph, 40, from Alderley Edge, became tired of working behind a desk and decided to train as a lorry driver, with help from Trafford Park based logistics specialists AKW Group, where she has been a full-time driver ever since.

“I guess it isn’t an obvious career change but I was just sick of working in an office and wanted a job where I had more freedom and driving seemed the perfect choice.  When I heard about a job opportunity with AKW Group and leapt at the chance,” said Steph.

“It was extremely daunting at first and a real challenge getting used to not working normal office hours, it’s also quite physical work, but AKW were really supportive and started me with an experienced driver to give me time to find my feet.”

Many of Steph’s deliveries are in West Midlands and she can cover well over 200 miles on an average shift.

One of her regular journey is the 140-mile round trip to the Palletforce hub in Burton-on-Trent, as AKW is part of the Palletforce network – a network of some of the country’s leading hauliers who work together to make efficient palletised deliveries across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Steph got the job with help from another woman driver at AKW Group, Kelly Ratican, who also lives in Alderley Edge.

“I had already been with AKW Group for about a year and it was also my first driving job so my circumstances were quite similar to Steph’s,” said Kelly, 36, who covers deliveries in the Stockport area.

“We didn’t know each other that well at the time, we were more friends of friends, but when I heard Steph was looking for a driving job I suggested her to AKW Group and she got the job.”

The two women have now become close friends and even car share to work in the mornings.

Together with colleague Alison Carr, 46, they make up a trio of successful women drivers at AKW Group.  Alison has worked for the company for three years and has been a driver for five years.

“The best part of the job is that no two days are the same, every day brings new challenges and you get to meet new people and see new things all the time,” said Alison, who makes deliveries as far and wide as Glasgow and London.

“Some people still think lorry driving isn’t a job for women but I think all three of us have proven we can do the job just as well as the men and we’ve always felt like we’re a respected and valued part of the team at AKW Group.”

All three women would like to progress their careers and train to become Class 1 drivers, enabling them to drive the largest vehicles.

AKW Group, which also has over 500,000 square-feet of warehousing and a dedicated contract packing operation, is  keen to take on more women drivers as part of its plans to expand the business to a £25million turnover within the next five years.

“AKW Group is very fortunate to have a skilled team of drivers.  Alison, Kelly and Steph are a really important part in this team helping to deliver a quality service to our customers,” said Jason Bradley Operations Manager of AKW Group.

“Our company aims to encourage ambitious and motivated people and I hope their success will encourage other women to pursue a career in the logistics industry.”

AKW Group is currently recruiting professional, qualified, Class one and two drivers.   To find out more call 0161 873 7355 or email sales@akw.co.uk.

You can also follow AKW Group on Twitter at @AkwGroup.


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Director Shines for AKW Group at Manchester’s Night-Time Marathon for Cancer Research

HELPING others as well as herself is the motivation for a director of a leading logistics firm who is limbering up for a charity challenge on the streets of Manchester.

Rebecca Davies, 42, who heads up the Contract Packing Division at AKW Group, based in Trafford Park, is taking part in the Shine Manchester marathon to raise money for Cancer Research.

“I was determined to get fitter but I wanted to do it in a way that would also make a difference to other people as well,” said Rebecca, from Cheadle.

Rebecca, who has 25 years’ experience in Logistics working at TNT Express and AKW Group is now considered a leading expert in contract packing for consumer brands within the UK.

She decided to use some of her focus and determination to drive her success out of the office and began getting fitter in January.

“There is no better exercise for the heart than giving something back,” said Rebecca.

“Ever since I signed up the support I’ve had from my friends and personal trainer has been fantastic and I just hope I can raise as much money as possible for a great cause.”

Starting at Old Trafford the first stretch of the run will take Rebecca past her office at AKW’s 26 Bond depot which manages the Contract Packing & Warehousing for the country’s leading consumer brands.

The route then sets out towards Salford Quays and passing the Imperial War Museum before passing more of Manchester’s most recognisable sites including Media City UK, The Lowry, Millennium Bridge, Castlefield Arena and Manchester Cathedral before winding back to the home of Manchester United.

When the run is finished Rebecca has no plans to hang up her running shoes just yet.

“I really want to do more for charity especially locally for good causes,” said Rebecca.

To make a donation and support Rebecca’s fundraising efforts visit her fundraising page online at http://www.justgiving.com/REBECCADAVIES2012


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AKW Group Expansion Creates 10 New Jobs 

AKW Group – which provides extensive warehouse, transport and contract packing operations – is now offering specialist freight forwarding and container freight movement services.

Freight forwarding and container freight movements involve working on behalf of importers, exporters or other companies to organise the safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation of goods.The move has created 10 jobs at the group’s new head office on Trafford Park to manage the services.

Julian Richards, managing director of AKW Group, said: “We are always looking for opportunities to add new services and both Freight Forwarding and Container Freight Movements services are logical extensions to our business and we are all excited by the new opportunities that this growth will bring.”


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AKW Finds 10 Million Reasons To Celebrate 

Manchester-based contract packer, AKW found more reasons than most to celebrate during the festive period as it passed the landmark figure of 10million successfully packed units for the year.

The company, which is traditionally known for its transport solutions, has invested heavily in its contract packing business over the last five years and as a result now boasts a technically driven service that has firmly established it amongst the UK’s leading contract packers.

It currently works with a host of world-renowned FMCG names including L’Oreal, P&G, Diageo, Unilever, Kelloggs and Heinz and delivers a service that includes gift set assembly, steam sleeving, shelf ready packing, shrink wrapping, product labeling and the building of retail pallet displays

The 10million unit mark was passed on December 15th during a gift pack job, with the 10millionth pack being handled by Andzela Misiunaite – a Production Packer from Lithuania, who has worked with the company for 6 months. 

Carl Murray, the commercial director of AKW Group PLC said: “The level of investment in the business in recent years has been significant and so it is extremely encouraging to see us working at a level where we are now surpassing 10million units in a year.”

AKW has already made moves to further strengthen its position in 2012 with two board level appointments. Murray joined as commercial director and Kelvin Beardsley came on board as operations director at the end of 2011 – both tasked with helping drive the Group to a target £25million turnover.

AKW’s facilities also include 500,000 square ft of warehouse space, over 100 vehicles and access to a further 1,500 through Partnerlink offering UK Distribution

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AKW Group's Plan is to Expand the Business to a £25 Million Turnover Within The Next 5 Years 

The company has recently invested £2.5m in its warehousing, transport and contract packing infrastructure to create the platform for this growth.

“These are exciting times for the company,” said Tony Worthington, AKW Chairman and founder of the company.

“Despite difficult economic conditions we have remained dedicated to offering our customers the best possible service. It is this focus on quality service that has enabled us to expand our impressive client base and continue driving the business forward.”
AKW invests £2.5 million to develop new warehouses

THE storage operation of a major Manchester logistics firm has invested £2.5million to develop a new warehouse facility as it competes for new business.

AKW Group - which specialises in transport, warehousing and contract packing has added a further 186,000 square feet to its warehousing portfolio by taking on the Bond 3 Wharfside site.

There has been a substantial investment in this facility to bring it up to the standard of the AKW Groups, landmark 26 Bond facility, on Europa Way.

"We are in an extremely competitive industry and cannot afford to stand still. Our challenge is to take our turnover beyond £25million in the next few years and this is why we are continuing to invest in developing the business," said AKW Group's Managing Director Julian Richards.

The new refurbished facility has helped it to attract major outdoor clothing manufacturer Regatta to the firm, where AKW Group will undertake stock holding, pick and pack and distribution services.

John Mulvihill, from Regatta, said: "AKW have given great support in setting up this overflow warehouse and it is great to be able to use local suppliers to support our growth, we look forward to working with AKW."

AKW now has more than 500,000 square feet of warehousing and a contract packing division that produces a range of point-of-sale production packs for companies including Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Diageo, Kelloggs, and L'Oreal.

This investment is running parallel to the £500,000 investment in the development of new offices and state of the art packing machinery in AKW's transport and contract packing divisions.

AKW also plans to expand its fleet of vehicles in the autumn.
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Transport firm expands its sales operations

A Manchester logistics group has expanded its sales operation as it looks for further growth in 2011.

AKW Group - which specialises in transport, warehousing and contract packing has invested £150,000 to more than double the size of its sales offices on Trafford Park as it aims to push the company's turnover beyond the current £16million.

"We have made this investment in our sales operations because our challenge is to continue the growth of the AKW group following the recent expansion of our warehouse and transport operation facilities on Trafford Park," said Peter Seymour, group sales manager for AKW Group.

AKW has also added three new members to its sales team.

Rob Spencer has joined AKW as a field sales executive and brings a wealth of experience in the logistics sector.

Rebecca Roberts and Alexander Buckley have joined as telesales and sales administrators to oversee the back office function of sales.

"The addition of Alexander, Rob and Rebecca is a real asset to the sales team and will enable the group to widen its target area and focus on winning new business. "The team will expand further in the coming months to make sure the sales growth of the group remains on course," added Peter.

AKW recently invested £1.92million in expanding its premises on Trafford Park meaning it now has more than 650,000 square feet of warehousing and a contract packing division that produces a range of point-of-sale production packs.


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Contract packing feature

A LEADING Logistics firm which includes a specialist Contract Packing Division is investing millions of pounds in its operations as it aims to drive turnover beyond £20millon.

AKW Group has spent over £2millon on new premises, IT technology, vehicles and staff development in 2010, to provide the best possible service for its customers and win more new business in a competitive market.

The business, which is based at the landmark World Freight Centre Ltd on Trafford Park, has recently spent £1.92million expanding its premises.

"This investment combined with other further investments in the business will help to create jobs in the area and help secure an exciting future and opportunities for the business and all its employees," said AKW Chairman Tony Worthington.

The investment has increased the firm's storage capacity by over 90,000 square feet by purchasing four new warehouses at Westbrook Park from industrial property specialists SEGRO.

The new premises take the total area of Warehousing owned or leased by AKW on Trafford Park to over 500,000 square feet.

In 2004, AKW Group was operating as three separate businesses , Distribution, Warehousing and Contract Packing , but it has now come together as one company.

In the past 10 years turnover has increased from £7million to £18million, securing it as one of the country's leading logistics firms.

AKW Group's Contract Packing service offers a range of specialist product packing options including steam sleeving, gift sets, shelf ready packaging, shrink wrapping, retail pallet displays and labelling.

The company is a specialist in dealing with promotions and gift packs when clients need their stock repackaged for supermarket promotions at key selling times, such as a new product launch, Christmas or Easter.

AKW Group handles thousands of pallets every day and major Contract Packing customers include Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Diageo, Kelloggs, and L'Oreal.

The Contract Packing Division of AKW Group has recently gone hi tech with a new £150,000 IT system called Access Supply Chain which gives customers up-to-date information on their goods during the packing process. The IT system will allow customers to trace the batches of goods it sends to AKW's Contract Packing division in real time through an online system.

"Investing in the latest technology developments is crucial to ensuring we provide the best possible service for our customers," said Rebecca Davies, director of AKW Group's Contract Packing division.

 

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AKW invests almost £2 Million in New Premises

A LEADING logistics firm has invested £1.92million in expanding its premises on Trafford Park.

AKW Group – which specialises in transport, warehousing and contract packing – has increased its storage capacity by over 90,000 square feet by purchasing four new warehouses at Westbrook Park from industrial property specialists SEGRO.

AKW chairman Tony Worthington said that this investment will enable the company to drive its turnover beyond £20million.

"This investment combined with other further investments in vehicles and trailers will help to create jobs in the area and help secure an exciting future and opportunities for the business and all its employees," said Tony Worthington.

The new premises take the total area of Warehousing owned or leased by AKW on Trafford Park to over 500,000 square feet.

This investment follows a £750,000 spend by AK Worthington, the transport arm of the AKW Group, on 40 new trailers to take the total in its fleet to over 100

AKW group has also recently spent tens of thousands of pounds in more fuel-efficient engines and driver training and a further £150,000 on new IT systems in the past year and is also planning an investment of over £500,000 in its vehicle fleet early in 2011.

Julian Richards, Managing Director of AKW Group, said: "Our commitment to providing the best possible quality of service means that despite the economic challenges that our industry continues to face we are able to maintain our investment in driving the business forward.

"We have a growing list of clients including major blue chip companies and our latest investments enable us to provide an even better service for all our new and existing customers."
 

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Haulage firm invests in 40 new trailers

A MANCHESTER haulage firm is planning for an upturn in the economy by investing £750,000 in 40 new trailers, taking the total in its fleet to over 100.

AK Worthington, part of the AKW Group based at Trafford Park, has made the investment as many UK firms show strong signs of recovery from the recession.

The new Lawrence David trailers have a larger capacity and will allow AK Worthington's customers to transport more goods in one journey.

"We expect to see UK businesses continue to shake off the recession and for the economy to grow over the next year. With this in mind we want to ensure we are in a position to offer our new and existing customers greater flexibility to transport more of their goods," said Jason Bradley, Operations Manager for AK Worthington Ltd.

In the past 10 years AKW Group's focus on a flexible and reliable service has seen its turnover rise to £18million, securing it as one of the country's leading privately owned hauliers

AK Worthington's new trailers half a meter taller than others in its fleet, meaning the overall capacity of each trailer is 20 per cent bigger. This is ideal for customers wanting to transport more light freight such as packaging, clothing, furnishings and paper products.

"This is a major investment at a time when many other transport firms still have concerns about the economy. I believe however that to stay competitive it is important to invest in the latest technology to provide the best possible service for customers," said Julian Richards, Managing Director of AK Worthington Ltd.

The group has also spent tens of thousands of pounds in more fuel-efficient engines and driver training and a further £150,000 on new IT systems in the past year and is also planning an investment of almost £750,000 in its vehicle fleet early in 2011.


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Contract Packing firm invests in new £150K IT system

A UK firm that carries out packing for some of the world's leading brands is preparing to go online with a new £150,000 IT system.

The Contract Packing division of AKW Group is investing in a system called Access Supply Chain which gives customers up-to-date information on their goods during the packing process.

"Investing in the latest technology developments is crucial to ensuring we provide the best possible service for our customers," said Rebecca Davies, director of AKW Group's Contract Packing division.

AKW Group's Contract Packing service offers a range of specialist product packing options including gift sets, shelf ready packing, shrink wrapping, retail pallet displays and labelling.

The company is a specialist in dealing with promotions and gift packs when clients need products repackaged for supermarket promotions at key selling times, such as a new product launch, Christmas or Easter.

The IT system will allow customers to trace the batches of goods it sends to AKW's Contract Packing division in real time through an online system.

Craig Such, managing director of Access' Emley office, commented: "We're delighted to be working with AKW, and welcome them as an Access customer.

"By investing in our fully-integrated system, AKW will experience tremendous efficiencies, helping to streamline business processes across their whole organisation – including job control and warehouse management.

"Access Supply Chain is a flexible, scalable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that will keep AKW's customers fully informed every step of the way, helping to further enhance their customer relations. We can't wait to see AKW and their customers benefiting from the solution."

AKW Group is based at the landmark World Freight Centre Ltd, at Trafford Park, handling thousands of pallets every day, and major Contract Packing customers include Procter and Gamble, Diageo, Kelloggs, and L'Oreal.

"Our Contract Packing service requires us to work to completely individual and detailed specifications for each job in very short timescales. The new system will give our customers full confidence that we are able to meet these requirements and get the product to where it needs to be on time," said Rebecca Davies.

AKW Group also includes Transport and Warehousing services providing a full logistics solution for its customers.

Feature for The Delivery Magazine

Monday, May 24, 2010

HAULIER HOPES NEW GOVERNMANT WILL HELP ON FUEL

THE head of a leading haulage firm – which is facing a £1million fuel bill this year – has called on the coalition Government to tackle spiralling petrol prices.

Julian Richards, managing director of A.K. Worthington Ltd, part of the AKW Group, said duty on fuel needed to be cut or capped for the sake of the haulage industry.

“If the Government doesn’t do something quickly then more firms are going to go bust,” he said.

“My fear is that given the finances the coalition Government has inherited that things will get worse before they get better.

“But out rising fuel costs are continuing to put us in a very difficult situation because we have to pass on some of these costs to our customers in the price of our services – after we have first taken a big hit on our own margins.”

Over the past 20 years, AK Worthington’s fuel cost per litre has risen by a staggering 192 percent.

In the past 10 years alone it has risen by 80 percent.

Julian, 49 and from Cheshire, said the impact of increased fuel costs was also having a more far reaching effect on the economy as haulage customers felt the pinch of the price rises.

He said: “The current rate of fuel duty, combined with global oil prices, is seeing pump prices soar to levels which are crippling many transport operators.

“At the current pump price of £1.195p per litre the Government takes almost 75p – this figure is much higher than many countries around the globe that have also been hit by the economic downturn and it threatens the future of haulage firms up and down the UK.

“This year we will spend well in excess of £1millon pounds on our fuel – a cost which has risen by over 12 percent in five years and is having a big impact on our business.

“Something needs to be done quickly, not just to help the haulage companies, but also the country so that it can be competitive in a global market.”

Newspaper headlines over the past few years suggest petrol prices are hitting record highs all the time.

It was hoped that the General Election would produce a result that helped steady the pound and put downward pressure on the fuel pumps.

However, a further 1p rise in duty is due in October and an increase of 0.76p is set for January 2011.

Julian called on the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to do something to help the industry.

“The new government needs to work with hauliers to solve this major issue and understand that the transport industry, which provides a service that is invaluable to the UK economy, is facing a huge crisis if this problem is not addressed,” he said.

“A fuel rebate for transport firms is one option which would have a positive effect and I would welcome such a step from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

Trafford-based A.K Worthington Ltd has worked hard to cut its fuel bill by working in partnership with other transport organisations to reduce the amount of empty miles from 28 percent to under 10 percent of total miles travelled.

The firm has also invested tens of thousands of pounds in more fuel-efficient engines and driver training but feels that more Government support is now needed.

On average it spends £30,000 a year on training, a further £150,000 has been spent on new IT systems in the past year.

Much of that has gone towards a transport and warehouse management systems and vehicle tracking software. All of which have made the business more efficient and therefore able to reduce its costs.

“As a company I don’t think we could have done much more to help ourselves,” said Julian. “There are some companies that have not been able to move with the times and, sadly, they have gone out of business. Every year our turnover is improving and we are doing well as a company, but other firms are going to need help if they are to stay afloat.”

In 2004, AKW Group was operating as three separate businesses – distribution, warehousing and contract packing – but has now come together as one company.

In the past 10 years turnover has gone from £7million to £18million, securing it as one of the country’s leading logistics firms.

It has gone from having 80 to 300 staff and has lofty ambitions of adding even more blue chip companies to its growing list of regular clients.

“If you want to be a company with a £20million turnover then you have to start behaving like one and that is what we did,” said Julian.

“Our emphasis now is all about quality and that is one of the things that has helped turn us from a struggling business into a successful company.”

A.K Worthington Limited is an expert in the distribution of products that require first class handling and control. It has a modern fleet of distribution vehicles, all equipped with tail lifts, and offers that extra bit of expertise and professionalism that is required to keep clients satisfied and informed.

Its World Freight Centre operates and manages open book dedicated contracts for its blue chip customers, which have been tailored to meet their specific needs.

With time of the essence in the rapidly changing global market, the AKW Group offers a dedicated contract packing service, which is ideal for clients with remedial or promotional production requirements.

The contract packing arm operates out of World Freight Centre and has three BRC accredited packing halls, a clean room and extensive bulk and high bay racking.

It is these services combined that are helping the AKW Group to thrive during difficult economic times.

“We have worked hard to be where we are today, but the industry continues to face a lot of challenges,” said Julian.

“I believe there are many companies that will need a hand if they are going to survive this year and going forward.”

 

AK Worthington drives forward its Palletforce operations

AK Worthington Limited has invested more than £90,000 in its pallet distribution operations as the company looks to win more business.

The major investment has seen the firm, based at Trafford Park, in Manchester – part of the award-winning Palletforce network – help the AKW Group achieve an annual turnover of £18.5 million and appoint a new salesman to its specialist Palletforce team of five at A.K Worthington Ltd.

Andy Lee, 42, brings with him more than sixteen years' experience in sales and customer service roles within the transport sector.

He said: "The new sales role is an exciting new challenge and I hope that my knowledge of the industry will be an asset to AK Worthington and help to drive new business through the Palletforce network."

The company has also purchased a new double deck Lawrence David trailer and is refurbishing a 7½-ton vehicle which will both be liveried in Palletforce colours and take the operational size to 53 vehicles and 76 curtain-sided trailers.

The new trailer has the capacity to carry 50 standard pallets and also has a moveable butterfly floor to accommodate tall pallets.

Peter Seymour, sales manager for AK Worthington, said: "Whilst the transport industry as a whole has suffered from the economic downturn we have continued to grow and the investment in our Palletforce operations is just part of a wider investment to continue moving the business forward."

AK Worthington has also invested more than £10,000 in marketing materials such as brochures and fliers to help promote Palletforce.

"Our investment in Palletforce comes as a result of the strong partnership forged with the network and its members since we joined the network in 2006," said Peter.

"We chose to work with Palletforce because the network is owned by members made up of the best regional transport companies across the county that all work together to deliver the highest standards of service to the customer."

AKW Group PLC. Europa Way. Trafford Park. Manchester. M17 1WF    Tel: 0161 873 7355    Email: sales@akw.co.uk    AKW Group PLC 2012. All rights reserved.

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