£1.6m investment positions East Trans for pick and pack logistics growth

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

East Trans, one of the Humber’s leading integrated logistics suppliers and a member of the Palletways network, 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 requiring secure, high-quality warehousing and reliable distribution across the UK. It is 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.

The new 8m high, heavy duty warehouse has a reinforced floor, offers flexibility of use and is built to food grade standards. As with all East Trans’ storage facilities, it also offers full fibre connectivity allowing customers remote access to multi-camera, high-definition CCTV feeds and real-time stock control data.

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 at Stallingborough, North East Lincolnshire. The site is close to the Humber ports and within an area with a strong manufacturing base, with 75% of the UK’s manufacturers, importers and exporters within four hours’ drive time.

The business is owned by Managing Director Paul Hickling and Director Peter Aarosin and was acquired 11 years ago from Icelandic-owned international transportation company Eimskip, which remains an important customer of the company.

Since then, East Trans has grown from having a dozen vehicles and turnover of £1m to operating more than 100 HGVs and over 160 trailers, with annual revenues of £18m. The new warehouse is the latest investment in a long-term development programme at the Stallingborough site.

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.”

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

The business is a member of the Palletways network, which offers cost-effective and reliable palletised distribution throughout the UK and Ireland. In addition, East Trans can send customers’ pallets to Europe via Palletways’ international delivery network, which has hubs in 20 European countries. Alongside Palletways, East Trans has its own dedicated fleet of rigid vehicles should clients require pallets to travel on a dedicated truck.

East Trans employs more than 100 staff and the new investment in the warehouse and pick and pack facilities will create at least 16 new jobs.

Mr Aarosin 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 warehouse development has been supported and delivered by 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. Senior Relationship Manager 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.”

Scunthorpe-based consulting engineers CR Parrott Consultants managed the project and the warehouse was built by contractor PK Construction, based in Immingham. Both businesses have been key partners in the development of East Trans’ offices and existing warehousing and logistics facilities.

Chris Parrott, Managing Director of CR Parrott Consultants, 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.”

The investment was also supported by a £136,000 Local Growth Fund grant from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, via North East Lincolnshire Council.

Maggie Campbell, Lead Investment Officer, Economy and Growth, at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s always good to see a local company growing, taking advantage of available grant funding and creating jobs.”