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C&H deal will make us 3PL giant, says Downton

  • 01 November 2013
  • By Chris Walton

Last week’s acquisition of CH (Hauliers) by CM Downton is an important step in the evolution of the family haulier into a major national 3PL, according to its MD.

Andrew Downton said that as soon as the news broke that CH parent Charles Gee had entered administration he realised it was a “significant opportunity”.

“Downton wants to be a major, national 3PL in this country that is responsive, flexible and has the values of a family business,” he said.

“We are now one of very few in the UK with a complete national depot network. It means that we are a national business and with that brings economies of scale.”

CH (Hauliers) operates out of depots in Tilbury, Chatham, Aylesford, Didcot, King’s Lynn and Felixstowe, adding a significant presence to Downton’s network across the South West, Midlands and the North. Downton added: “We work in the same markets and there are still hundreds of thousands of tonnes of paper that need delivering annually.”

CH moves 2.2 million tonnes of forestry products a year, including the transportation of large paper reels used at the printing works of newspapers.

The deal sees 180 CH staff transfer to Downton under Tupe regulations (Downton has 1,350 employees across the UK) and adds 130 trucks and 250 trailers to Downton’s fleet of 600 trucks and 1,800 trailers.
Downton also said he had “absolute confidence” in MD Steve Mercer and the management team at CH, and he would continue to work with them to build up the business.

However, Charles Gee remains in administration, with subsidiary Charles Gee Bridgwater – associated with wing loader transporter work for Airbus – still seeking a buyer as CM went to press.

A spokesman for FRP Advisory said: “It is likely that during the administration process there will be redundancies within the group, as overall trading conditions for logistics firms remain challenging.”

Phil Armstrong, partner at FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said: “We remain highly focused on working with the rest of the Charles Gee Group’s customers and suppliers and in engaging with interested parties.”


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