Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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  • 29 December 2012
  • By Christopher Walton

It’s been a strange year at Stobart Group. On the surface things have been strong at Stobart: profit is up; the TV show is still getting good viewing figures (with two series); it bought Autologic for £12.4m in one of the more surprising deals of the year.

At the same time it has kept one of the most distinctive fleets on the roads fresh. Scania and Volvo remain the main marques – and in February, alongside AW Jenkinson, it ordered its second batch of 1,000 Scania’s in three years.

A month before, it became the first operator in the UK to run a 15.65m longer semi-trailer. It has even widened the marque(s) adding Iveco and Mercedes-Benz units.

But: it started the year looking to close its Corby and Alcester distribution centres – after a swathe of pre-Christmas job cuts at sites in Stoke-on-Trent, Leeds, Goole and Barlborough.  Economically, times have been tough for the green, red and white machine.

It lead to chief executive Andrew Tinkler told back in May that: “It is a tough environment and we are bumping along the bottom. Going forward, and even in the second half of the last financial year, margin improvements have come through.”

Then the bad headlines really hit as on 1 August as the debate over the future of  183 Stobart drivers, all members of the Unite union and all working out of the Tesco Doncaster distribution centre started in earnest. Strikes, industrial action, offers and counter-offers and talks at Acas went on for over four months. Eventually an agreement was reached but not before protests outside of Parliament and the attention of Labour leader Ed Miliband had been garnered.

Still, Stobart finished the year with a tilt at a Christmas number one (although it charted at 47) – raising money for Help For Heroes with its version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Is there no stopping Stobart?


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