2017 represented another successful year for Dachser Ltd, the UK subsidiary of the family-owned, German-headquartered global logistics services provider. UK sales turnover increased by around 16% to £77m, while the European export service portfolio saw the highest degree of growth, up 21% on top-line sales. Import business also grew by 7% year-on-year.
Commenting, Nick Lowe, Managing Director Dachser UK, said, “Many more customers have decided to take advantage of our daily outbound services from each branch which connect with the regional hub centres and local delivery branches comprising Dachser’s comprehensive European network.” The number of employees grew across all four branch locations at Northampton, Rochdale, Dartford and Bristol, to a total of 410.
As yet there has been no discernible adverse reaction to the impending fall-out from Brexit. The company has been making extensive contingency plans to handle any operational and/or commercial challenges that might transpire from the various scenarios that will affect the UK’s trade with the EU post-Brexit. “We are talking very much to our colleagues across Europe,” says Lowe. “Of course, we agree with what the British government has said about frictionless trade and borders. However, we are preparing for all options and we have the strength of our network to help our customers – after all, our decisions will be driven, as ever, by customer need.”
Dachser UK has seen exceptionally high levels of growth in its contract logistics and value-added services. The company already has two warehouse locations in Northampton, one at its Brackmills Logistics Centre, which was opened 4 years ago in 2014 having been built to a bespoke design and configuration, and the other being a leased warehouse. There is a combined storage capacity of some 30,000 pallets across the two sites. ‘We will continue to invest in additional warehouse space for contract logistics and value-added services in line with our continuing strong business development in these areas,” says Lowe.
At the company’s north west location in Rochdale there are also plans for expansion. The current premises, the result of the acquisition and integration of JA Leach Transport in 2010, are now insufficient to handle Dachser’s projected business growth in the region, and planning is at an advanced stage for a new, purpose built 6,700 square metre cross-dock facility which is expected to be operational from mid-2019. “There was a great culture fit with the team at JA Leach, and a very high percentage of colleagues remaining with us and positively embracing change, a factor which was and continues to be instrumental in our success”, explains Lowe. “Our annual sales turnover in Rochdale is now approaching the £ 20 million mark, from £ 6.5 million at the time of the acquisition in 2010. These days, roughly 65 % of our turnover is attributable to European road freight, evidencing our strategy to simultaneously grow and diversify our customer portfolio. Inevitably we now need to reflect that on-going positive development by investing in the right facility to sustain our growth into the future.”
Another major contributor to this success is Dachser’s ability to deliver time-defined, reliable distribution services accompanied by an exceptional degree of delivery status visibility. The latter is accessible via Dachser’s web portal as well as the ‘Shipment Pointer’ App. Dachser brands this user-friendly, internet-based tracking service under its ‘eLogistics’ offering.
“The ‘real-time’ nature of our track-and-trace function is a really valuable tool for our export customers”, says Lowe. “Real-time consignment and delivery status information is available to them as a result of the wide extent of bar-code scanning throughout our network. This captures the arrival and departure of all shipments at every stage of their journey, right through to the final delivery to the ultimate consignee.”