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Davies Turner

Davies Turner trainee recruitment programme enters 10th year

The trainee recruitment programme operated by UK freight forwarder and logistics company Davies Turner has entered its 10th year.

The latest group of recruits for its 2019 training scheme recently completed their initial induction programme at the company’s regional distribution centre at Coleshill in the UK.

The Davies Turner training scheme, which includes both BIFA-accredited and in-house training in its wide-ranging and multimodal freight services, as well as its international logistics operations, is designed to offer a foundation in all elements of the forwarding industry.

The new trainees will learn all aspects of Davies Turner’s multimodal business during the training scheme, which started this month, and – subject to performance and practical experience – they will have the opportunity to progress into management and supervisory roles.

During the training programme participants spend time in all surface freight and logistics divisions, in addition to gaining an overview at Davies Turner Air Cargo, central administration, IT and the company’s accounts department.

Once again, this year, Davies Turner has also recruited additional trainees separately to the group training scheme who will receive training specialising in one area of the company’s business, such as overland trailer services, ocean freight or third party logistics. 

Davies Turner Group Chairman, Philip Stephenson, said: “Although training and apprenticeships for graduates and A-level school-leavers wishing to follow a career in freight forwarding and logistics are firmly back on the agenda in the UK following the recent introduction of the Apprentice Levy as well as the Trailblazer and Government Apprenticeship schemes, Davies Turner has always been ahead of the curve on this important issue.  We need to recruit and train good all-rounders to safeguard the long term future development of the company as well as benefitting their own career satisfaction”.

“We are now in the tenth year of investing in our own comprehensive training programme and I’m pleased to report that most of the more than 100 trainees that we have recruited over the last decade are still working within the company, which I attribute to our mentoring system and determination to challenge trainees with interesting and responsible career opportunities at the end of their two years learning with us.”

Road haulage capacity ample, prices on the rise

The Davies Turner Group has asserted that available road haulage capacity in Europe is at its highest level in a decade.

The company’s own experience is in line with recent survey results that the strong growth in European freight volumes in recent years is showing signs of slowing down in 2019.

“One year ago European haulage capacity was very tight, especially in Germany, while now there is currently the capacity to handle demand, despite the well publicised driver shortages,” said Philip Stephenson, chairman of the Davies Turner Group.

“We have also noted that haulage prices in the first quarter of 2019 were higher than in the first quarter of 2018. That is not surprising, despite the situation regarding supply and demand, as we are seeing a much-needed catch up in pricing, as underlying operational costs continue to increase strongly due to driver shortages pushing up employment costs. Road tolls and fuel prices are increasing.

“Past experience does tell us that for seasonal reasons, the available overland transport capacity usually is greater in the first months of a year. 

“Many of the shippers that rely on our daily European trailer services are moving their goods on a contract basis, and value the guaranteed services that we offer.  As a result our own freight volumes and market share show continued healthy growth.” 

Davies Turner’s portfolio of European overland trailer services utilises a pan-European network of partners through its membership of System Alliance Europe – which delivers standardised EDI links and shipment tracking. 

Davies Turner: Brexit-related warehousing requests ‘on the increase’

Davies Turner is seeing an upsurge in enquiries about the availability of warehousing space, driven by customer concerns about the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the future of UK trade with the EU after March next year.

The freight forwarder and logistics service provider said it has previously seen demand for warehousing capacity often reduce in the early months of the new year as many retailers require less stock following the festive season.

However, 2018 has already been a busy year so that spare capacity is very limited and this is likely to continue into 2019.

The company says that the increase in enquiries, many of which are originating from its partners in Europe, seems to be the result of firms deciding to stockpile more goods than usual in preparation for any supply chain disruption that may occur around the still to be negotiated transition period following the UK’s departure from the EU next year.

Davies Turner chairman Philip Stephenson said: “We suspect that the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit will only lead to more demand for short term storage in in the event of no deal or an unsatisfactory outcome with no mutual recognition or trading agreements in place. Depending on the final details of Britain’s trade deal with the rest of Europe, this may turn into a longer term requirement.

“Adding to these pressures will be more predictable factors like the Chinese New Year, which starts at the end of January next year and may also strengthen demand for UK warehousing in March.”

Turkey economic crisis trade outlook ‘positive’ for UK importers

UK freight forwarder Davies Turner says it remains positive about the trading outlook for Turkey despite the country’s ongoing economic crisis and depreciating currency.

Company Chairman Philip Stephenson says that the weakened Turkish lira and escalating tariff war between the US and Turkey might make life harder for British exporters, but easier for our importers.

A so called trade war broke out in mid-August after President Donald Trump doubled US tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminium, in turn precipitating a sharp fall in the value of the lira. If sustained, this would have the effect of making imported goods more expensive for Turkish consumers, but could make the country’s exports to the UK and the rest of the world more competitive.

“If it becomes more difficult for not only UK, but European exporters to sell to Turkey, it could put a strain on the rotation of trailers between Turkey and the UK,” said Stephenson. “Ideally for Davies Turner, balanced traffic flows in both directions are best, supplemented by collecting extra southbound freight from our partners in countries in the near-continent.”

It should be pointed out that Davies Turner operates daily two-way overland and multimodal trailer services between the UK and Turkey with Turkish partner EKOL.

Stephenson said so far this year it had been “business as usual” and the company was sheltered from fluctuations of the Turkish lira because most of its large international Turkish-related freight and logistics contracts were in Euros or Sterling.

“We have some longer term concerns if the ongoing financial situation has a significant impact on future foreign investment within Turkey, but we still believe the country’s strong export growth will continue despite the country’s current economic difficulties,” he added.

Between them, EKOL and Davies Turner move around 70-110 trailers a week between the UK and Turkey, mainly groupage, along with sea freight containers.

The main commodities moved from Turkey to the UK are clothing and textiles, car parts and raw materials. Southbound from the UK to Turkey, goods moved include fabrics, chemicals and machinery, with volumes out of the UK topped up in mainland Europe if necessary.

Davies Turner opens multi-user distribution centre in Bristol

Davies Turner says its new multi-user distribution centre near Avonmouth, Bristol, is now fully operational.

The new hub at Central Park by Western Approach is the company’s largest to date at 150,000 sq ft (14,000 sq m) and adds to its nationwide warehousing network.

The building has a high bay fully racked area, with a top beam lift of 17.5 m and eaves height of 19 m, making it one of the highest in Europe for VNA forklift operations. The site can hold 27,000 standard pallets, leaving around 3,000 spare half height locations for stacking cartons or low pallets by the ground floor pick spaces.

Four mezzanine floors have been built, with an average area of 35,000 sq ft (3,158.7 sq m), each with conveyor and pallet lift access from the ground floor as well as between each of the mezzanine decks. The mezzanines are suitable for sortation, rework, and fulfilment services required for the company’s growing e-commerce activities and online retail logistics business.

Access to the warehouse is through 18 loading docks plus a separate drive-in ramp at one end and an extra wide door at the other for out-of-gauge freight, which sits under a large canopy where doubledecker pallet trailers can also be loaded.

The site has been fully secured with palisade fencing and barriers controlling vehicle arrivals and departures.

The Central Park Logistics site is located on the edge of Avonmouth, within a 10 minute drive of the company’s other premises at Western Freight Terminal. The new DC will shortly benefit from direct motorway access due to the new junction currently under construction on the M49, improving access to the major M4 and M5 motorway networks that connect Avonmouth to London and the rest of the country, as well as the Midlands, Wales and the South West.

Davies Turner Plc Chairman, Philip Stephenson said: “Our Bristol regional HQ which also houses Davies Turner Air Cargo, has had outstanding success and is expanding rapidly in co-operation with our European partners plus the main existing and emerging markets worldwide.

“The company already operates other warehouses nearby, with each site delivering complementary supply chain solutions.

“This cluster-based approach based on our freehold sites will allow us to pool our local management and labour resources. It represents a much-needed expansion of capacity serving our customers nationwide as well as in South Wales and the West Country.”

Bristol is one of Davies Turner’s key multimodal freight hubs, with satellite branches in Bridgend, Plymouth and Southampton. The region also works with the rest of the company’s network centred on its RDCs at Birmingham, Dartford, Heathrow, Manchester and Cumbernauld in Scotland, as well as Dublin in Ireland – with another 14 smaller branches supporting them.

The company has also bought enough land (12 acres (5 ha) at Central Park to develop a second warehouse on the same site capable of adding at least another 121,000 sq ft (11,250 sq m) as business expands again, following the pattern set at its other regional distribution centres.