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Growth to drive Birmingham logistics firm CSL into UK’s Top 100

Growth to drive Birmingham logistics firm CSL into UK’s Top 100

Despite economic uncertainties surrounding Brexit, a family-run logistics company CSL is on track to join the ranks of the UK’s Top 100 transport/logistics businesses after year-on-year growth of 25 per cent saw its 2016 turnover reach an all-time high of £20million.

In 2017, with turnover projected to rise to £24million, Corporate Solutions Logistics aspires to become one of the top companies in its sector.

With a portfolio of industry-leading companies, the Birmingham-based firm attributes its achievements to working with businesses that are in growth mode and developing long-term relationships that promote customer retention.

CSL’s original strategy was to partner with businesses that have the ambition to be market leaders in their sector, and this remains the company’s approach today. By working closely with customers to increase service levels while also reducing distribution costs and retaining the flexibility to adapt to meet changing needs over time, CSL is able to retain long-term contracts. This, in turn, has led to the company establishing itself as the preferred logistics partner of organisations such as Vax, Lidl and Smurfit Kappa.

A commitment to utilising the latest technology to streamline its operation has also had a significant impact on the fast growing CSL. As well as investing in a custom-built transport management system to facilitate accurate scheduling, minimise distances travelled and deliver an empty running percentage in single figures, the company uses a telematics system that affords customers full tracking with easy access to progress updates.

Managing director Des Ponsonby said: “These days our IT investment is about par for a company of our size, but when we first began to use new technologies our initial investment of £250,000 came at a time when our turnover was around £3million.

“By taking paper out of the system we’ve managed to speed up and improve our processes without a corresponding increase in operational costs, so we stay lean while functioning more efficiently. Our investment in technology has certainly played a crucial role in driving the business forward.”

Des is a firm believer in putting safety first and the decision to utilise ground-breaking technology to reduce the number of minor, low-speed accidents is already paying dividends. Detailed analysis of the data enables the CSL team and its advisers to pinpoint particular problems and address them with targeted driver training.

CSL can trace its roots back to 1963, when Denis Ponsonby set up his home/commercial removals firm D J Ponsonby with just one truck. In 1997 the decision to move from general haulage, parcels and palletised distribution into quality contract logistics services saw sons Des and Mark Ponsonby and fellow directors Brian Croghan and John Mangan establish CSL with a single contract worth £350,000 a year. Based at Birmingham Business Park, CSL currently employs 150 people and operates eight regional depots.

The list of the UK’s Top 100 transport/logistics businesses is due out at the end of 2017.

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