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Getting the chemistry right

Road and rail logistics provider The Potter Group has taken delivery of 12 new trailers from Schmitz Cargobull (UK) Ltd.

10 units carrying the Potter Group livery will be based at the Group's distribution centres in Droitwich, Knowsley, and Ripon, while the remaining two will be in the livery of chemical company Sika, a leading client at Potter Group's Droitwich facility.

All the trailers except one are 4.5m high to provide maximum cube storage space; the remaining 4.2m high unit will be based in Droitwich and is fitted with a roll back roof to carry roofing products for Sika.

Potter's Droitwich, Knowsley and Ripon facilities are shared user sites that specialize in handling and storing chemical products. The trailers will be used to service a variety of UK-based clients and will transport products as diverse as paints, lubricants, adhesives, plastics and polymers. The trailers have all been fitted with 'HazChem' plates.

The arrival of the new trailers, which have been supplied on a five year lease, has allowed Potter Group to cut the size of its short term rental trailer fleet and, therefore, reduce operating costs. Manufactured in the company's livery these new additions will further strengthen the Potter Group's profile and presence on the UK's roads.

All of the new units have been built at Schmitz Cargobull's UK manufacturing plant at Harelaw, just outside Newcastle upon Tyne. Following a significant investment in production techniques and processes at Harelaw, Schmitz Cargobull is currently able to fulfill orders for standard UK-built curtainsiders in 10-12 weeks and this was a significant influence on Potter Group's decision to add more Schmitz Cargobull trailers to its fleet, as the Group's operations director, Jim Thomson, explains: “Apart from the proven reliability and cost efficiency of the trailers, Potter Group chose Schmitz Cargobull products because they could be supplied to the exact specifications the Group required in the time scale we were looking for.”

Jim Thomson continued: “We already have Schmitz Cargobull trailers in our fleet so we were comfortable with the quality of the product and we were able to negotiate a lease package that includes tyres and maintenance. We emphasise the mutual benefits of strong, long-term relationships with our clients and believe this should also apply to our suppliers. Schmitz Cargobull's high production quality and service back-up support enable us to offer similarly high standards to our clients – so everyone benefits.”

Andrew Morley, Schmitz Cargobull (UK) Ltd's sales and marketing director, commented: “The investment reflects the Potter Group's commitment to further long-term development and I am delighted that Schmitz Cargobull continues to partner such a forward thinking and innovative logistics service provider.”

Schmitz Cargobull (UK) Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German-owned Schmitz Group, the biggest manufacturer and supplier of semi-trailers in Europe. The Group produced some 50,000 units during the 2006/7 business year at manufacturing plants in Germany, Spain, Lithuania and Great Britain. This figure is forecast to rise to 100,000 units by 2010. The UK factory is situated at Harelaw, County Durham and employs over 350 personnel involved in the design, manufacture and sales of refrigerated, dry freight and curtain-sided semi-trailers specifically for the UK and Eire markets

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