The dedication and loyalty of licensee members across the UK has been highlighted in an awards ceremony hosted by the Fortec Pallet Distribution Network.
Companies within the 66-strong licensee network were asked to cast their votes on the most deserving licensees as part of the annual awards ceremony.
The Depot of the Year award went to Ipswich-based IP Pallets.
IP Pallets joined Fortec in 2004 and serves clients in Ipswich, Norwich and into Cambridge.
Having grown from five members of staff and only limited input, the company today employs a 20-strong workforce and puts on average 120 pallets a night through the network. Fellow licensees voted IP Pallets to receive the award following the company’s consistent service to the network, its dealings with Fortec customers and assistance with special requests.
Simon Fraser, Managing Director, said: "We are delighted and humbled to receive this award. Delighted, because we weren’t expecting to win, and humbled because the Network has so many licensees who deliver a first class service and yet these same licensees voted for us to win.
"We have had a fantastic relationship with Fortec in the six years we have been with the Network and we are looking forward to it continuing and developing in the years to come."
Coventry-based Fullforce came in second place and Allen Logistics in County Armagh came third.
Neil Hodgson, Managing Director of the Fortec Pallet Distribution Network paid tribute to IP Pallets. He commented: "IP Pallets is an excellent member of the network in respect of branding and livery and are a model licensee".
The Rod Abrahams Award, in memory of Fortec’s former Managing Director who died from cancer in September last year, went to Bridgetime Transport in Newport.
The award is given to the licensee who consistently goes the extra mile for the benefit of their business, the Network and customers.
As a Fortec licensee Bridgetime Transport originally covered the ‘NP’ postcode but agreed to cover the ‘CF’ postcode at relatively short notice in 2009.
Robbie Evans, Director of Bridgetime Transport, said: "It was a real crisis at the time but we said we were happy to take it on for the benefit of Fortec customers until a permanent licensee was found for Cardiff.
"It was a lot of pressure but we pulled out all the stops. Thankfully it went really well and after three months we said we’d like to take it on permanently. It was an excellent decision – it has really added value to our business."
Neil Hodgson commented: "We have many depots in the network which go the extra mile and it was difficult to choose a winner for this very special category, however the service provided by Bridgetime was exceptional and we congratulate them on their success."
Leicester-based Mitchell Storage and Distribution won the award for the International Depot of the year.
The award was presented in recognition of the number of international consignments handled by the company on behalf of the Fortec Network.
It came just as Mitchell Storage and Distribution, which joined the Fortec Network over 18 months ago, shipped 500 pallets into the Network in the previous 12 weeks.
Neil Hodgson commented: "This is a fantastic performance by Mitchells Storage and Distribution and clearly demonstrates what can be achieved from small beginnings."
Runners up were Parker Transport (South West) and London-based Spartan.
The Newcomer of the Year Award went to Spartan’s Sheffield base, with Crewe-based NLH Express Deliveries and Spavin City Express in Scunthorpe in second and third place.
Spartan won the award in recognition of consistent steady growth to Fortec since joining a year ago and for its commitment to the Network.
When partners Tracey Brooks and Stuart Staniland first opened Spartan’s 6,000 sq ft warehouse, they had no customers on the books. But by the end of the first week they had put four pallets into the Fortec network.
Today the company serves a client base in Sheffield and puts up to 300 pallets into the network every week.
Neil Hodgson said: "Spartan is another excellent example of what can be achieved from a start up operation."
W L Vallance in Newton Abbot picked up the award for Commercial Contribution. In second place was TJL Transport in Mitcham, while Devereux Developments in Cleveland was in third place.
Earliest records of Vallance’s involvement in transport date back to 1906 when they used horses and carts to transport clay form the local claypits to the docks at Teignmouth. W L Vallance, known as Lew, first operated steam engined tippers, the introduction of which startled the horses.
From these early beginnings the company has grown significantly and today the Vallance Group employs a 100-strong workforce, operates a fleet of 50 vehicles and delivers more than 600 pallets a day for customers based in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.
Neil Hodgson commented: "W L Vallance is an excellent member of the network and provide consistent levels of service despite having to cope with a very difficult geographic area coupled with a reduced marketplace. The fact they have been selected to win this award is testament to their tenacity and commitment to the network. "
In paying tribute to all the winners Neil Hodgson continued: "Congratulations to the licensees who won awards. All are model companies who regularly pull out all the stops and go beyond the call of duty to provide a top-class service. It is their loyalty and dedication that helps make Fortec the success it is.
"All our winners have consistently gone the extra mile in 2009 and we are delighted to reward that effort with these awards."