Woodland Logistics: On the road to success

Ahead of this year’s Multimodal event, ITM speaks to Sean Kirby, MD of Woodland Logistics, which provides logistics, distribution and warehousing services across the UK.

What is Woodland Logistics and what
services does it provide?

Woodland Logistics is a leading logistics provider of dedicated and shared fleet solutions across the UK. We tailor solutions for our customers that improve service, costs and release customer resource so they can focus on doing what they do best – running their business.

How was Woodland Logistics formed and who are the key people involved?

The business was formed in 2005, when I joined the Woodland Group. Everyone is key in the delivery of our services, however, the senior team includes Iain Rowlands and Simon Herron who manage the detail of day-to-day business.

Can you tell us about your career history, Sean?
Have you always worked in logistics?

I have always worked in the logistics industry. Before joining Woodland I spent 24 years with an Essex-based transport company where I learnt the business. The company grew hugely during the time I was there and I owe a great deal to the owner of that business, Stuart Fullerton, whose coaching was invaluable.

The business serviced both the manufacturing and freight forwarding industries on a national scale, providing warehousing and distribution services throughout the UK.

What assets does Woodland Logistics have at its
disposal? Do you plan to invest in further assets
in the coming months/ years?

Currently Woodland Logistics operates 157 vehicles and 122 trailers from 14 locations in the UK for various manufacturers/ distributors of products in the UK.

Our fleets are no more than five-years-old and this is determined by the length of the contract with each specific customer. We continually invest in new technology in relation to the vehicle fleet to ensure we are operating a reliable, efficient fleet.

What would you list as your career
highlights/ achievements to date?

My personal career highlight has to be the move I made to join Woodland and form a company from a standing start.
Looking back this was a very daunting prospect, however
extremely rewarding.

I would have to list the development of my management team as a career achievement: they have matured with the business maintaining the ethos of the business to always deliver the very best service and cost to our customers by going that extra mile without hesitation.

The entire team continually challenge themselves and each other to develop the services and skill sets by adopting best practice with the ultimate aim of sustaining our investment value to our customer base.

In September 2012 Woodland Logistics announced a
contract renewal with Cepac Limited, a manufacturer of cardboard products, for a further five years. Can you tell us about the relationship?

The relationship with Cepac goes back as far as 2005 when we successfully tendered for their business. The continuation of the agreement speaks volumes in terms of our involvement with the business from a logistics perspective.

We continually work with the Cepac management team to improve services and costs and we feel very much a part of the Cepac business.

Can you tell us about any of your other major contracts? Have you signed any new business you can tell us about?

We have a number of contracts that are either in their first term or that have renewed for a second term and we recently signed a further three-year agreement with the Electrical Waste Recycling Group whom we have serviced since 2006 in the collection of electrical waste items throughout the UK and Ireland.

Other industries we serve are commercial printers, building products, industrial gases, furniture suppliers, direct mail printers, timber products, manufacturers of plastic profile and retail suppliers.

Woodland Logistics operates in a very competitive market. How do you differentiate from your competitors and what advantages do you feel you have over rivals?

We consider the differentiator to be our style of approach to any prospect that we are introduced to: our solutions are tailored around the customers’ needs, not our own.

What are your thoughts on the state of the UK
economy, and what effect did the global
economic downturn have on the business?

Without stating the obvious, it has been very tough for the industry as a whole since 2008. However our business model has proved attractive to manufacturing businesses based in the UK that are looking to effectively outsource all transport operations, hence our substantial growth during this difficult period.

What are your plans to develop Woodland Logistics
in the short, medium and long term?

Our aim is and always has been to continue to develop the business across a multitude of industries so as not to expose ourselves to weakness in any one industry sector. The target is to take Woodland Logistics to an annual turnover of £50m within the next three to five years – a growth plan that we are more than comfortable with.

What value does Woodland Logistics place on the Multimodal event? Where can we meet you at this year’s show?

This is our fourth year at Multimodal and it has been a very successful event for the Woodland Group as a whole. We provide a global logistics service by land, sea and air and find the event a perfect platform to present our excellent portfolio to prospective customers.

You can find us on stand 727 this year adjacent to the Multimodal Bar area in the centre of the Hall 8.