Kinaxia Logistics has agreed a three-year contract to provide UK distribution, warehousing and other services for a global lighting company.

Ansell Lighting designs and manufactures interior and exterior lighting for the commercial, domestic, industrial, retail and architectural markets.

The company has its headquarters in Warrington and operates in more than 20 countries, with showrooms in Belfast, Dublin and Madrid as well as at its HQ.

It offers over 3,300 product lines and has won multiple awards for its energy-efficient luminaires and industry-leading lighting control system, Octo.

Last year, Ansell won a King’s Awards for Enterprise for Innovation for its Panel Pod product.

Its multi-million-pound stockholding is housed at distribution centres in Warrington and Belfast, from where it dispatches more than 400,000 items a month.

Ansell has appointed Kinaxia to distribute products to customers across the UK, and to provide warehousing, contract packing and overseas shipment.

The distribution operation is being led from Kinaxia’s hub in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester.

Kinaxia sales director Nicky Woodman said:

“Ansell Lighting is a tremendous addition to our growing client base. Our agreement brings a significant volume of new business to our distribution operation as well as to other parts of the group.

“Working with the Ansell team to integrate our IT systems has ensured a seamless transition and the highest possible standard of service.

“Our partnership has extended beyond the contract awarded for the distribution element to providing warehousing, contract packing and European shipments, and we look forward to further developing our relationship with the Ansell team into other areas of its business.”

Ansell’s distribution director Mark Stanley said:

“Customer service levels are very important to us, and we wanted to work with a partner who shared our values and would be able to deliver the fast, efficient next-day service that our customers have come to expect, in order to continue to grow our business.

“We have been impressed with Kinaxia’s strong transport network and distribution capabilities, and we are looking forward to working with them as we move towards achieving even higher delivery standards than before.”

Separately, Kinaxia has announced that Michael Conroy, a former chief executive of Palletforce, has been appointed as the new CEO, succeeding Simon Hobbs who has left after four years to pursue new opportunities.

Simon said of his time at Kinaxia:

“We achieved a great deal despite the challenges we faced, and have brought a great business closer together. Kinaxia is now recognised in the UK market as a fresh and capable logistics provider and is well-positioned for its next phase of growth.”

Michael has been recruited to spearhead the next phase of development for Kinaxia, a top 15 UK logistics business with annual turnover of more than £220m. He will take up the post on Monday, January 8.

He led Palletforce through its most significant period of expansion, taking the express freight distribution network’s turnover from £20m to £200m during a 13-year tenure as CEO.

Michael oversaw a £100m strategic investment across the Palletforce business, including the creation of its SuperHub, pioneered award-winning technology and innovation, led the collaboration of over 100 top UK regional hauliers, and was integral in the creation of EV Cargo UK in 2018.

That was followed by a period as CEO of Networks for Culina Group, where he led its digital transformation and achieved significant value creation and financial improvement by focusing on cost reduction, enhanced productivity, and successfully capturing commercial opportunities.

Kinaxia Chairman Graham Norfolk said:

“We are delighted to have Michael on board. He is a respected industry figure, with vast experience in senior positions in the UK logistics industry. The board looks forward to working with him as Kinaxia moves into its next stage of development.”

Michael’s remit at Kinaxia will be to lead the group through this next stage of development, with a focus on unlocking further growth potential through scale and technology while simplifying and harmonising company processes, inspiring an inclusive workforce, driving sustainable initiatives and continuing to deliver customer excellence.

He said:

“I’m extremely motivated to take up this new position and, despite the expectation of challenging market conditions continuing in 2024, I believe Kinaxia is in a strong position to capitalise on opportunities that exist.

“The business has a unique customer proposition, offering the benefits of a fully-owned and controlled national logistics network, with services delivered directly to customers by our local experts.

“This enables us to develop deep relationships with our existing customers, focus on providing sector-leading service excellence, and win market share from our competitors.

“Current market dynamics, together with the fragmented nature of the industry, offer a significant opportunity to unlock growth potential.

“We will have an increased focus on leveraging data and technology to reduce waste and improve productivity and efficiency, while also creating value for our customers by developing digital and data-focused solutions that enhance service, provide a competitive advantage and deliver sustainable growth.

“One of our greatest strengths is the talent, expertise and skills which flow throughout Kinaxia. Great people make great businesses, and empowering our workforce by nurturing talent and developing skills will see our people invested in the ethos of ‘one Kinaxia’ and the quality values the brand stands for.”

Kinaxia, which has its headquarters in Macclesfield, Cheshire, employs more than 2,000 staff nationwide with a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles transporting goods for the retail, leisure, food and drink and manufacturing sectors.

The group has 2.7 million sq ft of warehouse facilities nationwide, offering contract packing, e-fulfilment, returns management, storage services and a complete distribution service.

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