With a new multi-million-pound contract coming on-board, combined with new investment in fleet and infrastructure, its “full steam ahead” for Culina Group in Ireland.
The challenges of the past few years have certainly impacted on Culina Group’s Irish operation and the wider logistics industry; however, 2023 now represents a massive opportunity for this operation to be completely re-energised.
Leading Culina Group’s Irish business Morgan McLernon going forward, in addition to his role as CEO of Fowler Welch is John Kerrigan. John has a long history in the industry and was an integral part in the integration of both the Robsons and Eddie Stobart chilled transport operations into Fowler Welch, John then led the successful acquisitions of both AIM Logistics Ltd in 2021 and Robert Burns Ltd in 2022.
Culina Group’s plan for volume growth across the Irish Sea has started positively with the announcement of a significant multi-million-pound contract awarded by a large retailer. The contract, due to start in March 2023 will facilitate 80 to 100 loads per week from England to Northern Ireland whilst complementing further new full-load and groupage volume that will be grown through the Irish operation in the coming months.
To facilitate further growth Fowler Welch is opening a new cross-dock facility in Appleton, Warrington during April 2023. This site will act as the GB consolidation and cross-dock hub for Morgan McLernon, in addition to the volume that they will continue to cross-dock themselves in Northern Ireland.
Complementing the establishment of this new site, brand new vehicles are being added to the Morgan McLernon fleet and have already started to be delivered throughout February into Northern Ireland. These new high specification vehicles will bring increased reliability, efficiency and a strong brand presence for Culina Group in Ireland.
“It has been a difficult few years in the Northern Irish logistics market post Brexit, not to mention the many challenges that the whole of the UK has faced since, and continues to face,” said John Kerrigan.
“The Culina Group vision continues to be to operate a successful and sustainable business in Ireland that is there for the long term. With Morgan McLernon now a solid part of our extended Culina Group family I see Fowler Welch very much as the GB partner for their Northern Irish operation. We are working in active partnership to create efficient transport flows in and out of Ireland, with Morgan McLernon managing all collection and deliveries in Ireland, and Fowler Welch managing the activity in England and Scotland.
“We will take the time to let these positive developments and this new way of working settle operationally. We will then be considering the long-term location, and investment in facilities and welfare for our colleagues in Northern Ireland.
“I am very confident that these positive developments and our commitment to the Morgan McLernon business will ensure the temperature-controlled vision is realised for Culina Group in Ireland, whilst growth opportunities are explored in other sectors to create further scale and synergies.”
Following what has undoubtedly been a challenging few years for the Irish logistics sector as a whole, due mainly to Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages and more recently high inflation and soaring energy costs. Culina Group in Ireland is now riding the crest of a wave of positive growth.