Thursday, August 4, 2011

Freight Group Expands Activities by Buying Up Food Logistics Specialist

Old Established Shipping Outfit Extend Operations
Shipping News Feature

UK - Bibby Distribution, part of the 200 year old family owned Bibby Line Group which with its traditional freight and ocean shipping interests turns over in excess of £1 billion annually, has acquired Atchison Topeka a specialist logistics provider for the food manufacturing industry. Bibby believe the purchase will add £26 million to group turnover working in another niche market.

Worcester-based Atchison Topeka will continue to trade under its brand name and the move comes after Bibby Distribution’s claim that they have achieved three record trading years with year-on-year growth through acquisition and organic development and the company believes economy of scale will mean a successful marriage by leveraging the benefits of Atchison Topeka’s large logistics blue chip customer and infrastructure base.

The provision of temperature controlled road tankers, palletised distribution, warehousing, IBC decanting and promotional re-packing will be maintained by Atchison Topeka’s existing workforce of 170 employees. Managing Director, Mike Phillips and Operations Director, Darren Cronshaw, will remain at the helm. The acquisition includes two warehousing facilities in Droitwich and Worcester with a combined footprint of more than 150,000 ft². These facilities are approved to the British Retail Consortium food manufacturing standards and include tank washing and clean room facilities.

The purchase may well make sense to Bibby through the development of its returnable packaging business, PLS, which services the food manufacturing, beverage and food can industries. The PLS service offers a hygienic and environmentally friendly alternative to wooden pallets to ensure the quality of products supplied. Speaking of the purchase Iain Speak, Chief Executive Officer of Bibby Distribution said:

“There were a number of key reasons that attracted us to Atchison Topeka. We saw the opportunity to offer an increased range of services to our customers whilst realising further strategic growth for our own business. Our status as a private company allows us to take a long term view and enables us to establish strong customer relationships. We are continually seeking ways to add value to their supply chains and evolve our operations in line with their changing requirements.”

Photo: Mr Iain Speak, Chief Executive Officer of Bibby Distribution.