Monday, June 24, 2013

Teeside Multimodal Specialist Moves from Road Haulage into More Freight and Logistics Fields

As AV Dawson Sees off the First Seventy Five Years it Continues to Plan for the Future
Shipping News Feature

UK – A profile of multimodal outfit AV Dawson provides a microcosm of the way many successful freight and logistics businesses are changing to ensure continued success in an ever changing world. Formed seventy five years ago as literally a one horse road haulage outfit the company has stayed close to its Teeside roots, yet developed in ways which current Managing Director Gary Dawson’s forebears could never have imagined.

The current boss, a third generation member of the founding family, also helps head up Millserve Teeside, a firm launched in 2010 to provide processing services to steel manufacturer SSI and which meshes neatly with Dawson’s riverside activities, as he pointed out recently, saying:

“Millserve both complements and benefits from our existing business model exceptionally well given the other freight related aspects of the steel supply chain that AV Dawson is directly involved in, namely haulage, storage, containerisation and shipping of long steel product. Millserve is the only facility of its type in the UK that can process, paint and load to ships as big as 10,000 tonnes capacity from the same location.”

Now plans are afoot to lengthen and deepen the existing vessel berths, spending over £3 million on the deepwater facilities which at 8.5 metre draught and 150 metres long will accommodate more vessels to 10,000 tonnes and, along with the Dawson’s other riverside assets, would allow container feeder services to access other company facilities such as the rail freight interchange at Tees Riverside Intermodal Park which in turn allows access to the East Coast Mail Line and beyond.

Gary Dawson however is aware that there are limitations and restrictions, not to say a permanent degree of uncertainty, about the shipping business, and to this end he has expressed his intentions to lead Dawson into other fields such as energy including subsea and wind power support as well as oil and gas, a path being followed by some much bigger players such as Maersk with some success.

The soul of the company may still well be in the road haulage sector however and evidence of the type of company Dawson appears to be can be seen by its adoption this month of a new vehicle livery for the latest Scania to join the thirty plus strong fleet, and the fact the vehicle was handed over to one of its most faithful employees, Bob King, a thirty eight year veteran with the company. Not quite long enough to have sat behind Dina, the original dray horse and her cargo of coal sacks, but still someone who has seen the company he works for go through a multitude of changes, and survive.

Photo: The new livery to adorn the latest Dawson HGV.