Being the best

When David McCutcheon and Gary Smith established Bullet Express in 1990, they did so with two vans that were dedicated to delivering same day items all over the UK. “When myself and Gary look back on those early days of the business, we still reflect with a smile back to when we were essentially a courier company relying on the use of red telephone boxes for communication and a paper-based system of arranging and delivering jobs for our customers,” begins David, who today also holds the position of the company’s Managing Director. “Seeing just how far Bullet Express has come in that time also gives us an immense sense of pride.”

As business grew in its early years, Bullet Express would turn its attention towards winning regular, steady work, before moving into nightly trunking across Ireland, England and Wales. This is today a major part of the business, with its Bothwell, Glasgow depot now open 24 hours a day for its fleet of nightly trucks, enabling Bullet Express to collect and dispatch over 1000 pallets per day for hauliers or carriers from all over the UK for next day or timed delivery, or into Europe where it regularly delivers for a number of blue chip customers. A member of Pall-Ex, it also boasts a special services department on hand to provide access to over 100 vehicles, from small and large vans to HI-AB vehicles, 26T rigids with on board fork lifts, and 40ft trailers. Bullet also has a growing worldwide freight department heading to over £1m turnover in 2018.

“Arguably, one of the biggest reasons for the success of Bullet Express through the years has been its ability to adapt quickly as the industry around it evolves,” David continues. “Gary and I have always strived to place the company ahead of the competition, and I strongly believe that we continue to achieve that to this day, whether that be through the introduction of new technology to support our IT infrastructure, investment in our fleet or the purchasing of additional land to build on.

“As owners of Bullet Express we are able to make fast, effective decisions, and that has certainly helped us to become leaders in our field. Together with our fellow Directors and Managers, we spend each day driving high standards throughout the business, ensuring that we make good on our promises, and provide the transparency and efficiencies that our customers demand.”

Just as important to the company’s continued prosperity is the fact that David and Gary both remain as hungry as they have ever been, which means the pair are constantly looking for new markets or new opportunities to grow into. David expands upon this: “While we continue to do very well with our palletised storage operations, we are also now finding ourselves looking more into supporting self-storage activities. We first expanded into storage in 2014, with the rental of our East Kilbride site, we moved to a purchased site in 2015 and today that site is running at almost full capacity, holding 21,000 pallets at any one time. We have certainly identified something of a clamour at the moment within our industry for shared user space, which often results in costs savings, and we see this field of business as being a natural progression for Bullet Express.

“We also recognised very quickly that a successful storage operation also helps to drive increased delivery business, and today the majority of those customers that store their goods with us also task Bullet Express with their transportation requirements. We are fortunate in that we have been able to somewhat cherry-pick the type of goods we store, and these tend to have a very fast turnover around in and out of the facility. It is as a result of all of the above that we are working very hard to create more storage capacity as we speak.”

Given the collective strength of its various services, it is little wonder that Bullet Express has been increasingly drawing the attention of some of the UK and Europe’s more successful companies. “The quality of our service, the size of our fleet and infrastructure, and our geographic reach has placed the company in an ideal position to serve the likes of high street retailers and UK-wide enterprises. We are also currently going through the tender process with several major blue-chip companies, the success of any of which would represent another big step forward for us,” David explains. “There are plenty of opportunities out there at the moment and many that are already in our pipeline. We never look backwards, we are always looking forwards and looking for something new, and for me that all harks back to what I think is one of our biggest strengths, which is our ability to react fast.”

Speaking to David just prior to Christmas, one of the upcoming highlights in his calendar is the annual coming together of the company’s board of directors, which occurs each January. “Every year, myself and Gary take the board away for a few days at this time of year, where we lock ourselves away and go over in great detail events of the last year, what worked, what could be improved, and our roadmap for the year to come. Coming off the back of a successful 2018, which was characterised by some extremely interesting growth, 2019’s meeting is one we are very much looking forward to,” David concludes.

Bullet Express
Scotland’s premier distribution and logistics company
A fleet of over 100 vehicles of all sizes
Offers a secure and flexible storage solution