Facilitating international trade

If we were to judge by the recent actions of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), it looks as if business will be buoyant for temperature-controlled storage and logistics providers in the UK in the years to come. The government department is working actively to increase the number of foreign markets open directly to Britain in the wake of Brexit, and one company that strives to be a trustworthy partner to the authorities in enabling this to happen, is Norish.

Founded in 1975, Norish provides a range from cold and bonded storage, to blast freezing, export and import, cross docking, and order picking. Keen on making it easier for businesses to trade between the UK and other countries, the company has made sure that all of its six warehouses are up to industry standards and that it has obtained all the necessary licences for export.

“Export and import promise to be a bigger feature for the country, going forward, and we are well-positioned to take advantage of the situation,” comments Norish’s North West Managing Director, Paul Andrew.

The nature of the company’s dealings with meat processing plants in the North West of the country, has led to an increase in demand for Norish’s blast freezing capabilities. The business has the capacity to blast freeze in excess of 1500 pallets of fresh product a week and has recently invested in new robotic equipment, there, with a view to automate more of its processes. These sites have the level of scale required for this type of investment to make a meaningful difference.

The business has grown strongly in recent years, underpinned by different dynamics…the meat industry in the North West and the rhythm of the London market in the South. “Naturally, we have thought about acquiring more facilities. We monitor the levels of business all the time to gauge whether there is a need to acquire new sites, but at the moment, we feel that we have got enough capacity to cope with demand,” Paul explains.

“However, if a new customer were to work with us on a long term deal, then we could look at expanding our Wrecsam site. We have outline planning for expansion going back a number of years and the proven capability, competence to scale up easily.”

Alongside improving its technical capabilities, Norish has also taken on the challenge of reducing its carbon inputs. According to Stuart Lloyd, Chief Engineer, energy units consumed have reduced over recent years, notwithstanding an increase in energy consumptive blast freezing activity. “We are always working to make our operations more environmentally-friendly. For instance, not long ago, we changed our lighting, switching to LED. What is more, we are also looking at energy-efficient motors for our refrigerators and we have begun using variable speed drives on our compressors. These are only a couple of examples of what we have done so far. We are certainly planning to do more on optimising our processes in the years ahead, in order to reduce our environmental impact significantly,” he discusses. This could include solar or wind self generation.

To achieve this and its other goals, Norish will take advantage of its own flexible structure that allows it to react quickly to changing situations. “The management team has a very strong connection with the board and it takes much less effort to get answers and guidance from them than is the case with some larger organisations,” Paul points out.

“Without a doubt, the way the business is organised, has contributed to the development of an unrivalled service Noris hoffering. We regard the quality of our service as a key differentiator in the marketplace and we take pride in the culture we have established here, which drives us forward day in and day out,” he continues. “Our ethos is defined by the can-do attitude we display at all times. We strive to understand our clients’ needs on a daily basis and simply get things done. It is a culture of wanting to generate solutions for the betterment of our partners and ourselves. We hold this mentality dear and we will continue to rely on it as we develop the company.”

The areas of the business that require improvement, as identified by Norish, spell out the company’s willingness to future-proof its activities. It was said earlier that bright years seem to be ahead for temperature-controlled storage and logistics providers and Paul echoes this sentiment with regards to Norish: “There is every reason to be optimistic about how 2020 will unfold,” he says. “Longer-term, we can even see the company double in size over the next five years, which comes to tell you that we believe in the continued favourability of market conditions over a longer period of time. At the end of the day, the global population is growing and it has to be fed. Frozen is growing as a segment of the market. Local food and home delivery are new drivers of frozen capacity. Our role is to continue to invest in strengthening the supply chain of which we are part and make sure that the products that pass through Norish get to the consumer in a good state and on time.”

Norish
Multi-temperature warehousing and logistics provider
Operates six warehouses
Aims to double in size in five years