Bulking up

Bulk Logistic Group’s foundations can be traced back to the original business of J&J Ward Ltd, the company founded by Jim and June Ward, parents of the current group board director Michael Ward. Originally a company focused on the collection and delivery of largely agricultural products that were needed or produced by Yorkshire Dales farmers, the company expanded significantly when Michael took the helm. Upon seeing the opportunities to develop from agriculture products into other sectors, Michael diversified the company’s operations into the transportation of any conceivable bulk product that is produced in the UK.

“We have come a long way from carrying agricultural products such as grains, seeds and fertiliser, with the company now having a major contract to carry salt on behalf of Cleveland Potash from the mine in Boulby as well as a number of contracts to carry a lot of household waste to name a few examples. The waste is predominantly taken to landfill sites for delivery to waste energy plants; in amongst other waste products that go to recycling plants are paper, plastics and glass, so virtually any product that can be recycled is carried in an increasingly large fleet of Bulk Logistic Group walking floor trailers,” explains Andrew Castle, Director at Bulk Logistics Group.

Currently operating 105 of its own vehicles, which are supplemented daily by as many as 200 more subcontractors, from centres in Middlesbrough, Penrith, Leeds, Newcastle and Bedale, the group is able to deliver a high-quality service by maintaining consistently high standards. Moreover, the majority of the group’s articulated trucks are manufactured by Scania and Volvo and are configured to meet the demands of the most complex or diverse jobs. To maintain reliability and quality, vehicles are replaced on a planned basis to ensure the fleet remains capable of operating at maximum efficiency and reliability while also complying with all emission regulations.

In addition to trucks, Bulk Logistics Group’s fleet is comprised of different trailer types that ensure a diverse range of products can be carried. The majority of conventional tipping trailers are plank sided and can carry a range of payloads; this includes volumetric products where weight isn’t the key usage factor. The walking floor trailer fleet, meanwhile, is configured to provide a variety of size of trailer and floor type in order to carry different commodities with ease.

“The vehicles themselves aren’t particularly specialised; it is the trailers where the technical aspect comes in. In terms of health and safety, the use of walking floor trailers has become popular for the carrying of goods where the product can be walked off the back of the trailer in a controlled way. Most of the parties that hand out contracts for the carriage of waste require walking floor trailers due to the safety aspect,” says Andrew. “To further meet the growing needs of parties that place large contracts, we also invested £300,000 on driver training in 2017 alone to ensure we have a recognised driver training scheme in place.”

He continues: “The flexibility of our fleet is complemented by the level of service we give to customers. In fact, we have won business based on service and not on price, which is down to Michael who runs a very tight ship and is a highly-accomplished man when it comes to the provision of service. This ethos has spread throughout the business, with eight people working on the traffic desk at Bulk Logistics Group to the exact standards that Michael sets.” Today one of the UK’s leading carriers of an impressively wide range of dry bulk products, Bulk Logistics Group has become remarkably flexible thanks to a number of strategic acquisitions that complement the capabilities of the group’s largest subsidiary, J&J Ward.

The two recent acquisitions are Horsley Bulk Transport, which operates a fleet of new conventional tippers from Leeds to meet the requirements of its primarily agricultural based customers, and Hare Bulk Haulage, which specialises in the supply and bulk haulage of agricultural products such as potash, combinable crops and stock feeds. The Hare fleet works closely with DH Pearson, another subsidiary of the Bulk Logistics Group, as its founder, Michael Hare, is responsible for both operations.

“Since making these acquisitions, we feel that a strong platform is in place to build an outstanding enterprise on over the coming years, so we are looking to pick out sectors of the market where service is paramount and go out and provide that service. If we need a larger enterprise to do this, we will acquire vehicles or companies that have the vehicles and trailers we need and do whatever we can to meet the needs of our customers,” Andrew says.

“On an aspirational level, our aim is for Bulk Logistics Group to grow in a controlled manner and be able to win large contracts when they become available in the areas we are looking to be involved in. If the business grows and continues to compete in increasingly larger contracts, the likelihood is that we will look for a listing on the London Stock Exchange, something that is almost an inevitability if the size of contracts we are seeing at the moment continue to come our way,” he concludes.

Bulk Logistics Group
One of the UK’s leading carriers of dry bulk products
Comprised of four trading subsidiaries
Now winning larger and more complex contracts