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Forwarding is haulier’s USP 28

Road haulage firms that also include a freight forwarding arm and warehouse operations are still not all that common, but back in 1989 when Southampton-based Meachers bought out Oast Agencies, it was positively revolutionary. “Our broad range of services is our unique selling-point,” says Gary Whittle, commercial director of Meachers Global Logistics. “We are a major forwarder in the local area so we can handle the whole of the supply chain with our own trucks, warehousing,

devanning, reworking, customs clearance and so on.” As well as air, sea and road

forwarding, Meachers operates 300,000sq ft of warehousing at its Southampton sites, close to both the port and the city’s motorway system and it has a significant truck fleet – recently expanded with a further 16 new tractor units - based in Southampton and Derby. Meachers as a road haulier can

trace its history back to 1958. It was eventually acquired by Pirelli

Cross-Solent transport deal

Meachers Global Logistics has signed a strategic partnership with fellow Hampshire company Steve Porter Transport Group for freight

to and from the Isle

of Wight via Southampton. Meachers will trunk Steve Porter’s overnight groupage loads from the island to distribution centres at Northampton and Coventry, using mainly Red Funnel Ferries’ Southampton to East Cowes crossing. Steve Porter acquired

Cables and was run for many years by Bob Terris, who moved the operation to its present site in the 1989. A management buyout was completed from Pirelli in 1996 and Stuart Terris was appointed as managing director in 2011 following 16 years with the company in a number of managerial positions. Arguably, Meachers is one of

the ferry operator’s distribution division in 2011 and is the ferry operators preferred freight partner, operating a bespoke cross- Solent drop-trailer operation.

the original port-centric operators, although that term hadn’t been coined all those years ago. As such, it performs an invaluable role, for example devanning containers arriving in Southampton, warehousing any goods for local consumption and dispatching the rest northwards on its fleet of curtainsider trailers. As Gary Whittle says, if a proportion of the container’s contents are destined for the south of England, it makes no sense to send everything up to the Midlands and then bring it all down south again. And, thanks to the pallet networks, it is now perfectly feasible to move a part-load that has been stored at Meachers’ warehouse economically to wherever it needs to go. Meachers

itself provides input to the UK Pallets system but is not a full member. The port provides a large chunk

of Meachers’ haulage business. “There’s not a lot of manufacturing in Southampton now,” Gary Whittle explains, “but we are expanding our volumes through the port. We have plans for expansion and certainly will be expanding our warehousing here at Nursling.” Finding warehouse space is

not a problem in the city though modern, high-eave properties close to the motorway network are a lot scarcer. Meachers has fitted out its space

in various configurations, both bulk storage and racked. Already a dry bond operator, it has also applied for its first wet bond and it has just become one of the first companies in the city – in fact one of the first anywhere in the country - to gain full AEO accreditation. While it is early days yet with AEO in terms speedier customs clearance and the other trade facilitations promised, “a lot of our bigger customers are beginning to ask about it,” says Gary Whittle. So

Issue 6 2012


far, take-up of AEO across industry has been slow – certainly slower than BS5750/ISO9002 was in the 1990s – but it will become important, Gary Whittle is convinced. Meanwhile, “for us it helps us to run our business better.” Meachers, for its own part, has been running seminars to explain the significance of AEO to other

customers and, possibly uniquely for a forwarder, also runs customer seminars explaining the basics of importing and exporting. “Our aim is to help demystify the process. We’re not trying to turn people into forwarders, but just to help them understand Incoterms or make informed choices on IPR, for example.”

Name that crane

Freightliner officially launched its two new rail head gantry cranes at Southampton Maritime Terminal on 15 October – as well as taking the unusual step of bestowing names on them. Customers, industry partners and the Mayor

and Mayoress

of Southampton attended the ceremony, which celebrated not only the new cranes but 40 years of operations at the Southampton Maritime rail freight terminal.

ABP has meanwhile awarded

a £26 million contract to Liebherr for four new ship-to-shore gantry cranes as part of its berth 201/202 redevelopment at Southampton. The four new cranes will be supplemented by a fifth similar Liebherr crane,

›SOUTHAMPTON: The STRONG LINK in your supply chain m

which will be relocated from the port’s existing container berths.


›Ship your containers via the Port of Southampton. Email

or call +44 2380701 701 for more information ›SWIFT ›SLICK ›EFFICIENT ›RELIABLE









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