It is refreshing to witness the thought processes that underly the acquisition of new trucks as part of the transport policy at Culina whose head office is based in Market Drayton. Placing driver comfort and working conditions at a high priority level indicates that Culina are a company that recognises the worth of their employees. Couple this with a robust and modern environmental policy and you have a highly respected company which possesses a social conscience, not always the case in business nowadays.
Culina work closely with Greenhous DAF in the selection, provision and maintenance of their DAF fleet. This is a long term partnership underlying the importance of close communication and an understanding of the requirements of the logistics company by the Greenhous DAF sales staff. Culina offer logistical solutions to food and drink manufacturers, bridging the gap between the producer and the final destination, which is usually the major supermarket chains. Using a fleet of 350 vehicles, Culina collect food and drink products from the source of production, bringing into storage if necessary, before its scheduled release to the retailer.
The company is usually involved in the transportation and storage of large volumes of food and drink products, but the growth of some of their smaller clients has been significant in recent years. Assisting start-up brands and niche manufacturers with their logistics requirements helps them on their journey to becoming the food and drink industry leaders of the future.
A major strength of Culina has always been their ability to work within both the chilled and ambient temperature ranges, both from a storage and delivery point of view. Greenhous DAF have supplied trucks and trailers to suit the needs of the company with bespoke refrigerated trucks among the Culina DAF fleet. Mark Matkin, Group Fleet Manager for Culina, explains the diversity of their operations saying: “We are a market leader in the distribution of the world’s best known food and drink products throughout the UK and Ireland, but we also offer contract packaging services to our clients. We are always looking to expand as a group and take on new businesses to diversify the range of services that we can offer.”
“We also have bonded warehousing facilities where high value products including wines and spirits and dutiable products are stored securely. We offer a very high quality of service to our customers."
Returning to the vehicles Culina operate, among their 350 vehicles (and 650 trailers) there are smaller vans for access into more challenging environments in cities like London. However, the larger trucks are the major work horses and the company has just taken charge of twenty DAF XF510 6x2 Tractor Units from Greenhous DAF. Colin Moore, Truck Sales Executive at Greenhous DAF in Shrewsbury, says of the latest consignment of trucks: “I have worked with Culina for the past 9 years and with Mark Matkin, the Culina fleet manager for the last 3 years. We have built a good relationship where we can get to grips with the detailed needs of the company. The new XF’s are highly rated in the industry and offer the drivers excellent driving conditions and cab comfort for long distance journeys.“We have also recently supplied Culina with nine DAF CF330 26 Tonne Ambient Rigid, two DAF CF330 26 Tonne Chill Rigid, one DAF LF180 18 Tonne Ambient Rigid and two DAF LF180 16 Tonne Ambient Rigid trucks. Offering a two year maintenance and repair contract to Culina ensures they have an immediate service response 24 hours a day, keeping their trucks operating.”
The scale of the Culina operation is impressive with around 3,000 staff and a £230 million turnover, 2.9 million sq. ft. of warehousing including 8 chilled, 8 ambient and 4 co-packing centres across the UK. They have around 170 clients resulting in an annual production of 2.2 million orders delivered to 4,500 locations.
With such a large logistical operation ensuring the environmental impact of the company is strictly controlled is especially important and it influences the decisions made on new delivery vehicles. As Mark describes: “There is a heavy emphasis on the environment and how to reduce our impact on it. We have invested heavily in efficient trucks and the means to monitor how our vehicles are driven. The DAF trucks are good examples of where we can track their use, including driver behaviour, CO2 emissions, plan more efficient routes and look to reduce fuel use.
Working with Greenhous DAF we can monitor our fleet use and feedback our findings to Greenhous and DAF which in turn enables them to evaluate their technological advances.”
To find out more about the services both Culina and Greenhous DAF offer visit their websites at www.culina.co.uk and www.greeenhous.co.uk.