Unitruc is a privately owned and operated company, based in the south east of England. Specialising in transport services across Europe, the company provides its customers with efficient, flexible and competitive logistics, based on the in-depth knowledge acquired from over 30 years’ experience of the conditions of industry in the UK and the rest of Europe. The main part of the business is the undertaking of daily deliveries to major cities across Europe. Supporting this service, the business operates an on-call express service to meet high and urgent priority requirements to any local or European destination. As well as the groupage and full load arena, Unitruc also operates a dedicated traction service for a major container line to ensure prompt and swift delivery of containers shipped in from all over the world.
Unitruc’s managing director, Richard Horsfall, further describes the company’s origins: “I started the business in 1978 with one vehicle – a small van working out of Southend airport, offering the distribution of parcels and small packages for airfreight companies. I offered this service for a period of time until I bought a second vehicle, followed swiftly by a third, fourth and fifth. The fleet quickly grew from there, and today we run 55 vehicles.
Another primary target is in fully enclosed car transport. In this area we offer a specialised covered car transporter service for the safe and discreet movement of motor vehicles all over Europe. This is a high value service, in which the vehicles are transported within specialised fully enclosed trailers.”
The company is a leader in providing integral support for motor manufacturers, transporting prototypes and finished vehicles. He continues: “We also provide full transport solutions for supercar rallies, classis car events and exhibitions. Using a fleet of fully enclosed, air ride double-deck car transporters, the service is fully insured for all risks. All of the vehicles are satellite tracked and either load by ultra low loading angle ramps or tail-lift. In addition, all vehicles have winch facilities to permit self-loading of all types of classic and race cars from any location. We also offer a dedicated line haul service for motor parts manufacturers, offering a timed service to and from Europe.”
In addition to the main business areas, Unitruc also offers a very productive range of logistic support services with a contract hire service that furnishes clients with their own vehicle fleets without the associated hassle. It operates its own workshops and offers a full commercial vehicle repairs service.
The company’s longstanding history in the transportation industry means it offers a strong logistics service. Richard elaborates on the company’s strengths: “We’ve been around a long time and so we’ve become very good at stipulating exactly what we can provide and a delivery time. This means that customers can trust that we will do what we say we will. We invest a lot in our equipment to ensure we can provide our customers with quality kit. Our customers are loyal to us, because we look after them and we are prepared to invest in the business to improve the service we can offer.”
Speaking further about Unitruc’s investments, Richard describes the types of improvement the company focuses on: “Depending on how specialist the equipment is, we know that we will have to invest quite heavily to improve our business. If it’s standard equipment then of course the cost will be lower, but that doesn’t mean that we shy away from the more challenging projects – if we get anything out of the ordinary or quite a large contract, we know to invest further to deliver what we promise.”
This dedication to investment has certainly set Unitruc apart from its competitors during the recession and all the resulting cutbacks. However that is not to say that the economic restraints of the past few years have not posed a challenge for Unitruc. Still Richard is confident that business will continue to gain strength: “In this industry there are a lot of companies that aren’t even in a financial position to invest. In September 2008, business was very quiet, but we became active, got out there and made sure that we stayed busy. Conditions are challenging – profit margins are very tight but we just have to find a way to see it through to the other side. We’re just trying to stick with our customers and ensure that we maintain quality.”
Looking to the future, Richard is realistic about the challenges of coming out of recession: “2010 is going to be a relatively hard year, and it’s difficult to be sure when it will improve. Our aim is to simply keep on fighting and ensure that we have enough orders on our books. The past three years have been tough, but we will follow our target of continuing to expand the business, and to try to build a bigger customer base. The bottom line is that there are three focal areas in the business that we will try to improve – image, customer satisfaction and profit – and I’m confident that we can achieve this.”
Services European road haulage