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Gloucestershire haulage company wins £1.5m deal

A county haulage operator has been awarded a new distribution contract worth around £1.5 million a year.

Moreton Valence based CM Downton has signed the deal with major building products manufacturer Knauf for three years.

Downton will deliver loads from Knauf's factory in Sittingbourne, kent to customers in the South East and throughout the M4 corridor.

Knauf manufacturers a range of plasterboard products and associated items at plants in Sittingbourne and Immingham, Lincolnshire. The Sittingbourne transport operation has historically been managed by a single supplier, however for the latest award the company decided to split the contract between four operators with regional strengths and expertise.

Downton was able to demonstrate a highly competitive, versatile and cost-effective solution to meet Knauf's requirement. Another factor was the company's FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) accreditation that is a pre-requisite for operating delivery vehicles in London and the South East.

Downton will deliver an average of 18-20 full loads of Knauf product each day with seasonal peaks adding up to 25 per cent to the workload. The majority of loads are delivered to Knauf stockists including builders' merchants, DIY retail groups and specialist suppliers although some will be delivered direct to major construction projects.

The contract covers the complete range of Knauf products including plasterboard and other sheet materials in various sizes as well as bagged product, fixtures, fittings and accessories.

David Hutchings, head of business development at CM Downton, said: "Knauf had a very demanding requirement and we were able to demonstrate an excellent track record of working with other building products manufacturers and offered a solution based on leveraging our geographic flows to drive best value and robust service delivery for the client.

"This new contract is part of the growing customer base we have developed across the building products sector by delivering innovation and value for money."

Downton, which employs approximately 1350 people at 16 distribution hubs strategically located throughout the UK, was taken over by EmergeVest, an international private equity investor, in a £75 million deal earlier this year.

EmergeVest acquired the entire shareholding from the Downton family and said it would provide additional capital to finance the company's growth.

The Downton family continue to serve in their respective roles as senior management of the company.

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