Major building products manufacturer Knauf has awarded a new distribution contract to transport specialist CM Downton covering full loads from its factory in Sittingbourne to customers in the South East and throughout the M4 corridor. The three-year contract, awarded following a competitive tender process, started in April and is worth approximately £1.5 million a year.
Knauf manufacturers a range of plasterboard products and associated items at plants in Sittingbourne, Kent 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 awarded the component covering transport from Sittingbourne to customers in the South East and along the M4 corridor, the South West and Wales. The company, which is based in Gloucestershire, was able to demonstrate a highly competitive, versatile and cost-effective solution for this region 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.
Links between Knauf and Downton’s transport management systems enable load notifications to be transferred seamlessly from the manufacturer, based on the postcodes allocated to Downton. Downton is then able to plan and schedule loads to meet Knauf’s demanding next day delivery requirement, while integrating movements with its other operations. Delivery confirmation and other information is fed back to Knauf using the same links.
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. Knauf will continue to manage shunting and loading operations for all four of its new transport operators at the Sittingbourne factory.
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.”