Northern ce flows
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• A Manchester haulage firm started by three redundant drivers with a 220,000 overdraft fifteen months ago now operates 12 vehicles, employs 15 people and plans to take on seven more drivers within the next three weeks.
One of the founders of Northern Ice and Storage, Darren Bellingham, says the firm started with three Leyland Daf 2800 ATi tractors and Buckstone tri-axle reefers which were acquired on a contract hire basis.
The company now operates the Dafs, five Volvo FL1Os and four Iveco Ford 16-tonners and Bellingham says a further seven FL1Os are on order. The entire fleet is operated on full contract hire with overnight maintenance.
Northern Ice originally handled contract work for the three founders' former employer, but since then work has grown dramatically. The company still operates from the former employer's premises in Manchester, but it has already opened a new depot in Glasgow and a second depot is planned in Newcastle upon Tyne, to be opened by the end of August. Bellingham says Northern Ice plans to open its own depot in Manchester, but will also continue to work from the existing premises.
Once Northern Ice has recruited its seven new drivers it could be looking for a further five, says Bellingham, given the current upsurge in work.
In the long run Northern Ice and Storage plans to offer cold storage and warehousing facilities, but Bellingham says this is likely to be around six months away: "We have got to learn to walk before we run," he says.