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Rilagica Mystery Tour

22nd August 1996, Page 32
22nd August 1996
Page 32
Page 33
Page 32, 22nd August 1996 — Rilagica Mystery Tour
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Merseyside immediately lorings to mind the pop music explosio of the sixties, the phenomenal success of the Beatles and a leg of league and cup-winning football sides. But even with the riN port of Liverpool at its heart, the region has an unenviable stat as one of the most deprived areas in Europe. To find out how today's hauliers survive in the region, Patric Cunnane took the ferry across both sides of the Mersey. Here he found a haulier miraculously making mon out of running empty; a container operator gearing up for unrestricted 44tonne operation; a tanker operation which has spread its wings to China; ar international operator who never misses an opportunity—and a removal rn who exports thousands of Brits every year to far-flung corners of the globe

s familiar with the story of St on version on the road to s, but few will be aware that n equivalent in the haulage orward, born-again Christian who attributes the success of -pound operation to the day nan introduced him to God. Is those sinful days with wry amusement. Hd was an owner-driver running a lorry with nl)faith and, just as importantly, no road tax. F rtanately, the policeman who stopped him Gne morning recognised the existence of ai authority higher even than the Departme t of Transport. "The copper said, 'Unless u put God first, you'll never get anywherc','l says Parkinson, who took the spiritual advi to heart, mended his ways and has never kioked back. F4veryone Paul's Darnasc it has a mode industry Step John Parkinso his multi-milli a traffic polic Parkinson reca Predators TR Trailers, ie of three companies in his group, turns o er am a year delivering new and rented trilers throughout the EU. He calls this niche market his "little miracle" and adds: "People tliought I was soft when I went into this but iwe don't have any natural predators." Parkinson built up trailer delivery from his days as an owner-driver working for Perrymasters, TIP and CTR. "Today I've Dia 34 vehicles out delivering trailers," he s4s. There can be as many as 200 deliveries a week.

His stepson, Chris Cain, is a director in the business and is active in the Road Haulage Association inntia rive NGH (Next Generation Hauliers)—designed to be an antidote to fogeyism in tl haulage industry. All those empty lorries the road might be anathema to environmental lobbyists but Cain insists that there is n way they could start loading them: "Custom rs have paid £60,000 for a new trailer and they want it to arriVe undamaged," he says In the event of high winds on the motorway precputions need to be taken to prevent the empty trailers tipping: "You need to pull the curtains back and strap open the doors," he says "otherwise you would lose the roof."

A second company in the group, TR Transport, concentrates on container work and general haulage in the L K and Continent, notching up Lim a year inn But it was last year's acquisition of freig ker Dual Carriage that Parkinson predii add £9m to this year's turnover. Dual a vehicles but keeps 80 dedicated subci tors employed at nine depots transi containers, with many more subbies w on a casual basis TR paid a premium price for the prof ing Dual, even though it was in recen following the collapse of its parent cot Union International. Not content with tl stantial main course represented by Di group remains acquisition hungry: "1 looking at operators with a niche m stresses Parkinson, "not general hauliet Why buy now? "Because transport's the moment and people want to get oi banks are keen to lend. The economy r kickstart," says Cain.

TR is that rarest of things, a haulage tion which has received grant aid Merseyside Development Corporation 60% of the £120,000 needed to deve Birkenhead site three years ago. The was part of a redevelopment progran upgrade the run-down dock area so would cause less embarrassment t fathers viewing from the opposite shore the monied Liver Building dominat Liverpool skyline and tourists embark Magical Mystery Tour from Albert Dec

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