Despite the perception Cumbria is a relatively isolated county; it boasts major road, rail, sea and air links with markets across the world. With the M6 and West Coast Mainline running through the east of the County, an airport near Carlisle and ports of various sizes dotted along the West Coast, Cumbria has become home to major players in the logistics sector.
The Stobart Group is a true Cumbrian success story, growing from the cherished Eddie Stobart company, into a global leader in the multimodal freight, logistics and warehousing sectors. Carlisle born and bred, it now operates from 40 sites across Britain, continental Europe and Ireland, employing more than 5,000 people and operating a fleet of 1,850 tractor units and 3,000 trailers, in addition to over six million square feet of warehousing. The group also includes Stobart Air, based at Carlisle Airport; Stobart Rail and Stobart Ports. Direct Rail Services (DRS) provides specialist logistics services to the nuclear industry, in addition to general freight; while DPD opened a new depot on Kingmoor Park, Carlisle, in 2009 to handle business-to-business deliveries.
Sealy UK, the national division of the world’s best-selling bed company Sealy, manufactures and distributes beds from its centre in Aspatria, north Cumbria. It produces on average 70 beds per week and distributes them through a fleet of 16 units and 37 trailers covering 1.5 million miles across Europe each year. Kitchenware retailer Lakeland runs a massive distribution centre in Kendal, delivering its products around the globe; while W.T. Distribution Services Ltd, Kendal, distributes products for Lowe Alpine and other major brands.
At sea, The Port of Workington handles 600,000 tonnes of cargo and 300 ship movements each year, and played a key role in the assembly of the Robin Rigg windfarm. Significant investment has seen the port become a major hub in the North West, although it is expected to expand into European markets with the installation of a new £6m container handling facility due for completion in 2011. Port of Barrow already has worldwide trade links and has proved an ideal base for assisting the construction of numerous windfarms; as an import hub for Kimberly Clark’s woodpulp products; and as a host for international cruise ships calling into the Lake District. Port Millom is seeking to expand beyond its original ship-breaking operations to serve the energy, tourism and leisure sectors.
Why not read about the Cumbria Logistics Employers Forum.
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