A Teesside transport group is trading back at pre-recession revenue levels but has noted an air of caution for the future.
The Nicholson Group, which comprises Nicholson’s Transport, crane operator Nicholson Hiab, storage business Box Clever and furniture retailer J N Rusticus, has experienced growth across all operations while staffing levels have never been higher.
But the boss of the Billingham-based group has said that uncertainty over Brexit and the political situation meant smaller businesses could not afford to be complacent.
Group managing director David Nicholson said: “We are back to pre-recession trading levels and that has given us the confidence to look longer term, to re-structure, to recruit more staff and develop new roles.
“But it’s all with a note of caution as over the next 12 to 18 months, we can’t take anything for granted. We are keeping pace with the growth of the economy but there is so much uncertainty and that will continue until we are all clear what the plans for Brexit are and we resolve the Government.
“It’s the same for all businesses, we are doing well and want to hold on to that stability. It’s the smaller businesses which have picked things up and will continue to do so.”
Nicholson said that confidence was good with the Group’s customers with significant growth in volumes of goods being transported across the country.
In particular, customers supplying the home-build and DIY sectors are performing well, possibly as a knock-on from the good start to the summer.
Storage company Box Clever is up to capacity for both its storage containers and caravans and is actively sourcing new locations, while lorry-mounted crane business Nicholson’s HIAB has benefitted from an upturn in construction projects.
The group’s newest business J N Rusticus, set up by Nicholson’s son Joe, has had an impressive first year supplying ethically sourced furniture to businesses across the UK.
He added: “The economy is on the up and that is clearly evident from the volumes we are carrying. Business are producing more and that means our customers are using our services more and transporting more when they do so.
“That has an impact on our warehousing services and as businesses seek the flexibility of externally sourced warehousing, we are particularly seeing exceptional growth in our pick and pack service
“But so much is dependent on Brexit and what the outcome will be for the UK – jobs and prosperity need to be a priority. We are on the right track but need to keep our focus not to become derailed.”