Middlesbrough freight logistics firm AV Dawson has officially opened a new £1m canopy to help service a multi-million pound deal with a major blue-chip manufacturer.
The logistics firm invested in a new rail linked facility to support its multi-million pound contract with British Gypsum, the UK’s market leader for plaster and plasterboard products.
The 100 metre canopy provides dry-loading capabilities for trains which increases the efficiency of loading but also reduces costs of drying the product when it arrives at British Gypsum’s factory.
AV Dawson has showcased its investment in new building infrastructure at a recent unveiling ceremony, attended by delegates from British Gypsum, the North East England Chamber of Commerce, the Department for International Trade and rail freight operator, GB Railfreight.
British Gypsum, part of the global Saint Gobain group, is importing the product, which is used to make plaster and plasterboard, through AV Dawson’s Teesside freight terminal, based on Riverside Park in Middlesbrough.
The product arrives by ship to AV Dawson’s Middlesbrough port facilities, is unloaded and stored in the new canopy, ready to be loaded onto trains for daily deliveries to the East Midlands area.
Kevin Flinton, Saint Gobain’s senior procurement manager, said: “We awarded this contract to AV Dawson because of the flexible and environmentally efficient solution they’ve provided to our business.
“We also liked that the business was prepared to take a long-term view; investing further in its facilities to ensure it could deliver the highest quality service for us.”
NEECC director of international trade, Julie Underwood, said: “It’s fantastic to see the investment that is happening at AV Dawson’s site, the business really is going from strength to strength and securing a major global brand name such as Saint Gobain is testament to this.
“This operation is a great illustration of the innovation, investment and added value that the logistics sector and the wider supply chain delivers to businesses trading interna-tionally.”
AV managing director Gary Dawson added: “This is a significant investment for AV Dawson.
“However, to provide the high service level that our customers have come to expect from us, it was important to invest in the best solution for British Gypsum.
“It now means we load the trains without adverse weather conditions hampering operations and we are also delivering an environmentally efficient solution that enables our customer to reduce its CO2 emissions by using rail instead of road.
“The canopy is just part of ongoing investment in out 100 acre Teesside site.
“The fact that we are still a family-owned company with a relatively flat management structure means we can make quick but considered business decisions to help support our customers’ needs; it really shows how adaptable and resourceful we can be as a company.”
The contract, signed in 2018, meant ten new jobs and over £2m investment in new facilities and plant equipment at AV.
The new £1m purpose-built canopy is based on the southern end of the firm’s Middlesbrough site.