Vince Gander, Warehouse Manager at Brown Watson Publishing

Sanderson help write success story for publisher Brown Watson.

The client

Brown Watson is an independent, family-run publishing house, based in Leicestershire. Formed in 1980, they specialise in mass-market children’s books, and have built an international reputation for quality, reliability and service amongst well-known high street retailers in the UK and worldwide.

Brown Watson’s long-standing relationship with Stephen Sanderson Transport began 28 years ago. Vince Gander, Warehouse Director at Brown Watson, recalls:

Personally, I have a 35-year history working with Stephen and the team at Sandersons. Therefore when I began the role with Brown Watson 28 years ago, I knew Sanderson had the capability to help us deliver on the needs of our growing customer base and to help us adapt to change. Reliability is our top priority, and if I need anything to be anywhere on time – I know it’ll happen.


  • Brown Watson is an independent, family-run publishing house, based in Leicestershire.

  • Stephen Sanderson Transport has helped them build an international reputation for reliability and service amongst well-known high street retailers in the UK and worldwide.

  • Key challenges:
    - Time sensitivity: The imperative of meeting tight freight-forwarding deadlines, keeping global distribution chains moving to meet demand.
    - Flexibility: The ability to adapt to changes in the frequency of deliveries and variability in volumes.

  • Sanderson’s membership of the overnight pallet network - “Palletline” ensures no task is too small, whilst an 80+ strong vehicle fleet can meet the demand for large groupage consignments and full loads.

  • State-of-the-art scheduling, tracking and reporting systems ensure an efficient and informed service for Brown Watson and their customers.

The challenge

Brown Watson faces two key challenges when it comes to distribution.

Firstly, time sensitivity. Because they distribute to multi-national retailers across the UK and worldwide, meeting deadlines is imperative. For pallets going outside of the UK, hitting freight-forwarding deadlines is essential to keep the fast-paced retail supply chain flowing.

The second challenge is the ability to adapt to a changing marketplace. Vince explains:

We’ve seen so much change happening around us, with fewer independent retailers and the growth of the large chains.  The events of the last two years have required us to be more flexible than ever if we’re to support our customers.

This has created a different set of needs for Brown Watson, notably a faster pace and higher frequency of delivery, but consequently, greater variability in volumes. Daily despatches of freight from the Brown Watson Market Harborough DC can vary hugely from one day to the next; and being both willing and able to flex at short notice is something that is essential to the Brown Watson operation.

The solution

Through our 80+ vehicle fleet, Sanderson can adapt to Brown Watson’s changing needs, and as members of the Palletline network, we’ve been able to provide them with the flexibility that suits their business in current times. We provide dedicated vehicles for full loads to the big retailers or freight forwarders, but the Palletline groupage service means that even a single pallet is never too small a task for us.

Through our 28-year partnership, Sanderson has taken time to understand the changing landscape of Brown Watson’s marketplace, and we like to ensure we tailor our services to suit their business. 

Communication has been a key factor if we are to ensure pinpoint accuracy in meeting complex schedules or jump in to meet just-in-time demands from their customers. Often it is as simple as being there to answer their phone call, but having the latest technology and systems ensures the day-to-day process runs smoothly:

On-demand logistics services

Integrated communications through our Online Portal

Real-time tracking and reporting

The difference

Loading books at Brown Watson Publishing

This is about two family businesses with shared values working together. The team at Sanderson Transport has the attitude, the vehicles and the capability to help us deliver. Our customers come first, and we bend over backwards to support them. Sanderson supports this by doing the same for us. Their reliability and willingness to adapt when needed gives us complete peace of mind.

The drivers are regulars – they’ve become like friends, and we see the same friendly faces coming in year after year. We know they are great ambassadors for Brown Watson, and nothing is ever too much trouble. 

When it comes to return on investment, Sanderson provides us with outstanding value. What we could stand to lose from any less of a service greatly outweighs the cost, and in this way, they help ensure the efficiency and profitability of our business.

In short, I’d choose three words to describe the service we receive from Stephen Sanderson Transport: Capable. Reliable. Adaptable. They are a true partner, and we’d highly recommend them to anyone.

Vince Gander

Warehouse Director at Brown Watson Publishing