Close

Sanderson Transport mobilise logistics services to support COVID-19 e-Commerce boom.

The client

FMH Conveyors provide conveyor solutions for a wide range of applications, keeping large-scale operations moving for organisations like Amazon, Royal Mail and Next. Whether it’s for cases, cartons, parcels, totes or pallets – they design, manufacture and install a bespoke solution which will boost productivity and increase efficiency, whilst minimising energy consumption. Their objective is to guarantee absolute maximum performance from their systems in a fast-paced industry.

After recommendation by one of FMH’s customers, our partnership began back in 2015 and has grown from strength-to-strength. We take care of UK-wide logistics and distribution needs, supporting their mission to deliver equipment and parts timely and securely, whether full systems for installation or critical parts to back up their aftersales service.

FMH previously used several logistics companies on an ad-hoc basis, depending on availability, price or capability for a specific job. Recognising that their growth objectives couldn’t be supported in this way, they set out to find one partner that would become an extension of their team – an expert in moving their specialist freight. They selected Sanderson as the company that could best meet their needs based on our robust capability and coverage, and flexibility to adapt to their needs.

KEY FACTS:

  • FMH Conveyors design, build and install bespoke conveyor systems to keep Amazon, Royal Mail & Next moving.

  • Sanderson have provided a complete logistics and haulage service for FMH since 2000, upscaling fast to support their growth from £1m company in 2015 to £21m in 2020.

  • The Covid-19 e-commerce boom has resulted in a massive increase in new sites requiring delivery of new systems, UK-wide (taking Amazon from 29 to 40 sites in 8 months alone during 2020).

  • Operation mobilised to deliver and fit Covid-19 safe screens along the line at every existing and new site.

  • Moffet-mounted trucks and slide-back roofs have provided the versatility to cope with any load, in any environment.

The challenge

Over the last 5 years, FMH have exceeded ambitious growth targets, culminating in the ultimate challenge to meet the boom in e-commerce demands during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. Their high-end clients come with even higher expectations and it was critical that any haulage partner could step up to respond with the necessary scalability, and provide excellent service at relatively short notice.

For FMH’s customers, an energy-efficient conveyor system is a vital part of any processing or distribution operation, and this year FMH have had to quickly adapt existing and new systems to make them Covid-19 safe, making it possible for employees to keep working. FMH have quickly mobilised an effort to design and install new Perspex screen systems right along every conveyor line, meaning that lorry loads of framed screens needed to be distributed all over the UK.

The many new pop-up sites have been very much at their infant stage, lacking the unloading facilities and bays which make life easier. The pressures of needing to be operational so fast have meant that things can’t always go to plan in a fast moving market, and it has been critical that FMH adapt instantly to changing needs. Nothing can stand in the way of keeping the line moving and FMH have to move with it, minimising down-time for their clients. The challenge for Sanderson has been to support this need, as a logistics supplier that can respond to short lead times for both the handling of main systems installation for new sites, or palletised delivery of smaller critical or replacement parts, securely and in time, UK-wide.

The solution

Sanderson’s fleet of over 80 vehicles has facilitated the massive growth in coverage, and with one of the largest Moffett-mounted fleets in the UK, FMH could have the confidence that we could not only service anywhere in the country at any point, but could offer the complete offload package to go along with that. That means the ability to adapt to unexpected challenges, lack of loading docks, or tricky environments, as well as handling smaller loads of spare parts or palletised deliveries as and when needed. At the other end of the scale, slide-back roofs on our trailers make it possible to handle crane offload of telescopic booms which can weigh up to 11 tons.

Coverage and versatility are important, but timing is critical. If FMH have a team of engineers ready to begin installation in Belfast, they need to know that the machinery will be there to get to work. Sanderson have tailored a support package to meet the needs of FMH. Along with the latest systems to ensure precise co-ordination of logistics, we’re able to allocate the people and resource to adapt fast, bringing all hands on deck to meet the speed of demand. The time we’ve invested building an intimate understanding of FMH’s business and challenges mean that we can think one step ahead. By introducing FMH liveried trailers, we’ve helped support the growth of the brand, and our drivers have built relationships with both FMH and their customers, acting as part of FMH’s team.

Our partnership with Palletline can be utilised when needed to handle smaller consignments of spare parts, and the ability to provide PODs for a pallet ensures every consignment is fully trackable

The difference

Sanderson’s support has facilitated the massive increase in throughput we’ve seen in such a short space of time during 2020. Their capability and responsiveness has helped reduce down-time for our customers, keeping the chain of demand going. For one FMH customer alone, Sanderson made 97 drops in 14 days to help kit out a Covid-safe conveyor solution.

From the central team to the drivers on the road, their attitude is that they’ll go out of their way to help our business. I can just pick the phone up and they will always find a way, and I never have to worry whether or not they can get the job done. I don’t even need to ask for cost estimates because the parameters are set – we trust them. If it’s a case of sending a driver and forklift to help with a small unloading job, they’ll do it. Even some of our high profile clients have asked for Sanderson’s help to move parcels around the country during the crisis! That’s how good they are.

Mark Needham

Service & Installation Manager, FMH Conveyors

The metrics

Supporting FMH’s growth objectives:

1200000
From a £1.2 million company in 2015 to a £21 million company in 2020.

Meeting the challenges of 2020:

29
Supporting the 25% increase in new Amazon pop-up locations from 29 to 40 sites in the space of just eight months.