2023 Winners

The winners of the 2023 Motor Transport Awards were announced on 6 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. 

Safety in Operation Award

Partnered by TVS Interfleet

WINNER: CLEAN Linen and Workwear

The CLEAN Linen & Workwear team, led by head of transport Peter Cox (holding trophy, left), collect their award from TVS Interfleet commercial director Phil Ashton (holding trophy, right)

CLEAN Linen & Workwear’s winning entry focused on a “radical change” to its health and safety processes to address a number of issues including the fact that its vehicle collision rates were not falling fast enough, it did not have enough trained staff to investigate incidents and there was lack of consistency across its sites. ROSPA Fleet Safety Gold award winners, Earned Recognition member and Royal Warrant holder, CLEAN Linen & Workwear’s 975 employees operate 100 HGVs across seven sites serving 5,500 clients in the hotel, restaurant, automotive, engineering, and pharmaceutical sectors. It is one of the UK’s leading independent laundry companies providing professional linen and work wear rental services. The company reviewed its incident investigation process to identify the root cause of all collisions and near misses. This enabled it to have a clear vision on how collaboration with key stakeholders should take place and revealed areas for improvement and training. After a review CLEAN decided to outsource collision investigation to Road Safety Smart, which interviewed drivers at the end of their shifts and produced an incident report within seven days. All vehicle collisions and incidents are now monitored centrally, with monthly reviews of trends across the different sites. This allowed the pro-active introduction of targeted training that addresses particular issues. “By having a fully independent companywide investigation process we are not only further reducing road related risk, but we have found this to have a significant benefit in providing a heightened duty of care and wellbeing towards our drivers,” the submission said. Judges said: “An excellent submission meeting all criteria. It followed a very structured approach, demonstrating results with benefits to the company and employees. “Great to see the engagement with drivers to ensure their wellbeing is taken into consideration. “This company has gone to a third-party for assistance in reducing collisions and accidents and has run with it.”

Operational Excellence Award

Partnered by Palletforce

WINNER: Abbey Logistics Group

The Abbey Logistics team, led by head of liquid operations Peter Cunningham (holding trophy, right), collect their award from Palletforce chief operating officer Mark Tapper (far right)

Abbey Logistics is a leading service provider and one of the UK’s most recognised and respected road tanker transport brands. Operating throughout the UK and Europe, it provides road tanker haulage and logistics services to bulk liquid and powder customers and boasts a growing reputation in the plastics and polymers, minerals, animal feed, construction and warehousing sectors. Approximately 65% of the bulk food delivered in the UK is delivered by the Abbey operations team, demonstrating its central role in the smooth running of the nation’s economy. Products include fats, oils, glucose, sugar, flour, salt, chocolate, water and other beverages. Abbey insists its operations department is fundamental to the success of the business and its customers. The company consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that products and services are delivered on time and to the required quality to satisfy customers. Abbey’s team of professionals navigated the challenges associated with the distribution of bulk products, came up with ingenious solutions, created opportunities, and improved overall performance. The company has managed to adapt and successfully navigate the market challenges, provide flexible, reliable services and peak volume capacity, identify cost reduction and cost control, and most importantly, become a resilient supply chain partner. It manages adverse events and lets customers concentrate on production and sales without constrain while focusing on efficient and continuous improvement reporting. Judges said: “This was a slick and relevant presentation. “Abbey has an excellent compliance record, delivered 98% on time and in full, and understands and excels in a complex sector.”

Livery of the Year

Partnered by Tiger Trailers

WINNER: Pall-Ex Group

The Pall-Ex Group team led by chief executive Kevin Buchanan (second left) collect their award from Tiger Trailers corporate social responsibility manager Alison Cartwright

Supporting current and ex-armed forces personnel is a key objective for Pall- Ex Group, demonstrated by receiving the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence in 2022. It is also a long-term partner with Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health Pall-Ex was proud of its ERS achievement, becoming the first pallet network and one of just 18 logistics and transport companies in the UK to hold the accolade. To shout about this success and demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the armed foces community, Pall-Ex decided to use “mobile billboards” to create a commemorative livery. The livery would highlight the pallet network’s association with the Armed Forces Covenant to any veterans, reservists or cadets, further strengthening its dedication to achieving excellence through the ‘forces friendly’ policies on offer. An impactful camouflage design was agreed, incorporating both the Pall-Ex branding and the Armed Forces Covenant logo. A complementary design including the Fortec (part of the Pall-Ex Group) colours was also created. The Pall-Ex livery, aptly named Poppy, was revealed at a special ceremony at the Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (RFCA) awards event which took place at the National Memorial Arboretum ahead of Remembrance Sunday. Pall-Ex is working with its shareholder members and owned operations with an ambition to help them all achieve ERS Gold accreditation. Once achieved, a bespoke camouflage livery will be created to incorporate their own brand colours. This special livery will bring benefits to the Pall-Ex Group, its members and the wider community by encouraging ex-military personnel to join, especially from the logistics regiments, bringing in skilled workers. Judges said: “A very impressive livery, with the camouflage design lending itself well to the different colours of individual Pall-ex members’ brands. The armed forces link conveys values of trust, strength and reliability back onto the Pall-ex brand.”

Best Use of Technology Award

Partnered by Hankook Tyre UK


The JM Clark team, led by partner Joe Clark (holding trophy, right), collect their award from host Jack Dee and Hankook UK sales director Paul Emery (second right)

JM Clark’s AI-based route optimisation algorithms provide real-time visibility into operations, enabling the company to make better decisions. The AIOne solution, created in partnership with Omnia Smart Technologies, has allowed the firm to dramatically reduce the amount of time spent on route planning from five hours to just 30 minutes per day. But AIOne is more than a fancy new route planner; JM Clark implemented the technology because of its integrated nature – it includes a comprehensive planning and scheduling tool, driver app, electronic proof of delivery, and seamlessly handles job and customer management. The judges were impressed by the significant improvement the system had already made to invoicing turnaround time, improving JM Clark’s cashflow by speeding up invoicing from three weeks to just one day. AIOne has also improved paper-based processes, leading to an increase in overall operational efficiency. The platform's cost-effectiveness has helped improve the company’s bottom line and reduce the environmental impact of the business. The juding panel praised AIOne as a “solution that embraces technology”, saying that it “delivers really clear benefits in terms of improved processing times”. One judge also commented on the benefits of using “tailor-made technology to overcome problems, reduce costs, and step away from a more manual processes”. JM Clark now has full visibility and control of live and historic data. By drawing on Omnia's expertise and track record of delivering innovative and effective logistics solutions that drive tangible business value, AIOne has enabled the business to achieve measurable targets, streamline its operations, and generate real business value. “For software to have such an impact on a business is a rare thing in this modern age,” said our judges. “JM Clark and its supplier have taken the best of what is on offer and transformed operations as a result.”

Home Delivery Operator of the Year

Partnered by Palletways


CEO Elaine Kerr (holding trophy) and the DPD UK team collect their award from Palletways UK managing director Rob Gittins (holding trophy)

Parcel giant DPD UK continues to go from strength to strength as it grows its customers and increases its reputation as the benchmark in home delivery. Its network has seen significant increases, with new customer acquisitions and renewals from household name customers leading to an increase in delivery volumes. Customer satisfaction continues to improve and so does loyalty with 70% of its top 100 customers having now been with DPD UK for more than five years. Several high-profile customers have also renewed contracts for up to five years and the company has seen a significant growth in new business. The introduction of its Pinnacle service in May 2022 has seen extended sortation at DPD UK’s Hinckley Hub enabling its biggest customers to take advantage later ordering times – some customers now have until as late as midnight to guaranteed a next-day delivery, rather than 9pm or 10pm as had previously been the case. Since launching Pinnacle, DPD UK has already shipped an extra 9 million parcels, a figure that is expect to double by the end of the year. A world-class Net Promoter Score of 76, as well as a commitment to improve upon TNTs (tiny noticeable things) has seen DPD UK improve many facets of the business, from hub sortation to improving first-time delivery rates with a new pinpoint address function. Innovations to the shipper and shopper experience has included the introduction of zero emission home delivery robots to the fleet in Milton Keynes with 1,500 successful deliveries in a six-month trial. There’s also been improvements to health and safety, focused on training 1,500 managers in mental health awareness to create a culture where DPD UK people feel safe to talk about their emotional wellbeing. The judges welcomed DPD UK's innovations and were impressed by its long-term vision in coping with rising volumes and the greater need for fleet efficiency. “DPD is always raising the bar in the sector,” they said. “The number of initiatives it launches and executes succesfully is a blueprint for innovation in any business.”

Fleet Truck of the Year

Partnered by Texaco


Volvo Trucks network sales director UK & Ireland Joe Roddy collects the trophy from Texaco B2B & OEM sales manager Daniela Patrizi

The Volvo FM has been around for 25 years in various incarnations and is now looking to the future with alternative drivelines including LNG, battery electric and hydrogen. Today the FM and FMX ranges represent 30% of Volvo’s UK sales and with a wide range of engine and cab options is the OEM’s most flexible vehicle. Engines range from 330hp 11-litre to 500hp 13-litre diesels, plus 420hp to 500hp LNG versions. There are three interior trim levels and six cab designs available with the top of the range Globetrotter the most popular among UK buyers. The cab interior has been improved after feedback from drivers with easier access, a new digital dash display and 50% more storage space. The FM comes with a wide range of passive and active driver assist systems, including a left corner camera, and the FM can achieve three stars under London’s DVS. Volvo is already compliant with the General Safety Regulations 2 coming in 2024 and has just launched a built-in side detection system to warn the driver of objects down both sides of the vehicle. When it comes to productivity, reliability and fuel efficiency the FM has proved hard to beat. The FM13 with a lightweight pusher axle weighs in at just 7.5 tonnes with 400 litres of fuel, giving a payload capacity of up to 36.5 tonnes. Judges said: “What is a fleet truck? If you are away one or two nights then a small cab is OK but if you’re out all week you want a big cab. “We are looking for the one vehicle that encompasses all these operations and if you have the FM with the Globetrotter cab then that is the nearest to filling both options. “I have never had a Volvo that has done anything wrong. “The Volvo Group gearbox is still the best - no one has a box that comes near it.”

Haulier of the Year

Partnered by MAN Truck and Bus UK

WINNER: Goldstar

The Goldstar team led by director Charlie Fulk (second left) collect their trophy from Tracey Perry, MAN Truck and Bus UK sales director for truck, bus & coach (far right)

Airfreight specialist Goldstar impressed our judges with its “clear, honest and factual submission that ticks every box”. Goldstar was founded in 1998 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. During this time the business has grown from a modest courier service to become one of the most prominent operators in the commercial airfreight transport sector. It is led by three directors: MD Katie Crozier, operations director Kirsten Crook and commercial director Charlie Fulk. Turnover has grown from £21m in the year to March 2020 to a projected £35m in the same period this year, while pre-tax profits increased from £1.2m to £3m. The company operates from Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester, with sites close to each airport. Its entry described the devastating effect the Covid-19 pandemic had on its business: “On March 15 2020, all flights to and from the US were suspended. This was the last in a number of countries to stop international travel in the fight against Covid. Overnight the business was brought to a halt. “That date will remain pivotal in the company’s history. There were choices. Either lay down and accept the situation or fight for survival. The company elected the latter and the management team galvanised and had the tenacity to react in adversity.” Judges said: “An outstanding example of adaptability and resilience over the last three years. “This is a well-managed, agile and robust business with a clear customer focus.” A report on the financial strength of each entrant prepared by Andrew Galliers, director of accountants Menzies, highlighted Goldstar’s performance. Galliers said: “Turnover has grown 60% over the three years of data provided, whilst profit margins have held up across that time. “This has been done while growing cash holdings to £5.3m – up from £4.1m, so it has been done not through excessive or extravagant investment in properties or vehicles. “For an owner-managed business, these results are highly creditable.”

New Talent Development Award

Partnered by EV Cargo


DPD UK director of people and talent Sharon Hughes and the DPD UK team collect their trophy from EV Cargo CEO Andy Humpherson (second right)

DPD UK’s company strategy places the highest emphasis on recruiting and developing customer-centric people who can deliver optimum levels of service to the UK’s leading retailers. The company strongly believes that bringing new blood into the industry helps to future-proof the business and has launched a broad range of initiatives to develop and retain new talent. At the time of its entry, DPD UK’s Warehouse to Wheels (W2W) programme for existing employees had taken 68 people from entry-level warehouse operative roles to better-paid, professional roles as LGV drivers. A further 300 staff are enrolled on the scheme for 2023. The programme is open to anyone who has passed their probationary period, has a clear DVLA check and has support from their line manager. All costs are covered by DPD UK and include training, three test attempts, hotel accommodation plus subsistence expenses. The W2W programme is supported by the company’s LGV Apprenticeship scheme, which aims to bring new talent aged 18 to 50 into the business. Apprenticeships are also offered across the wider business, with roles available in departments such as finance, HR, legal, hub operations and IT. At the time of making this entry, DPD UK had 249 apprentices studying for 33 different qualifications. The business has also developed 30 warehouse operatives into supervisory and middle management positions across its five national sortation hubs through its Hub Development Programme. DPD UK’s senior leadership team places an emphasis on attracting and retaining enthusiastic, talented graduates, with around 40 brought into the business each year. More than 200 are already working in roles across the network. The parcel firm’s approach has been praised by industry qualification bodies and higher education institutions. Judges said: “Amazing to see the results and that DPD UK is bringing in new people into the industry; the entry demonstrates a clear people strategy focused on both the business and the wider sector.”

Team of the Year

Partnered by Hiab

WINNER: Abbey Logistics Group 

The Abbey team led by finance director Matthew Male (holding trophy) collects its award from John Carnell, vice president sales & services UK & Ireland, Hiab (far right)

Abbey's finance team has an unusually broad remit with extra responsibility for fleet, compliance, IT and payroll. It has been the engine in driving continuous business improvement over the past four years and particularly the past 12 months. The tanker haulier has been through a series of challenges in recent times, including a management buyout in 2016. Within the space of six months, Abbey had also won its largest-ever customer in British Sugar and acquired its largest competitor, Armet Logistics. Unfortunately, the pace of change was too quick and the business struggled to integrate the new management. However, in 2019 the current finance team was installed and reporting processes were significantly revised and improved. This began the journey towards generating much better financial analysis, reporting and control. When a management transition took place during 2022, with Steve Granite moving from chief executive to chairman and Dave Patten becoming group MD, the finance team was alert to the short-term challenges in trading volumes and supported the shift in management. The team has also identified additional price rises where margins were too low, walked away from lossmaking contracts and taken cost and fleet out of specific areas where required. It helped soften the impact of temporary issues such as driver availability and fuel price rises, improved cash and working capital management and supported commercial growth with a cost tool to help win new business. The team has contributed directly to EBITDA through taking ownership of the procurement process to generate cost savings. A fuel tendering exercise in 2022 reduced its suppliers to three with a 2% saving in annual costs. It has also made savings through a tender for Adblue, tyres, parts and energy and improved IT processes by bringing Abbey’s servers and TMS software in house Judges said: “Abbey has demonstrated exceptional teamwork and an investment in young people. “The finance team is at the heart of the operation and empowered to make decisions.”

Training Award

Partnered by Lawrence David

WINNER: Explore Plant and Transport Solutions

The Explore Plant and Transport Solutions team led by managing director David Cox (centre) collects its trophy from Lawrence David commercial director Ben McEvoy (far right)

Explore Plant and Transport Solutions' Operational Training programme is a progressive learning journey developed to overcome the impacts of the HGV driver shortage. It was set up with an ambition to boost the number of flatbed drivers in the business. The programme has become established as a core element in Explore's recruitment strategy, exceeding expectations as a proven sustainable method of onboarding new drivers. It uses a three-step bronze, silver and gold modular approach to training to ensure employees are competent and confident in all aspects of the role by completion. By operating a skill level assessment, mentors can adapt the training and approach to best suit the individuals’ learning needs. Gold standard must be achieved in all units before the trainee progresses from the programme. To ensure the quality of the training meets high standards (which are also audited by third-parties), the company employed an operational training team headed up by an operational driver training manager. It also created a team of mentors selected from experienced drivers within Explore’s existing population, further ensuring that the standard of training mirror’s the company’s processes while also providing career development opportunities for the mentors. It also set up an internal Accredited Training Centre, which is managed by an in-house learning and development team. Induction and training courses are developed and taught by Explore’s training leaders – who are on hand to offer support when needed. As operations continue to expand during 2023, Explore will develop the scheme and launch it further across its Mixer, Heavy Haulage and Plant Hire divisions. Judges said: “This was a well-organised training programme that achieved what it set out to do with an impressive range of training materials and good mentoring programme; the route from bronze to gold is aspirational for trainees; entry showed targeted and tangible results.”

Low Carbon Award

Partnered by Fraikin

WINNER: Speedy Asset Services

The Speedy team led by fleet director Aaron Powell (third right) collects its award from Fraikin CEO Peter Backhouse (far right)

Speedy has committed to science-based targets to meet net-zero emissions. It also uses a carbon consultancy Hydrock to audit and support its journey to net zero and has invested in an ESG team of experts, with the ESG director sitting within the Speedy Hire executive board. Speedy aims to help contractors reduce their own supply chain emissions through zero-carbon equipment delivery and running its own heavy fleet on HVO when delivering HVO to customers. Transforming its fleet with low- and zero-carbon models is a key focus and aligns with an ambition of leading the hire industry’s journey to decarbonisation, including its own property network, tools and equipment. It already operates a range of electric vehicles nationally including a 27-tonne HGV, 7.5-tonne trucks and 150 Ford E-Transits. It has also ordered a further 100 4.25-tonne single-chassis cab E-Transits and 50 3.5-tonne E-Transit vans, which will be distributed across its UK-wide network to replace ICE vehicles. In addition, Speedy has reduced travel by company car and grey fleet drivers, which has cut costs by well over 50% in recorded mileage claims. Speedy’s strategy is to replace over 60% of all commercials to fully EV by 2030 and remainder running on HVO. The business has also explored and trialled the use of sustainable river freight in London. In collaboration with Thames Clipper Logistics and Cross River Partnership, it initiated a four-week trial moving goods from its Erith distribution centre into central London. The boat runs on HVO, with a fully electric boat set to start work in Q4 2023. Goods were delivered and collected from the boat in electric vehicles. As a result, Speedy was able to remove four vehicles from London’s roads. It now plans to expand this scheme and bring more depots into the mix. Judges said: “A very strong entry with robust measurement and reporting with science-based targets; significant investment in BEVs made and grey fleet savings achieved; successful trial of waterborne freight with plans to expand.”

Customer Care Award

Partnered by Pall-Ex Group

WINNER: Walkers Transport

The Walkers Transport team led by group MD Jason Scott (holding trophy) collect their award from Pall-Ex Group CEO Kevin Buchanan (fourth right)

Walkers Transport is a leading UK 3PL providing bespoke palletised transport, storage and fulfilment solutions to online retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers. With an annual turnover of £50m, it operates from four sites in Leeds, Manchester and Lichfield and is a key member of the Palletways network, running the Northern Superhub as part of a joint venture. In its winning entry, chief operating officer Jason Scott said: “It was imperative that Walkers continued to deliver superior service levels to its customers during 2022, while resisting macro-economic challenges and navigating resource shortages to ensure its customers were shielded from any impact. “We hyper-focused on retention of higher margin, loyal and more profitable customer accounts and let go of lower margin work in order to do so. This approach allowed Walkers Transport to position resources to protect key accounts at times of industry instability and embed itself into their operation as an indispensable, long-term strategic partner.” Walkers employs 17 full-time customer service advisors who help deliver service excellence to its more than 330 national and international customers, with 97.87% of deliveries made on time, in full in 2022. All customers are presented with a customised dashboard via the Walkers Insight Portal serving headline information by way of live consignment data. This offers complete transparency and new levels of efficiency. All data and performance metrics are live, allowing the customer to self serve and access their data at any time. Judges said: “A really strong entry from a very professional company illustrating how customers can monitor progress through the portal, reviews and account teams. Livery for customers’ customers as an example of delighting the customer was also a nice touch. “Objectives and key results are clearly demonstrated operationally and against delivery targets. Strong onboarding process and the three- and six-month reviews provide good opportunities for gathering and responding to customer feedback.”

Innovation Award

Partnered by Goodyear

WINNER: Brigade Electronics 

The Brigade Electronics team led by managing director Peter Squire (holding trophy) collects its award from Marc Preedy, Goodyear managing director truck replacement sales Europe (far right)

Brigade’s Radar Predict is one of the most technically sophisticated products in the company’s portfolio and will identify the behaviour of the vehicle as well as the vulnerable road user (VRU). It has been developed as a highly accurate collision detection system using artificial intelligence (AI) to determine potential collisions and warn the driver with sufficient time for an intervention. As a predictive system that minimises false alerts Radar Predict can detect VRUs up to 5m from the side of the vehicle, 7m in front of the vehicle and up to 30m to the rear of the vehicle's cabin. Turning manoeuvres involving collisions between trucks and cyclists, typically occurring at lower driving speeds, usually have serious consequences for VRUs – particularly cyclists. In 2021, 111 cyclists were killed in the UK, while 4,353 were reported to be seriously injured and 11,994 slightly injured. Brigade is committed to a continuous programme of innovation to ensure VRUs are protected and lives saved. And never has this been more evident than in this latest product innovation. A dual radar system, Radar Predict is small – roughly the size of a mobile phone – and features an integrated central processing unit, gyroscope and GPS unit. The AI system is able to use its ‘intuition’ to assess how VRUs and the vehicle will move and work out if a collision is likely. Object detection data, which includes speed, direction, acceleration and the turning rate of the vehicle, is put through a processor created by Brigade technology partners to calculate the point of collision with VRUs alongside the vehicle and warns the driver of any risks through a visual display teamed with audible warnings. Judges said: “This is a great product and a solid entry. “Radar Predict has the potential to greatly reduce all risks around the vehicle. “It provides more confidence to drivers and ensures legislation like DVS is met.”

Business Excellence Award

Partnered by Hireco

WINNER: Miniclipper Logistics

The Miniclipper Logistics team collect their trophy from Hireco sales director Tim Gibson (far right)

Miniclipper Logistics is a flourishing 3PL offering tailored warehousing and distribution solutions for over 200 customers in central Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Staffordshire. Starting as one man and a van back in 1971, the company has matured into a successful SME with almost 200 employees. It operates a 24-hour DC in Dunstable and six warehouses with over 500,000sq ft of racked storage space for palletised goods and fulfilment services. It has over 50 vehicles, ranging from 7.5-tonne rigids to double decker trailers for deliveries via its membership with Palletline, UPN and The Hazchem Network. The company now manages over 300,000 warehouse picks, handling over 375,000 pallets and delivering 200,000 pallets per annum. In 2019, Miniclipper’s directors set a new five-year goal to improve net profit margin by more than 7% year-on-year, yield a profit of over £1.5m (before tax) and successfully integrate the third generation of Miniclipper into the family business. The company achieved two out of three of these targets within a year, despite the challenges of Covid-19, Brexit and driver shortages. Two years later, Miniclipper reported the best turnover and profit performance in its 52-year history [2021-2022 financial year]. In a 12-month period, turnover increased by 19.5% with profit before tax also increasing by 46.5%. Net assets almost doubled from £4.5m to £8.1m following extensive improvements to its facilities in Houghton Regis and moving its truck and trailer fleet to a dedicated site in Dunstable. Its 2023 full-year figures are predicted to hit an annual revenue of £22.7m. Judges said: “What a success story. “Turnover was up from £13m in 2018 to £19m in 2022. They've got things perfectly right. This is a good business that ticked every box in terms of the criteria. The presentation blew me away.”

Partnership Award

Partnered by Palletline

WINNER: XPO Logistics and Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland

The XPO Logistics and Saint-Gobain teams collect their awards from Palletline network and operations director Glenn Baker (far right)

XPO Logistics and Saint- Gobain UK & Ireland have created a ‘One Team’ approach based on collaboration and trust. Together, they run an effective supply chain solution with aims and achievements based on risk, reward, and transparency. As a result, XPO has not only significantly reduced carbon emissions and increased the safety of operations, but its partnership has grown and evolved to encompass nine brands in the Saint-Gobain portfolio. Within five years, XPO has gone from 40 orders per day for Saint-Gobain with no specific fleet assets to more than 1,000 orders, with 1,200 fleet assets Each quarter, the partnership’s joint steering committee drives the strategic direction of its operations forward to identify any areas that need focus or deliver new initiatives to improve the success of the collaboration. While achieving this game-changing growth, XPO has also managed to bring significant cost savings, equivalent to £15m across all aspects of the partnership, in less than four years thanks to improved backhaul activity and continuous improvement. Green initiatives have delivered savings of more than three million ‘core fleet’ kilometres since 2019. The joint business culture, along with the skills and dedication of the joint team, has allowed the partnership to deliver these achievements. The plan is to now accelerate joint network efficiencies even further to lead the way as one team with best practices, and drive phenomenal results in all areas. Judges said: “This is an exceptional entry with evidence of real tangible benefits. The pair have demonstrated value, results and growth. “You can’t grow as fast as they have together unless you have an embedded understanding between you and work as one. Exceptional.”

Clean Fleet Van of the Year

Partnered by Close Brothers Vehicle Hire

WINNER: Ford Pro E-Transit

Ford of Britain E-Transit product manager Iain Brooks collects the award from Close Brothers Vehicle Hire sales director Richard Gosling (second right) and MT editor Steve Hobson (far right)

The future of zero emission light goods vehicles is well and truly being dictated by the successor to the most iconic name in the van world. The Ford Pro E-Transit has grasped the baton handed to it by the immensely successful diesel Transit and stormed ahead in making serious headway in the large electric van market. Designed to satisfy a wide range of customer usecases, it has a 68kWh usable battery capacity and has been redefining the way operators look at electric vans thanks to its near-200-mile WLTP range, uncompromising payload and an extensive list of standard equipment and safety features. As a result, the E-Transit has found a home on many large fleets since its launch. Unlike much of the competition, the E-Transit range is available with two differing power outputs offering 430Nm of torque and a choice of 135kW or 198kW. Payload is up to 1,758kg on panel vans but there’s an extensive range of variants, with double-cab-in-van and chassis cab bodies stretching the customer base. Vans are available in multiple lengths and roof heights, as well as with GVW from 3.5 to 4.25 tonnes. Judges praised it for being “a game-changer” and commented that the support mechanisms of Ford Pro's E-Telematics set it apart from the pack, and have proven to be “a big hit with fleet managers wanting insights and alerts”. While impressed by their dealer infrastructure and support, it’s the product itself that continues to justify the hype about the E-Transit thanks to features like the Ford ProPower Onboard system, that can deliver up to 2.3kW of power for conversions or running equipment. It retains its title as the Clean Fleet Van of the Year despite a growing number of competitors in the market that continue to present a robust challenge to this trailblazing electric van. “There’s no doubt that the E-Transit has changed the electric van landscape” said our judges. “It has a good range and a wide choice of bodies – the Transit is once again the vehicle everyone is looking towards.”

Urban Operator of the Year

Partnered by Harris MAXUS


The DPD UK team, led by associate director of network Gavin Dolan (holding trophy), collect their award from Harris MAXUS director Mark Barrett (second left)

DPD UK continues to transform its urban operation with the expansion of pickup points and deployment of its all-electric fleet – 30% of its vehicles now operate emission-free. During 2022, DPD UK invested £111m switching 3,000 vehicles from diesel to electric (100% growth versus 2021), which delivered 35 million parcels. The firm’s ‘Vision 30’ strategy to decarbonise deliveries in 30 UK cities by the end of 2023 saw diesel vehicles taken off streets in 21 UK cities in 2022. DPD UK has trialled and implemented autonomous robot deliveries and used HVO to fuel 60% of its HGV fleet, whilst building relationships with companies to expand its urban charging infrastructure, ensuring it can deliver ‘clean’ in the urban environment. It has also focused on road safety and rolled out VisionTrack in its HGVs; lobbied central and local government to garner support to accelerate the UK achieving net zero; and instigated its own clean air programme, with over 400 sensors measuring pollutants in cities and sharing that data with consumers and local government. In 2022, DPD UK extended its local Pickup network to over 6,000 stores/lockers so that consumers can collect their parcel on their way to work or when shopping locally. It also partnered with Quadient to create a nationwide network of smart parcel lockers (500 initially, 5,000 ultimately) with many of these 24/7 outdoor facilities. Consumers who collect their parcel from a Pickup shop/locker can reduce CO2 emissions per parcel by 63% compared to a standard home delivery. These collections have increased by 102% on the previous year with the associated CO2 savings on 5,738,383 parcels. Judges said: “DPD UK has demonstrated its commitment to changing both the urban and non-urban delivery landscape; the entry has shown how innovative and dynamic the road transport sector is, particularly in terms of urban operation; the scale of the EV rollout coupled to the electric cities initiative is particularly impressive, as is a wide roll-out of HVO while trialling an EV HDV.”

Sustainable Transport Award

Partnered by Vertellus


The EV Cargo team, led by chief sustainability officer Virginia Alzina, collect their trophy from Vertellus managing director Nigel Baxter (second right)

As a signatory to the UN Global Compact, EV Cargo has made significant progress in its sustainability strategy. From setting relevant ESG topics and targets to measuring its emissions for the first time and producing its inaugural Sustainability Report, EV Cargo is focused on becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Over the last 24 months it has delivered big emissions reductions alongside pioneering people, culture, safety, recruitment, engagement and diversity schemes to deliver its sustainability strategy. This includes initiatives such as partnering with key customers to reduce emissions and introduce HVO fuel as a replacement to traditional diesel, creating an immediate 90% reduction in CO2 emissions.The business has also invested in electric trucks, with each vehicles helping save 17,500 litres of diesel. In addition, enhanced driver training and telematics has reduced engine idling and improved fuel-efficient driving. To ensure a vibrant workforce, EV Cargo has developed a robust diversity, equity and inclusion policy that prevents bias and creates inclusive workplaces by undertaking a range of engagement initiatives – including Women Forward Lean in Circle, International Women’s Day activities and events celebrating religious and cultural festivals. The number of females in management positions at the end of 2022 improved to 73 or 36.68% of senior management. Over 15,000 training hours were delivered with over 900 hours of diversity training. EV Cargo is also committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct. Training is available to all on key compliance topics including anti-bribery and corruption. Maintaining data privacy, the IT team implemented new cybersecurity defences. Judges said: “ESG principles and initiatives are widely embedded into the business - emissions reduction, staff training, health and safety all covered; it is pleasing to see a focus on a diverse management structure, and in a challenging market have a robust recruitment plan.”

Service to Industry Award

Partnered by Aquarius IT

WINNER: Steve Granite, Think Logistics

Think Logistics founder Steve Granite collects his award from Aquarius IT director Guy Reynolds (second right)

Abbey Logistics chairman Steve Granite started Think Logistics following a visit to his old school in 2013 and being shocked to discover that out of group 50 students not one knew what ‘logistics’ meant. After explaining what the industry was all about, the students were asked how many would now consider a career in logistics – 48 said they would, and Think Logistics was born. With an ageing workforce across the sector, and since there was no industrywide coordinated effort to encourage young people to join, Granite decided to start a not-for-profit organisation that would work with schools and colleges to dispel the old image of ‘trucks and sheds’ and give 11- to 18-year-old students and educators a better idea of the huge variety of different roles that an industry employing 2.5 million people has to offer. Granite himself rose through the ranks from apprentice accountant at Abbey Logistics to become chairman of the Bootle-based tanker business, meaning he was ideally placed to show young people the great possibilities on offer. Until the pandemic halted school visits, Think Logistics was reaching well over 1,000 young people a year, providing work placements, internships, mentors, apprenticeship opportunities and careers advice. Together with its partner, education and social mobility charity Career Ready, Think Logistics won the Partnership of the Year category at the MT Awards in 2016 and 2020. It led to the creation of the government and industry joint initiative Generation Logistics, which was launched in 2022 with £345,000 of government funding. It has now received a further £300,000 funding for a second year. Judges said: “Granite can take credit for creating the largest recruitment initiative in the industry, no small feat, and Think Logistics became an effective and highly influential brand in the sector. “This is all thanks to his relentless drive, high standing in the sector, influencing and networking skills, charisma and clear communications that persuaded others to join his crusade.”