In making their decision, the judges looked for evidence of a highly professional, well-motivated, and well-led company that embraces new technology, displays a sensitive and proactive approach to environmental issues and the surrounding community and is both profitable and expanding.

WALKER LOGISTICS LTD

Walker Logistics operates over 250,000 sq ft of high quality, ambient temperature warehousing space from its site close to Junction 14 of the M4 in Berkshire. Established in 1999, the company is a true family business and now employs three second-generation members of the founding Walker family in key roles within different departments.

A fulfillment specialist, Walker Logistics is one of the UK’s fastest growing third party logistics services companies. In the past 18 months it has added 25 new accounts to its client base and seen its annual gross profit increase by some 25 per cent.

A family-owned and operated business, Walker invests significantly in new IT systems, materials handling equipment and staff development to ensure that efficiency targets are met.

Corporate social responsibility is high on Walker’s agenda as a number of initiatives – including the planned development of a museum to be built on the company’s land to mark the role played by the local area in World War 2 – provide clear evidence of, while the company strives to operate in a way that is not damaging to the environment.

MAXIM LOGISTICS GROUP LTD

Maxim Logistics plays a vital role in supplying food manufacturers in a safe and timely manner.

The profit margins within the company are well above average as a result of investment in staff and infrastructure. In the last 18 months, 10 new vehicle agreements have been signed and the purchase of a neighbouring warehouse and additional land was finalised.

Maxim’s model is based on ‘small lot’ distribution with multiple deliveries of a few pallets to one location. It’s a service that many firms struggle to execute without heavily involving themselves with a pallet network which leads to unsuitable freight and a higher level of damage.

Maxim’s has been able to win business from this type of firm on a regular basis. The company’s three warehouses located in Corby support the many food ingredient manufacturers in the local area and across the UK such as Cereform, Symrise, Foodmaker and Bowmans and Kluman and Balter. In addition Maxim’s are the warehouse of choice for several other clients who import goods and then distribute from Corby, such as Daymer and Fuerst Day Lawson. As many other operators expand to other products, Maxim’s has dedicated itself to food and plays a crucial part in ‘feeding the nation’.

GREAT BEAR DISTRIBUTION LTD

Great Bear Distribution has built an extremely strong reputation within Ambient 3PL as a business by working in partnership with their clients and by listening closely to their individual needs to develop and design leading edge 3PL solutions complemented by unique infrastructure support resources.

The Great Bear Distribution philosophy is “client immersion”, a deep collaboration with clients to develop a thorough and detailed understanding of their individual requirements, both operationally and strategically.

This client commitment along with a passion for development and innovation ensures that Great Bear Distribution remains at the forefront of UK logistics providing warehousing solutions that sustain long-term partnerships.

Great Bear Distribution also has substantial and proven start-up and change management expertise, having managed large scale warehouse design and build along with network change projects for customers since the early 1990’s.

Great Bear has built a strong reputation within the logistics industry as a progressive and innovative operator. As an important member of the Culina Group of Companies, Great Bear now has a profitable turnover of more than £222 million.

INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS GROUP LTD

Founded in 1990, International Logistics Group (ILG) has grown to become a market leader in fulfilment, warehousing and logistics services.

The company employs 185 people across seven facilities in West Sussex and recruits for around five new roles each month. ILG’s fulfilment division provides a complete third party logistics function including importation, clearance, warehousing, stock management and a full pick & pack solution. A global delivery services to homes, retail outlets and business locations is also provided.

With around 120 clients, ILG is particularly focused on the fashion and beauty and e-commerce sectors and supports its growth with ongoing investment in cutting edge IT integration and state of the art warehousing facilities.

ILG opened three new facilities in 2015/16 (46,000 sq.ft.) while a new flagship site opened in 2017 provides another 44,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space.

In 2016 ILG was named ‘Sussex Company of the Year’ at the Sussex Business Awards.