Profile of Julian Richards

Julian, 50 from Cheshire, is the managing director of the AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, in Manchester, which incorporates A.K.Worthington Transport Limited and the World Freight Centre Limited, which is a warehousing and contract packing company. The group turns over £18 million, and employs over 250 people.

Julian’s experience in the transport sector began at GEODIS in 1977, prior to it becoming a group company. As Cave Wood Transport the firm was a small international haulier, and Julian was able to grow with the business working in various roles including operations, sales, and management and eventually becoming a director.

In 1999 Julian joined A.K.Worthington and was tasked with taking a small family haulage and storage business, and turning it into a logistics and distribution group, which has been achieved through an ethos of hard work, common sense, flexibility and investment in all aspects of quality.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Seeing ideas develop in to operations, especially finding solutions for customers problems.

Who inspired you most in your career?

Anybody who taught me something, to narrow down to an individual my original MD Geoffrey Cave Wood, who always encouraged me to keep things simple and not over complicate simple problems.

If you were an item in a warehouse, what would you be?

A grade A pallet, solid base, safe and reliable.

What brought you to this industry?

As a school leaver, the thought of sending trucks to Madrid, Milan, Munich had too may football analogies for me to ignore the opportunity.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

Continued some level of education.

What’s your favourite pastime?

Playing / watching football.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

As an over confident 18 year old , trying to ad lib a best man speech, contrary to all the advice given by those who had stood there before me.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I play the guitar badly.

Who would be your favourite party guest?

Philip Tufnell.

What is the greatest luxury in your life?

Good health.

If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

I would like to think share it!

Who or what makes you laugh?

Anything or anybody who can deliver humour without visiting the gutter.

Do you have any secret ambitions?

To read music.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

North Devon.

What’s your favourite music album?

After the goldrush – Neil Young.

What’s your favourite movies?

One flew over the cuckoos nest.

What’s your favourite book?

Bury my heart at wounded knee.

Who or what do you detest the most?

Negative attitudes.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into the industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?

Enjoy it, as ever day is different, make sure you have a flexible mind set.

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