The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has named Sheffield’s Loadhog, manufacturer of innovative transit packaging which is revolutionising the global logistics market, as the country’s best SME.

To scoop the award as the Best Small to Medium Enterprise in the institution’s 2011 Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Awards is the ‘icing on the cake’ for Loadhog, as the employee-owned company was hopeful of just lifting an award in one of the categories in which it had been shortlisted.

Stephen Tetlow, chief executive of the IMechE said: “Loadhog’s win is hugely encouraging for manufacturing in Sheffield and UK manufacturing more generally.

“The Manufacturing Excellence programme is not just about celebrating manufacturing success around the country, but about providing practical advice for businesses to support them on their journey during these difficult economic times.”

In the final stage of the judging process – after submitting an in-depth self-assessment, the company was assessed on-site on its innovation products and processes; logistics and operational efficiency; people effectiveness; financial management; sustainable manufacturing and best partnership with education.

Ed Stubbs, Loadhog’s managing director, said: “Having only relocated our entire operation into far larger premises late last year, it is particularly pleasing to have gained such fantastic recognition now. Winning this award is the result of a huge effort by an incredibly dedicated team of people over the last few years and very well deserved – my congratulations go to all of them.

“I must also congratulate AESSEAL on its magnificent achievement as the IMechE’s overall winner and winner of the customer focus award. It is so gratifying to see two South Yorkshire companies recognised as the best manufacturers in the UK.”

The third South Yorkshire manufacturer to secure a prestigious business accolade this year is Sheffield Forgemasters International which succeeded in the European Business Awards for its import/export performance.

The results of the MX Awards, which assess and celebrate the UK’s outstanding manufacturing, were announced in London by IMechE in the presence of Alistair Campbell and Margaret Beckett MP.


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