Marking 30 years in the materials handling business with in excess of £1.5m worth of new contracts, Leicester based CI Logistics has every reason to celebrate. The new contracts, which include Welsh Slate and further expansion of the Clipper Logistics distribution centre, follow hard on the heels of record breaking sales at the start of the year.

Formed in 1982, CI Logistics was originally called Conveyors International. Then, the focus of the business was overhead conveyors. From the outset the business saw the export market as a lucrative opportunity and began to set up agents around the world. To ensure it could provide turnkey solutions it invested heavily in its own Controls department and in the intervening years this foresight has proved its worth time and time again.

Major brands remain loyal customers

Over the years, the quality of products and the high levels of service delivered have attracted major brands. Long standing clients include Caterpillar and River Island (formerly Chelsea Girl), companies that CI Logistics continues to serve, installing the latest technology into their facilities.

An American parent company

CI Logistics is owned by the American company, L.B. Foster, who acquired CI’s previous American parent company, Portec Rail, in 2011.

Portec Rail had bought Conveyors International in 1999 to sit alongside a small materials handling business that was already in its portfolio. A few years later, Gary Bale (who had started with the company as a draughtsman in 1983) was promoted to managing director.

“It was a dream come true for me,” enthuses Bale, “I’d seen the company expand over the years and to have the opportunity to shape its future was remarkable. Although the company has always shown good organic growth, with our new financial backing we saw the chance to develop the business further via acquisition turning it into a total materials handling solutions provider.

“Our first purchase was Quodeck in December 2002. Well known for its garment handling capability, Quodeck also had considerable experience in mezzanine floors and shelving, both of which added value to our offering.”

A change of name heralds a new era

Bale continues, “As we were expanding our product portfolio to provide more encompassing solutions we made the decision to change the company name to CI Logistics. Soon after this we acquired Kaybe Conveyors, the end of line conveyors and vehicle loading specialists.

“Now we have a first class business that turns over nearly £6m and can handle almost any materials handling challenge. Last year we completed a major installation for drinks giant Diageo which included robotics in a new £10m cooperage.”

“I am extremely proud of the team that work at CI. It’s a local Leicestershire business with a loyal, hardworking and very knowledgeable group of people. The result is a thriving business with a record order book, what a great way to celebrate our 30th anniversary.”

CI Logistics

Tel: 0116 276 1691

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