Featuring on the front cover of haulage trade magazine ‘Commercial Motor’ this month and subject of a four page feature within the magazine is Scotland’s Top Chilled Distribution Company 2014: D.R Macleod Ltd.
Nominated by industry peers, the company received the trophy at the annual awards ceremony in Glasgow recently.
Company owner DR Macleod points to the ‘loyal, long term staff’ being behind its success. He said: “Winning this is totally down to the staff. You’re only as good as the people who work in the company and we’re very fortunate to have excellent staff.”
Started in 1981 with one lorry and DR driving, the company is now in its 33rd year and operates 55 large commercial vehicles, plus around 90 trailers, supplemented with approximately a dozen smaller vans for local deliveries; and employs over 100 people throughout the Western Isles, Inverness, Skye and Glasgow – making the island-based business a nationwide company.
“The hub of the vehicle operation is in Inverness, but the HQ is here because this is where the business was established, and also, I live here,” expanded DR.
“People might associate the lorries just with Stornoway, but we have many on the mainland, in Skye, and the Uists delivering to all the shops there, not just Stornoway.
“On the mainland the fleet is hopefully a good advert for Stornoway – any time they go up and down the road the vehicles are a moving billboard,” he continued, highlighting the company’s distinctive livery, adding: “We, along with the other island based haulage firms help raise the islands profile elsewhere.”
The prestigious award comes at a time when the haulage industry in general is not without its obstacles, as DR explained: “Business has been steady, but there are no major construction projects going on in the islands so the market is a bit flat.
“Key to any major changes in the future is the interconnector cable and whether it gets the go-ahead. There are big projects sitting on the shelf waiting to go, but nothing can be done until the interconnector cable is given the green light.”
One improvement for the locally based fleet however has been the arrival of new freight ferry ‘Clipper Ranger’ as DR said: “The new freight service seems to be better, although it was cancelled twice this week due to adverse weather which has a knock on effect for us, as it creates a backlog. But it seems a good boat, so far the Clipper Ranger seems to do the job.”
Overcoming the issues that come with being island based, any more proof that DR Macleod Haulage can compete with the industry’s best companies has come with the recent Scotland’s Top Chilled Distribution Company award.
“The chilled distribution part of the job is the most challenging for us, so to be judged by a panel from the industry and win the award in that particular sector, where we are up against some big-hitting companies is particularly satisfying” said DR; adding: “We’re delighted to have won – it’s a good reflection on our personnel and our customers on the islands and further afield that we’re able to win such a prestigious national award.”