Companies tie the knot to create a big logistics player

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Potter Group Logistics has acquired York-based logistics and pallet network operator House of James Transport.

The purchase grows Ripon-headquartered Potter Group Logistics’ turnover from £15m to around £22m, said its managing director Matthew Lamb.

He added: “One of the nice things about this particular acquisition is the marriage of two Yorkshire family businesses.”

Founded by Derrick Potter in 1965, Potter Group Logistics employs more than 200 staff. House of James operates from two locations in York employing 70 staff, who will all be taken on by Potter Group Logistics, bringing its total head count to closer to 300.

Potter Group Logistics, based on the Melmerby Industrial Estate, provides specialist logistics solutions focusing on the chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical and food industries. The firm, which also has a property arm, operates five distribution centres located in Droitwich, Ely, Knowsley, Ripon and Selby.

Mr Lamb, who has been managing director at the company for the past seven years, said it marked the first acquisition by the group since he has been in the role.

He said: “We had a long hard look at our service portfolio and we felt there were a couple of gaps in it and one of them – which is why House of James was so attractive to us – is they are a member of the Palletline pallet network.

“So you’re not sending lots of lorries all over the country in an inefficient manner, you send one lorry or two per night to a hub in the Midlands. All the pallets are unloaded there and are transferred to lorries going to different regions for them to be dealt with by the local delivery company. House of James is the local delivery company for the York postcode for the Palletline network.”

Ahead of the acquisition, House of James had become a supplier to the group, which started using it as a pallet network provider.

The acquisition, which was made for an undisclosed sum, adds 100,000 sq ft of warehousing, 35 vehicles and 55 trailers, doubling the size of the group’s fleet. Simon Gill, who was managing director of House of James, will remain with the combined businesses as commercial director.

Mr Lamb said: “This deal strengthens our service offering in Yorkshire with the addition of a premium pallet network service. The House of James is a good fit with our existing business and we are looking forward to growing the combined businesses.

“The acquisition will enable us to offer our existing customer base improved services and will allow us to create new opportunities for Potter Group Logistics enhancing our position in the value added logistics market.”