ESSENTIAL BUSINESS FLEXIBILITY
Katem Logistics of Spennymoor, County Durham will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year by further expanding its operations into Europe.
The company operates a fleet of 40 trucks and some 80 curtain-side trailers with eleven units already regularly crossing the channel for destinations throughout France and Italy. And it is anticipated this will increase in the months ahead.
“Considering we are just about to celebrate two decades in business, we are relatively new to Volvo,” said Managing Director Graham Simpson. “We only acquired our first FH with an XL Globetrotter cab back in June 2014, but it certainly won’t be our last.”
The move to Volvo was prompted by a sudden need for multiple units last summer in order to satisfy the requirements of a new contract win. “Historically we have bought new trucks, and not from Volvo,” conceded Graham. “However, when we suddenly needed a dozen premium trucks fast, we didn’t hesitate to turn to the Volvo Truck and Bus Centre, Tyne & Wear where, through the Volvo Used Trucks network, we not only found what we needed, but were able to take delivery almost immediately.”
There is a keen sense that efficiency and reliability sit at the core of the entire operation at Katem Logistics. “Last summer’s contract win meant we needed a quality marque fast,” said Graham. “Reliability, driver comfort and fuel efficiency were always going to be influential and in all these areas the Volvo FHs and FM have more than lived up to our expectations. Having run the units for nearly 8-months now I think it would be fair to say they are clearly premium trucks and Volvo is a top notch brand.”
It is expected the 12 Volvo trucks at Katem Logistics will each log in the order of 130,000 km/annum. “When we bought these units we wanted trucks with under 500,000 km on their clocks, with full history and in good condition,” said Graham. “Through the Volvo Used Truck network I would say we achieved more than we expected. The units were well under in terms of mileage and the condition was excellent. Our own fleet engineer inspected all the trucks and was more than happy to see them join the fleet.
“Now we have some experience with Volvo I would say without a shadow of doubt that faced with the same need as last year we wouldn’t hesitate to turn to Volvo again,” added Graham. “Indeed, in 2016 we are scheduled to replace seven of our trucks that were bought new and we will absolutely discuss this with Volvo. The Volvo Used Truck experience has certainly impressed me and could yet be the catalyst that may see a complete switch to Volvo for us in the future.
The Katem Logistics business is founded on haulage, storage and distribution and operates from a 8,360 m2 (90,000 ft2) warehouse just South of Durham and minutes away from the A1(M). “You could say that we carry almost anything,” said Graham. “Be it vehicle parts, shop-fitting equipment, foodstuff or even tank tracks, we ensure they get to where they need to be on time and in this respect Volvo plays a hugely important role in realising our clients needs.”