Tag Archive for: Stobart

Eddie Stobart Eddie Stobart is something of a household name in the UK. 1 answer below »

Eddie Stobart Eddie Stobart is something of a household name in the UK. 1 answer below »

Eddie Stobart Eddie Stobart is something of a household name in the UK. The company’s distinctive trucks, each with its smartly-dressed driver (they are required to wear shirts and ties) appear on motorways throughout the coun – try, and in Continental Europe. Each truck is individually named (after real women) and each one is spotlessly clean. The company even has a dedicated fan club, with its own website, merchandize, and £18 membership fee (£20 for members outside Europe, which of course implies that there ARE members outside Europe). The company’s rise has been rapid, for a transport company. The original firm was started as an agricultural supply company in the 1950s, but in 1970 Eddie Stobart took over the family business and turned it into a haulage company. Operating from Cumbria, a rural area in the north of England, the company rapidly grew: the low costs associ – ated with its location, plus being fairly central for the UK as a whole, gave the fledgling company some advantages but the main thrust of its success came from Stobart’s unique vision of what a haulage company should be like. Stobart insisted that his trucks and drivers should be immaculate: the vehicles themselves were always spotless, and any driver caught not wearing a tie would face disciplinary action. Stobart also insisted that drivers should wave back and honk the horn should they be greeted by any passing motorist – an instruction which may have seemed bizarre to the average tough-guy truck driver, but which paid off in estab – lishing word of mouth about the brand. Eddie Stobart was also fortunate in that the new M6 extension motorway was built during the early 1970s, completing the con – nection between the Midlands and Scotland and passing close by Cumbria. As the com – pany grew, Stobart established depots nearer to the customers, in the industrial Midlands (in 1987). During 2002, the company suf – fered a setback due to the fuel crisis, and Eddie sold out to his brother William (who already held 45 percent of the company) through a holding company owned by William and his brother-in-law. During the early part of the century, the directors con – sidered moving everything to Warrington in Lancashire, to be nearer to the major Northern cities of Liverpool and Manchester, but dropped the idea because it would mean job losses in their beloved Cumbria: instead, the company bought Carlisle Airport with a view to turning it into an air freight center. In a somewhat complicated deal, Eddie Stobart Limited was launched on the London stock exchange and became independent of its original parent company, eventually buying out the parent company (as well as acquiring other hauliers). In 2008, a spate of acquisitions created the Stobart Group, which now owned the inland ports of Widnes and Runcorn, London Southend Airport, Carlisle Lake District Airport, and several logistics com – panies. In 2010 Stobart bought a share in Irish airline Aer Arann, shortly after which Aer Arann announced that it would commence flights from Southend to Dublin and Galway. In 2009, Stobart agreed to open a new depot in the East Midlands, near Leicester, in collaboration with chocolate manufacturer Nestlé. Stobart now distributes 75 percent of Nestlé’s products throughout the UK and Ireland. The company is now able to operate a full logistics service: it has 40 depots around the UK and Ireland, offers warehousing and cross-docking facilities, has a rail division, a ports division and an air freight division, and (importantly) it owns at least part of the infrastructure – inland ports and airports, as well as vehicles and warehouses. Despite the company’s size, it still retains a family-business style: the tradition of naming trucks dates back to Eddie Stobart himself, who named his first trucks Twiggy (after the model), Dolly (after Dolly Parton), Tammy (for Tammy Wynette), and Suzi (after Suzi Quattro). Stobart died of heart failure at the age of 56, in 2011, but the business he and his brother built from scratch still carries on.
Case Study Questions
1. How does the relationship with Nestlé help Nestlé’s supply chain management?
2. How has Stobart moved from being a haulage company to being a logistics company?
3. What is the purpose of owning ports and airports?
4. What advantages might a customer see in dealing with a family business?
5. Why might Stobart have sought a joint venture with Nestlé?