Business of the Year entrant – Browns Distribution

Business of the Year entrant – Browns Distribution
Posted on 07.05.24
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Business of the Year entrant – Browns Distribution

Browns Distribution launched in 1955 with a single van to transport Staffordshire pottery. Now the third-generation, family-owned company has 132 employees, 60 trucks, 115 trailers and an annual turnover of more than £20 million.

In 2023 the company invested £9 million in a new headquarters and distribution centre in Stoke-on-Trent and a further £2.2 million on enhancing its haulage fleet.

Today Browns serves some of the largest companies in the UK and its international reach extends to more than 30 European countries.

An eCommerce division, PalletOnline, addresses a market need for business-to-consumer pallet delivery across the UK and Europe and established the company as a key player in eCommerce logistics.

Browns is also a shareholder of Palletline, the UK’s leading palletised distribution network.

David Brown Jnr, the Managing Director of Browns Distribution, said: “Since our relocation to Distribution House we’ve been on a mission to elevate our service and brand to new heights. With unparalleled service levels, extensive network coverage and a talented team dedicated to delivering great customer experiences, Browns lead the way in a hugely competitive region for logistics, demonstrated by consistent year-on-year growth.

“Our pride in serving Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire remains strong and our long-standing partnerships with some of the biggest and most exciting businesses our county has to offer is an integral part of our success.

“Browns is growing but our dedication to customer relationships and outstanding service will always remain at the core of our strategy.”

The company’s turnover grew from £14.1 million in 2020/2021 to £20.2 million in 2022/2023 despite pressures caused by Brexit, the pandemic and a national shortage of HGV drivers.

Browns is committed to sustainability and decarbonisation. Its new HQ and distribution centre is solar-powered and should reach net zero building emissions within the next few years.

The warehouse has a fleet of fully electric forklift trucks which reduced the use of heavy fossil fuels on site by 100% and reduced overall warehouse energy usage by 50% over 12 months.

Driver welfare is key for the company and includes industry-leading rates of pay, training and discounted gym membership. Since 2020, driving staff pay rates have increased by more than 34% for Class 1 drivers and more than 23% for Class 2 drivers. The aim is to reward existing drivers, attract new talent to the sector and establish Browns as an employer of choice in the county.

Browns Distribution has entered the Business of the Year category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.

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