A leading distributor to the food industry
Fowler Welch is one of the UK's leading logistics providers, serving UK retailers, importers and manufacturers with a focus on food and drink distribution. We work with our customers to understand their requirements and to develop new and innovative solutions for today's logistics marketplace.
Our award winning business distributes both chilled and ambient products, as well as providing warehousing and pick-to-order services. Several million pallets of time-sensitive chilled products are delivered throughout the UK every year by the team. Working to precise deadlines, 24 hours a day, the company provides integrated supply chain solutions to leading supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, and their suppliers, including food manufacturers, growers and importers.
Operations are centred on the business’s main hubs, strategically located in key import, growing and production areas. Together with a number of regional facilities, Fowler Welch provides a comprehensive service to all corners of the UK. Additionally, the base in the Netherlands provides a link between the UK and Mainland Europe.
The unrivalled service levels we achieve are the result of committed colleagues operating modern and robust systems alongside state-of-the-art resources:
- Over 1,300 colleagues dedicated to meeting our customers needs
- Over 1 million square feet of warehousing space both chilled and ambient
- Integrated transport and warehouse management systems enabling efficient planning, combined with full visibility and traceability
- Over 400 tractor units, 95% of which are less than 4 years old and all meeting the highest European emission standards (EURO V)
- Over 700 trailers including specialist equipment
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A Brief History of Fowler Welch
The company that is now Fowler Welch has been a prominent operator in the specialist market of temperature controlled fresh and chilled distribution for over 30 years.
Originally established in 1988 in the Spalding area, Fowler Welch was a leading provider of transport services for the fresh produce market. Always innovative, our business was the first to offer a comprehensive nationwide service for single pallet consignments under a temperature-controlled environment.
By the early 90's Fowler Welch had built an enviable reputation amongst both retailers and suppliers for the quality and efficiency of its fresh produce distribution service. Dart Group PLC then acquired the business in 1994. The Group saw Fowler Welch as the ideal foundation on which to develop its strategic plan of creating a national platform for retail distribution of temperature-controlled products.
In 1999, the company expanded yet again with the further acquisition of Fowler Welch’s leading competitor Coolchain Ltd., which provided similar services in the south combined with port operations at Sheerness, Dover, Tilbury, Southampton and Newhaven.
In 2006, the group acquired the goodwill and selected assets of R F Fielding (Cheshire) Ltd., based in Stockport and Birmingham. This acquisition gave Fowler Welch access to an impressive client portfolio including multinationals and independents across a whole range of industries, from food and drink to paper and plastics. This allowed Fowler Welch’s expertise in handling short lead-time supply chains gained in the fresh produce sector to be migrated to the ambient market place.
In 2009, to strengthen the company's offering in the container transport sector, Fowler Welch acquired Felixstowe based Bawdsey Haulage Ltd., which was eventually rebranded as Fowler Welch (Containers) Limited in 2010.
View the history of Fowler Welch
The Fowler Welch philosophy of great service and value is only achieved thanks to the hard work and dedication of our 1,300 colleagues. As with any successful company, Fowler Welch’s greatest asset is its people, many of whom have been with the company for many years. Our team is dedicated to providing a fast, reliable and cost-effective service in what is a very demanding marketplace. In addition, the team is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve what is already recognised as one of the finest services in the industry.
Our senior management team has many years experience gained across a variety of supply chain disciplines. It is fully focused on delivering the best possible service and value for our customers.
Click here for contact details of senior management team
The success of Fowler Welch is due to its endless drive to achieve customer satisfaction. The company always ensures that its offering maximises flexibility. It does not rely on a 'bus service style timetable'. Its bespoke operation is tailored on a daily basis to meet the fluctuating demands that are inherent in the food supply chain.
Flexibility of mind and resource enable our operations to tackle the most demanding of undertakings. This has seen our business maintain very high customer satisfaction and retention, whilst also attracting new clients who seek to maximise supply chain standards.
Each customer has its own relationship contact within the business and regular interaction is maintained via frequent quality reviews. The relationship manager's role is intrinsically embedded in the operation so that they do not only assume a nominal responsibility for high standards but also have the resource and accountability to deliver them.
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Our fleet consists of over 400 tractor units and over 900 trailers and 95% of our fleet is less than 4 years old, with a robust replacement programme. All vehicles are fitted with the latest in communication systems including integrated GPS tracking. We also continue to trial and develop the use of alternative fuel technologies including LPG, hydrogen injection and bio-diesel.
We have on-site fuelling with significant fuel stock capacity, allowing effective business continuity planning. Vehicle washing facilities are provided to ensure compliance with food safety standards.
Our trailer fleet provides a wide variety of special features including:
- Dual evaporator trailers
- Double-deck trailers
- Roller-bed trailers
- Skeletal trailers
- Euroliner trailers
Our environmental policy has three main strands:
We ensure that our colleagues are fully trained and committed to best environmental practice, including fuel-efficient driver training.
Our business model is based on meeting and exceeding strict targets for operational efficiency. These targets include increasing load factors and reducing empty running. Such measures aim to reduce the carbon footprint per unit of product delivered.
Our vehicle replacement policy constantly challenges vehicle manufacturers to deliver new products that minimise harmful emissions. In addition, we are always striving to reduce the impact of our warehousing operation.
We will continue to work with our customers and other stakeholders, such as The Carbon Trust, to review our policies in line with the latest developments in this key area.
Award Winning Philosophy
The best award we can win is to deliver on our promise of great service and value. This ethos has been recognised and some examples are shown below:
- 2012 2012 BRC Accreditation for Heywood Site
- 2012 Asda "Carrier of The Year Award"
- 2009 Asda "Outstanding Service Award"
- 2008 BRC Accreditation
- 2008 "Big Tick" re-accreditation
- 2007 BITC Skills for Life "Big Tick" award
- 2004 EFSIS Higher Level accreditation
- 2003 Tesco Award - "Most Responsive Carrier"
- 2000 ISO 9001 accreditation
- 1998 Investors in People accreditation
- 1997 Tesco Award - "No One Tries Harder For Customers"
Investing in new technology
Keeping operating costs and carbon emissions down is achieved by following a continued programme of investment in key areas: people, sites and technology.
Recent investments include:
- the introduction of dual-fuel vehicles and double-deck trailers into the fleet
- the introduction of integrated telematics to vehicles
- advanced training and development of colleagues
- upgrading of the site facilities at Washington, Spalding, Teynham and Paddock Wood and the introduction of a new facility at Heywood, Greater Manchester, known as "The Hub".
For contact details of key personnel and details on specific site services, please click here.
"Fowler Welch helps us ensure we meet and often exceed our customers requirements."
Andy Hopkins - Tulip Group Logistics Director
"Tesco see Fowler Welch as our ideal partner to grow our primary distribution on both ambient and chilled whilst always providing a flexible first class service."
Philip Atkins - Tesco Primary
"Fowler Welch has become a vital link in our European land bridge cargo service, enabling American Airlines to meet the exacting schedules of its aircraft, ensuring client confidence."
Alexander Scott - MD Cargo Operations Europe and Asia/Pacific
Contact our National Sales Team directly
Jon Lee - Business Development Manager
For regional enquiries you can also contact our colleagues at each Fowler Welch site using the interactive site location page. Click here for instant access.