Distribution and haulage firm M&H Carriers delivers 'incredible' growth in 2021

Distribution and haulage firm M&H Carriers is celebrating a year of acceleration that saw it launch eight further depots and create more than 100 jobs across Scotland.

The company is present in north and central Scotland, delivering parcels, freight, pallets and two-man products across the country, working with small businesses, household brands, commercial multicarrier networks including DPD and DX, and private individuals.

The expansion of its Highlands and Islands operation and move into Argyll “provided the biggest opportunities” in a year that also saw its depots in Dundee and the Granite City thrive, it explained.

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'In 2021 we doubled our staff, in turn almost doubling our turnover,' notes MD Fraser MacLean. Picture: Ash Davidson.

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The firm added that one of its biggest investments came with the opening of a depot in Glasgow, serving Argyll with further satellite depots in Oban and Tarbert – as well as the debuting of five satellite depots across the Highlands and Islands, helping serve those living in harder-to-reach areas.

It now boasts depots in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Argyll – with satellite depots in Helmsdale, Elgin, Muir of Ord, Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso, Fort William, Tarbert, Oban, Stornoway and North Uist.

Its pallet deliveries – co-ordinated in Dundee – have increased “significantly”, with levels of two-man deliveries of large and bulky items in Aberdeen having also stepped up, including for national brands like B&Q.

Summing up M&H Carriers’ performance during 2021, managing director Fraser MacLean said it has enjoyed “a year of incredible growth”. He added: “In 2021 we doubled our staff, in turn almost doubling our turnover.

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"As well as recruiting new drivers and warehouse operatives, we’ve expanded our management team with a new general manager in our Inverness depot, a customer services manager, and a continuous-improvement manager to ensure we’re always focusing on the future of the business.”

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M&H Carriers added that growth has been supported by the signing of a number of long-term partnerships with major national carriers, allowing it to increase its fleet by more than 50 vehicles, including ten electric vans used for last-mile deliveries in Inverness.

Mr MacLean explained: “In November, I was invited to join a panel discussion at COP26 focusing on the steps [small and medium-sized enterprises] can take to decrease their carbon footprint.

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“It was a huge honour to be involved in an event of this scale, and it made me realise that our goals in business have to be bigger than focusing on tomorrow’s deliveries. We need to be looking at the way we generate and consume power; the efficiency of our buildings and vehicles; and the sustainability of our business as a whole.

“When we committed to becoming the first delivery firm in the Highlands to introduce electric vehicles to its fleet, many thought it was just a pipe dream. But operationally, it’s been a huge success, and it’s been a real hit with our customers. We’re already looking at how we can introduce more [electric vehicles] to our fleet across the country, and as their range improves we can see them becoming a much bigger part of our operations.”

He also noted how throughout the pandemic the haulage and distribution industry as a whole proved how essential it is to the running of the country. “During lockdown, when online ordering increased to unprecedented levels, it became a vital frontline resource for the country,” the MD added.

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