Lancaster firm’s £1m facelift in wake of Storm Desmond floods

The new Kidds Transport building.
The new Kidds Transport building.

Just two years after flash flooding caused devastation to their depot, Lancaster-based logistics firm Kidds Transport have transformed their site as part of a major £1m investment.

Kidds Transport, a member of Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network, provides haulage services for many major manufacturers in the Lancaster area.

In December 2015, Kidds faced disruption to services when Storm Desmond wreaked havoc across parts of the UK. When the River Lune broke its banks on December 5, it didn’t take long for the site on Caton Road to be breached.

The site was left in ruins, with some parts under three metres of water. When the water receded two days later, the firm had already lost around 8,000 tons of stock in the warehouse and written off more than 100 vehicles, including their entire Palletways and fork-lift fleets.

With the depot unfit for purpose, directors at Kidds Transport decided to rebuild the entire building in June 2016. The new depot, which was completed earlier this year, has been designed to help withstand harsher weathers.

While old office buildings were single storey, the new-build block stands at three storeys high and is built onto stilts to ensure the lower level areas are more resilient to flooding. Further improvements to flood barriers and walls are due to be installed by the city council and Environment Agency.

Simon Park, managing director at Kidds Transport, said: “It’s definitely been a big year for us at Kidds Transport! With the depot completed in late February and our 65th anniversary in August, it feels like we’ve entered a new era.

“We’re always keen to embrace a challenge, but we’re thrilled with the new facilities and are definitely more prepared for the future than we were on that dreadful morning in December 2015.”

Barry Byers, Palletways’ network director, added: “We are delighted Kidds Transport are now firmly settled at their new premises. The company made giant strides in 2017 and we’re excited for the next phase of growth with this move.”

Kidds Transport is a member of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), is FORS accredited and a member of the United Kingdom Warehouse Association (UKWA).

Kidds Transport is one of more than 110 independent transport providers that are part of the Palletways UK network.

They benefit from shared expertise and resources from within the group to deliver consignments of palletised freight to market faster and more cost effectively than ever before.

The Palletways Group comprises 400 depots and 17 hub operations, through which it provides collection and distribution services across 20 European countries, including the UK.