By Martin Walker
Stiller Warehousing and Distribution has invested in a new batch of vehicles to accommodate an upturn in business.
The family-run firm, based in the heart of Aycliffe Business Park in Newton Aycliffe, has purchased eight new trucks of varying sizes.
They include two 12-tonne vehicles, two urban trailers and four long double-deck trailers as Stiller steps up its business.
The company, which employs 115 people, saw a 20% jump in turnover in 2013 to £10.5m and expects to at least equal that in its current financial year, which ends in December.
The firm’s Commercial Manager, Matthew Stiller, is pictured (above) with members of staff and some of firm’s new vehicles.
He said: “We took on a large contract in the summer which meant we had to put some hired equipment in there, so we’ve had to respond by strengthening our fleet and to accommodate an increase in business.
“We’re on course to equal last year’s turnover but there does seem to have been a general upturn in trade over the last two or three months.
“There also seems to be a general feeling that we’re very much on the up in the business and there is definitely a local buzz around Aycliffe Business Park these days.”
Stiller last year spent £1m on a range of new vehicles, including state-of-the-art longer semi trailers (LSTs), and has also invested £3m in its site on Aycliffe Business Park in the last two years.
The latest fleet of vehicles takes Stiller’s investment in the last two years to nearly £4.5m.
Matthew added: “We spent a lot of years consolidating the business after the recession, and we felt it was important, during the period of coming out of it, that we had to invest.
“The vehicles are more expensive because they have the latest eco-friendly low emissions, but they also make our fleet more efficient, greener and the vehicles will also last longer, so we’re very much investing in the future of the business.”
The two new 12-tonne Mercedes vehicles are German built but assembled in County Durham, by Shildon firm Euro Truck Bodies, costing £65,000 each, will be used for inner-city and town deliveries to shops and homes.
The two urban trailers, costing £27,000 each, are only 10 metres long and include a special rear-steer axle and a fully-galvanised chassis, which make them ideal for tight urban deliveries and collections.
The four double deck trailers are 15.6 metres in length and cost £40,000 each.
Stiller’s premises on Aycliffe Business Park includes a 15,000-pallet store within about 160,000 square feet, which stores for 15 customers from varying industries, including the likes of Gestamp Tallent and 3M.
Other companies – such as Go-Geo Thermal and Now Plastics – are tenants at Stiller’s site and use it as its own “full-service” warehousing and distribution centre.
Stiller is the largest shareholder in national award-winning firm Palletline, which has 70 members across Britain and operates an impressive UK-wide distribution service.