Most households are probably not thinking too much about Christmas just yet but for Trafford-based AKW Group, the countdown started months ago. The company, which is traditionally known for its transport solutions, has invested heavily in other areas of the business over the last six years and is now firmly established as one of the UK’s leading contract packers.
Working with a host of world-renowned names, including L’Oreal, Armani, Maybelline, Lynx, Boots No 7 and Guinness, AKW now plays an even bigger part in the journey of many gifts that will appear under the tree this Christmas.
“This is our busiest time of the year as we prepare for Christmas – long before most people have even given it a second thought,” said Tony Worthington, AKW Chairman and founder of the company.
“We have invested millions of pounds in expanding the company in recent years and during our peak, 180 members of contract packing staff will handle around 100,000 packages a day to ensure Christmas gift sets start hitting the shelves as early as August.”
AKW’s facilities, based in Trafford Park, also includes 500,000 square ft of warehouse space, over 100 vehicles, access to a further 1,500 through Partnerlink offering UK distribution and specialist freight forwarding and container freight movement services.
“During the run-up to Christmas we experience a 35% increase in orders and a 45% increase in pallet volume when compared to average,” added Rebecca Davies, who heads up the Contract Packing Division at AKW Group.
“Christmas starts early for certain accounts – mainly those supplying the major retailers with seasonal products.
“Overlay this with volume increases from clients who are focused on winter products, from woollen clothing to pipe insulation, and you can understand why we need to ramp up to cater for this increased traffic.”
To help cope with the huge increase in demand the Group, which is a member of the UK’s leading palletised distribution network Palletforce, has sourced additional vehicles and drivers specifically to deal with the upturn in volumes and to ensure that customer service is maintained.