AT GARDEN CENTRE PLANTS we have always prided ourselves on being one of the very few nurseries to have its own delivery fleet. This has enabled us to have a controlled quality delivery service nationwide.
However, as the cost of vehicles, repairs and fuel escalated, we found it increasingly difficult to run our fleet as efficiently as we would like, so alternative methods were explored such as contract hire and third party hauliers both of which didn't seem viable.
Then in 2014, following a chance meeting with Mick Bleach, the head of Bleach of Lavant Transport based in West Sussex, a proposal was put forward to collect trolleys from GCP and redeliver all southern deliveries, as they were in a position to accommodate stock delivering north and running south.
Bleach of Lavant are a haulier that predominantly specialise in transporting horticultural stock on Danish trolleys. 2014 was such a resounding success that it gave us the confidence to further reduce our fleet and offer more central and northern deliveries to Bleach for 2015/16.
We are now at the stage, having had a couple of highly-productive years working with Bleach, that a decision has been taken to reduce our fleet even further, with Bleach committed to working towards total trolley solution - the distribution of all our trolley deliveries nationwide - basing their wagons in the North West.
GCP is now working in partnership with Bleach on preparing and planning our delivery schedules which will then enable us to improve our delivery service even further by covering areas more than once a week.