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Business advice and diversification leads to Goole transport company doubling turnover


East Yorkshire-based Simon Gibson Transport, a specialist in bulk powder transport, handling and storage, is celebrating growing its turnover from £6m in 2012 to £13m in 2014.

This is as a result of targeting new sectors following the downturn in the construction industry during the recession. 

Based in Goole, the company was founded by Simon Gibson in 2000 with a single truck and has expanded to a fleet of 88 vehicles, delivering more than 2,000,000 tons per annum throughout Europe.  In January 2014, it opened new offices and driver training facilities alongside it 35,000sq ft warehouse and employs 138 staff.

“Prior to 2007, our business was probably 90% focussed on serving the construction industry, but we quickly realised that we needed to use our specialist skills in other sectors in order to prosper despite the property market crash,” explains Simon Gibson.  “We still have lots of customers in construction, but they now make up only around 35% of our client base having successfully targeted the glass, foundry and plastics industries and we’re also seeing growth in the food sector. 

“The transport industry was hit hard during the recession, but we were fortunate that many contracts moved from rail to road as volumes dropped.  We realised that with our expertise in transporting and storing powder bulk, we were well-placed to break into other sectors using materials such as silica sand as they too looked to save costs.  Building on our sound reputation in this niche area of transport, we were able to seek out opportunities focusing on our ability to operate 24/7, our modern fleet and our highly trained drivers.

Simon continues: “Over the last eight years, handling specialist sand for foundry and glass making has become a significant part of our business and in 2012 we won a major contract with minerals company Sibelco which led to us doubling our fleet.  Last year, which was our best year ever, we invested £3m in extending our fleet and we’re confident that we’ll hit our target of £15m turnover for 2015.”  

Leeds law firm Clarion has worked with Simon Gibson Transport since 2009, providing a full range of legal business advice services including corporate, employment and property advice.

Simon Gibson comments: “We’ve dealt with Clarion for many years, they’ve been able to help us with everything we’ve ever needed from a legal perspective and always provided an excellent service.  We have enjoyed a close relationship with Jonathan Simms in the corporate team who has become a trusted adviser to the business as we have faced the challenge of finding additional income streams and adapting the business.”

Jonathan Simms, partner at Clarion, said: “This is a fantastic Yorkshire success story – Simon Gibson Transport has grown from an owner driver with a single truck to a £13m turnover company, employing almost 150 staff.  The transport sector has had a tough few years, but those businesses that have been able to adapt and survive are now in a strong position to take advantage of the upturn.”

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