From horse and cart to a multimodal group of over 3500 vehicles
William Knight began transporting goods for the local community back in 1865, using a horse and cart. With family members soon entering the business, more work could be taken on and a strong and reliable reputation soon developed. In 1918 the company began to use motorised vehicles and ‘A’ licenses were granted for three trucks on inauguration of the Road Traffic Act in 1933. The company, which became Knights of Old Limited in 1957, was making steady progress, mainly in the agricultural industry until the decision was made to focus on general haulage in 1968. This resulted in the need for a change of location and the company moved to Cherry Hill in the village of Old, Northamptonshire. The new site enabled the company to expand by introducing warehouse facilities.
In 1978 Donald Knight saw the opportunities the Middle East was offering and started a Freight Forwarding and haulage company, Trans Arabian Freight (TAF). TAF quickly became recognised as a creative and practical Forwarder and began to get pressure from satisfied customers to handle their consignments to other parts of the globe. Many of our customers who shipped with us in 1978 still do so today under the division’s new brand – Knights of Old Air & Ocean. Our Packing Division was opened in 1990 which manufactures ISPM15 cases, crates and pallets for a wealth of different industries including automotive, mining and industrial companies ranging from SME’s to global businesses.
In order to continue the successful progression of the company the decision was made to move to a ten acre purpose built site adjacent to the A14, Kettering which included 100,000 sq ft of warehousing facility. The new site was not only practical with its central location and links to major motorways, it also advertised to the outside world we wanted to progress beyond the image of a traditional family haulage business and move into the world of supply chain logistics.
Since moving to the new site in 2000, we have become a multi-functional distribution company which handles more shipments in two days than it did in one month when we first moved to Kettering. The transport turnover has quadrupled and the warehousing turnover has doubled. We have doubled the number of staff and have added a further 20,000 sq ft to the site.
The company has further developed itself by becoming a part owner of a business called Partnerlink. The "Partnerlink” concept was conceived in 1999 by a regional haulier as a way of competing with multi-sited national distribution companies. By equalizing the playing field with regards to number of depots and keeping each distribution area to a manageable size, they are able not only to take on the national players, but to provide a higher and more flexible service level possible only in family owned transport companies.
There is also the added benefit of consolidating the fight against rising fuel costs and the shortages of quality drivers which were curtailing the development of many family owned companies.
Each partner is well established and has a proven track record of delivering high calibre distribution services in their region. Partnerlink’s unified approach is reinforced through direct nightly trunking operations between members’ depots, which ensures not only the quickest delivery times but also the minimum transhipment of high value and sensitive goods. The joint operations of this unique group of companies not only gives them a combined fleet size able to cope with any eventuality but also allow them to compete with the largest logistics companies in the UK.
KNIGHTS OF OLD FAMILY FUN DAY
If you see the Knights of Old Air Ambulance trailer
on the road TEXT FLY to 70080 to donate £5