17 Aug Family Businesses in partnership – CJ Lang and Gray & Adams
CJ Lang has been a customer of Gray & Adams for over 30 years, with its fleet of refrigerated rigids and trailers all being Gray & Adams built. The long-standing relationship has been a testament to the build quality of our trailers and customer service within the business.
Based in Dundee, CJ Lang is a family-owned business that was established in 1919 and is the wholesaler for SPAR Scotland. The business is still owned and run by the Lang family today, mirroring Gray & Adams’ own story and operating with a similar set of values.
Having worked with Gray & Adams for so many years, the CJ Lang fleet is a testament to variety of products Gray & Adams offers. The business has previously purchased double decks, rigids, and trailers in a range of sizes from 8.3m to 11.5m.
Transport Operations Manager at CJ Lang, Ian Fleming tells us,
“Previously, we had a predominately rigid fleet, but we changed our strategy as we understood that with the nature of our business, we could achieve greater levels of efficiency with a more diverse fleet. We currently have four further trailers coming from Gray & Adams in Dunfermline that are nearly ready and this order has Thermoking electric fridges that are part of the bespoke build. It’s important for me in my role to keep abreast of innovations within the industry, especially from an environmental perspective, as the CJ Lang board of directors want to consistently improve upon the green credentials of the business to ensure we are running as sustainably as possible. This is one of the reasons that I value the collaborative nature of the relationship we have with Gray & Adams as I can quite easily go to the team there with all the options I would like to explore for the business, and we can sit together and put all the options out on the table and discuss what would work and what wouldn’t work. It’s that level of expertise that brings value to CJ Lang.”
When discussing the other factors that are important to Ian when looking to renew the fleet, he explains,
“With the nature of our work, our trucks and trailers have a tendency to be bashed around a bit over their lifespan, so durability is important to CJ Lang. I also look at the lifecycle cost of a trailer and if it is feasible to get a second and potentially third life out of the asset. With Gray & Adams products, this is more likely to be the case as their builds have the best longevity compared to other manufacturers I have purchased from in the past. I have a sense of confidence in the Gray & Adams product and the level of service we receive from their team.
Having been in business for over 100 years, CJ Lang has seen its fair share of innovations throughout the business and especially within its logistics department. When asked about the innovations in the industry that are currently inspiring Ian, he shared,
“The conversations around fuel are obviously what drives a lot of my thinking, in the future we may explore options such as fully autonomous electric technology or perhaps solar panels on the trailers. However, it is important that the trailer is still fit for purpose so the innovations do need to make sense financially and fit within our business strategy. I’m also really interested in innovations within telematics as I believe we can use the data collected to make the business better and enhance employee and customer experience. For immediate term changes into our fleet, we consider the drivers within CJ Lang and what their thoughts may be as, at the end of the day, they will be the ones operating the vehicle. A good example of this is when we spoke with Gray & Adams about our most recent order and asked if we could replace manual tail lifts with under slung tail lifts to drive efficiency on each drop and prevent injury to our drivers. The feedback we had from our team was that it was a great idea, but leaving the back door exposed without the added layer of a folder tail lift in busy locations made some feel uncomfortable, so we incorporated a maple security system as a point of compromise to the drivers.”