The BIG Interview – Brian Anderton, Director of Trans-Bridge Freight

Trans-Bridge Freight provides specialised logistics service to Ireland and Europe from the UK. Based in Manchester and established in 1991, the business has a stellar reputation of providing services to industries such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Director, Brian Anderton, has an ethos of consistently investing in the business, which includes regular upgrades of the fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles, which lead Trans Bridge Freight to work closely with Gray & Adams.
In this edition of The BIG interview, Brian shares his perspective on the relationship and the state of play in the industry.

How long have you been working with Gray & Adams?

We have been running Gray & Adams products for about eight years now. It was a change in our business that led us to approach the team at G&A as there were some significant changes to legislation concerning the logistics of healthcare products. Due to this we needed to invest in temperature-controlled vehicles, and we originally purchased second hand Gray & Adams products from a client. We were so impressed by the quality, that we decided to purchase new build products from the team at G&A directly. 

What services do Trans-Bridge Freight provide and in which sectors? 

We primarily work in the healthcare and pharmaceutical markets plus others. We provide consignment and logistics services to companies in this sector, and we are responsible for distribution from Great Britain into Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as Europe.  

What have been the impacts of Covid-19 for Trans-Bridge Freight? 

Covid was an unusual time for businesses, however our experience may have been quite unique because of the markets we work in. We found ourselves to be busy as a lot more pharmaceutical and healthcare products were being moved around the country and our business was able to support with that. From my perspective, it was great to be able to do our part and help the infrastructure of our healthcare system at the time of a crisis.  

How important is it that you work with suppliers and partners who have the same values as your business?

I think it’s very important. Transbridge Freight don’t compromise on our model of quality, and compliance to strict quality standards and such as ISO9001 and Good Distribution Guidelines. We need to work with suppliers and partners who understand the importance of the product that we transport and who understand our obligations to the MHRA as a holder of a Wholesale Dealers Licence for Human and Veterinary Medicines. Gray & Adams fit that description for us. We were able to converse with them on our requirements, such as Multi Temperature Compartments, allowing us to transport chilled and ambient healthcare products in one vehicle, with additional access doors at the front of the trailer to protect the temperature integrity of each compartment and the products contained therein. The level of collaboration that we receive, and the innovative ideas of the team works well for our business, and I really value the relationship we have with them. 

What are the challenges that your industry faces at the moment?

Red diesel is the obvious one that comes to mind, so we, along with many other industry peers are exploring other alternatives at the moment. Fully electric vehicles are interesting to us, but we have an extra consideration to ensure that the charging infrastructure and the battery life are robust enough to support our fleet as it crosses the Irish Sea where delays at Ports and Customs Borders can occur. It is something that we will keep reviewing and gathering further data on.

In terms of other challenges, Brexit was something that created difficulties for our business at first, however, careful planning, creative development of our IT systems pre-Brexit and close collaboration with our Clients and Customs partners led to a fairly smooth transition.

What is the next stage in growth for Trans-Bridge Freight? 

We are experiencing an exciting growth period right now. The business has recently invested in a new depot just outside of Manchester which has created improvements in service offering and capacity. The increased service offering is due to the construction of a WDA Licensed temperature-controlled warehouse, which allows us to better consolidate Pharma shipments to and from Ireland and the EU. This has been a strategic business decision due to the demand in the healthcare market for fully compliant supply chains and the result of the unique position Northern Ireland finds itself in post Brexit.

How do you feel about the service you receive from Gray & Adams? 

It’s absolutely first class. I always feel that we are kept up to date with the progress of our order which is fantastic, and they are aware that the investment in our fleet is an investment in our business, so we feel that we are looked after in terms of quality, communication and bringing new ideas to the table.