Culina Group is currently comprised of eight distinct business units and continues to look for strategic acquisition opportunities to enhance its offering.
Founded in 1994, the same year that the Channel Tunnel opened we began as a single site operation serving just one client. By building a strong reputation and solid foundations we opened our Central Operation and fully automated chilled warehouse at Market Drayton in 1998.
Steady growth continued over the next few years. In 2001 we established a depot in Milton Keynes as a UK distribution platform for FMCG manufacturers based in the UK and Europe. In 2006 we opened a depot in Stafford further improving our client distribution support.
As the “noughties” drew to a close, the momentum for us was really building. In 2008 a merger with Bayliss Transport saw us create a new 3PL business under the Culina banner. In the same year a 200,000 sq. ft. site at Haverhill was opened further expanding our network.
The following year saw major developments as Wincanton merged its chilled consolidation activities in the UK with Culina Group, we also entered into a Joint Venture with contract packing business IPS, a move that significantly added value to our client operations. With 2010 approaching a new decade dawned which saw us again enter in to a Joint Venture, this time with SHS Group, which saw a new 3PL solution established across Ireland.
In 2012, the year of the London Olympics, we continued on the acquisition trail with an agreement to take over the supply chain activities of Cert Octavian, and the following year further enhanced our nationwide network with the introduction of an impressive 210,000 sq. ft. state of the art chilled distribution centre in Bristol.
IPS was fully acquired in 2014, before we announced major expansion in 2016 with the deal to acquire the highly reputable Great Bear Distribution business and the establishment of a Joint Venture with CML, the 3PL specialist to the discount retailers. The same year saw us open Port Salford the UK’s first “Tri-modal” (Road, Rail, and Sea) facility.
Further expansion in 2017 saw us fully acquire CML, and also enter in to a Joint Venture agreement with market leading Irish haulage business Morgan Mclernon. Again major infrastructure foundations were laid with the introduction of the massive Great Bear Distribution operation at Markham Vale adding another 1,000,000 sq. ft. to our network.
Recently our growth momentum has shown absolutely no signs of slowing with the announcement of a Joint Venture with market leading baked goods logistics business Warrens Group, the acquisition of fresh produce logistics specialist – Robsons of Spalding and also the acquisition of FoodPack by our contract packing division IPS.
It’s been a spectacular twenty-five years for Culina Group, a milestone we will be celebrating throughout 2019 and beyond. With no signs of slowing down, the next 25 years will be very exiting for us. As a forward thinking food and drink logistics specialist, we are “In it for the long haul” – as we have been since 1994!