UK-based Acumen Logistics Group has taken over finished vehicle carrier Auto UK Logistics to build on the finished vehicle side of it automotive logistics offering. The newly named Acumen Auto Logistics will enlarge Acumen’s transporter fleet and continue to move Land Rovers to UK ports for export. The move follows the emigration of Auto UK Logistics’ owner Malcolm Daffron from the UK to New Zealand.
Acumen is expected to see a turnover of around £1m ($1.4m) this year and has invested in specialist car transporters taking Land Rovers to UK ports for export. The company believes it is "well placed to capitalise on an upturn in the economy when market conditions become more favourable".
“We took the view that the market could hardly be worse and business would improve, therefore to acquire Auto UK at the bottom of the market would provide the opportunity for us to start in the sector and grow with it as the economy and activity improves,” said Acumen Logistics’ Development Director, Peter Raybould.
“We have had ambitions to expand our activities in the automotive industry for some time and this acquisition fits exactly into our longer term strategy,” he told Automotive Logistics.
Acumen has been growing its automotive business over the past two years but this is its first venture into the finished vehicle sector. “We have commenced operations with between 10 and 20 transporters and have already replaced the majority of the old Auto UK fleet,” said Raybould.

The company’s Automotive Distribution division recently secured full supplier status for complete inbound movements to all of Johnson Controls Automotive’s UK facilities (read more here).

Acumen has also recently launched an online exchange platform called Acufreight for backloads. The system benefits customers and hauliers by matching unallocated loads with empty vehicles travelling across the UK.
Investment in smaller transport fleets has been seen elsewhere to offer a strategic advantage during the recession over those companies with larger fleets that have suffered excess capacity and been forced to idle their fleets and lay off drivers.
GBA Group’s takeover of CARS Transport last year allowed it to extend its service offering to existing customers including Kia, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen, with the renamed GBA Transport. Since then the company has extended the fleet to 24 transporters despite the downturn and in the face of fuel price hikes.
“The transporter fleet and [CARS Transport] were small enough not to be in the same position as the bigger companies and we were able to steadily grow the business,” GBA Group’s Managing Director, Captain Sam Judah, told Automotive Logistics. “We’ve taken over the transport of vehicles but done it in a way that is different to the traditional methods, ie by utilising the synergies we had in terminal operations and what we do for manufacturers on the ground.”
Further details on GBA’s activity can be read in the October-December edition of Finished Vehicle Logistics magazine.