Collaborative UK haulage specialist Harlequin Logistics has announced that Ben Gregory has been appointed to its board with immediate effect.

He joins founder Paul Smith alongside representatives from the company’s five shareholders, who are all well-known privately-owned hauliers.

Gregory has been with the business since shortly after its launch in 2011, as General Manager at the company’s Cannock head office, and he says his new role reflects the company’s growing maturity in the marketplace.

“We’ve been around five years now,” he says, “and the business has a lot more breadth to it than it originally did.

“We have a growing freight division, which operates in the general haulage market, as well as the core contract-based business which is well-established via our five shareholders.

“Our systems have also developed to keep pace with this, and now we are no longer viewed as new kids on the block, we are attracting a lot of enquiries.

“I’m really excited about joining the board, and look forward to working with some very experienced transport people to further progress the business.”

Harlequin’s uniqueness comes from its ownership structure, and consequential ability to guarantee capacity and service to its customer base in a way that the 4PL providers cannot.

Chairman Tom Barrie, who is also the owner of one of Harlequin’s shareholders, Currie European, says this is an increasingly important feature in the current market.

“We attach great importance to not being a 4PL,” he says, “because of the positive service implications this brings to our customers.

“Our five hauliers operate over 1200 trucks between them, so we are not reliant on finding big volumes of sub-contractors to fulfil our contractual obligations.

“Summers with big football tournaments always drive FMCG volume, and if the sun shines in the coming weeks we have the asset base that enables us to cope with volume spikes without having to cross our fingers and hope we can find vehicles from smaller operators.”