A ROAD haulage boss has looked back with pride as his firm celebrates a special anniversary.

Fagan & Whalley, of Shuttleworth Mead Business Park in Padiham, started out as a single-truck enterprise some 90 years ago.

Now it is an recognised and respected name in the industry across the United Kingdom and into Europe.

Commercial director Stephen Fagan said: “Like many road transport businesses, Fagan & Whalley started off with a single truck employed on small deliveries around our local villages.

“That was in 1927. Today, six family generations and nearly nine decades in business later, we retain all of the determination, spirit and drive that our founders had on their very first day.

“Now, we pride ourselves on being a truly modern logistics provider, offering a first-class service with the highest-quality equipment.

“We are proud of our heritage and build relationships based on our core values - that’s the road we choose to follow.”

The firm, a family business, staged a customer open day and family fun day for the occasion.

The open day at Shuttleworth Mead on Friday was followed by a family fun day the next day at its new unit at Burnley Bridge, which opened in June.

The 92,000 sq ft distribution hub has parking for up to 80 trailers, with 10 loading bays and 25,000 pallet locations.

Elsewhere in the road haulage industry, two East Lancashire transport companies have helped to smash a record for freight traffic around a UK network.

Kenyon Road Haulage, of Thornley Avenue, Blackburn, and Gilbraith, of Iron Street, Blackburn, played a part in transporting a record-breaking 5.4 million pallets around the Palletways system in 2016/17.

It was the biggest year for Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest-growing palletised express freight network, since its launch in 1994.

The figure beat last year’s record of 5.1 million by some 300,000 pallets, with spikes in demand for members such as Kenyon Road Haulage and Gilbraith last Christmas and this Easter.

Palletways also exceeded its largest daily volume in pallets recorded to 27,017, up 9.4 per cent from 24,696 in 2015-2016, - on April 11, 2017.

Wayne Kenyon, director at Kenyon Road Haulage, said: “Our team works extremely hard to respond to customer demand and move pallets quickly and efficiently through the Palletways network.

“The network is strong and resilient enough to take on whatever pallet volumes our customers want to move, even at the busiest times of last year."

David Bailey, general manager at Gilbraith, said: “Technology, such as our digital information hub, which monitors pallet traffic and in-cab pallet label printing, enable us to function as part of a well-oiled machine.

“The fact that Gilbraith can offer services across Europe and provide an industry-first two-hour time notification pallet delivery window in the UK has helped the network hit new pallet movement highs.”

In 2017/18, further pallet volume growth is expected because of a combination of new members, the development of online ordering and a recent new hub expansion in Lodz, near Warsaw, in Poland.

Dave Walmsley, Palletways UK managing director, said: “The figures for last year are outstanding and represent our biggest year on record.

“Our members, like Kenyon Road Haulage and Gilbraith in Blackburn, are the most important part of the Palletways UK success story and record-breaking year.”