Building back stronger

Building back stronger

With a little help from their friends at Scania Financial Services, S. A. Moore Transport is once again on the road to growth.


There's no question that Coronavirus has affected all of us in one way or another.  For UK hauliers, it's been a challenging time which has seen many fleets downsize or even disappear altogether.  As a consequence, the buyers of transport services have suffered too, with reliable haulage operators becoming increasingly hard to find.  


For Simon Moore, Managing Director of Spalding, Lincolnshire-based operator S. A. Moore Transport Limited, the pandemic was initially difficult.  But by adapting to the new normal, his company is now well back on the way to its pre-Covid fleet strength.


"The initial impact of the pandemic forced us to reduce the size of our fleet, but now we are recovering well," confirms Simon.  "That's because today we are working with a number of key customers directly, whereas previously our work for them came via third parties.  These customers are food producers so they obviously need stable distribution partners, which in these times can be hard to find.  From our point-of-view, in order to grasp the opportunities, we had to be flexible in our approach and prepared to invest and upsize accordingly – which is where Scania Financial Services (SFS) comes in.


"Acquiring mobile assets – trucks and trailers – is certainly not easy at this time.  New vehicles are scarce due to factors such as the global chip shortage and things aren't much better on the trailer side.  So our current purchasing policy sees us buy both new and used equipment.  This calls for a flexible funding approach, which SFS can do as they have an excellent understanding of our business.


"So, for example, if we are buying a new Scania P 450 tractor unit – our preferred fleet choice – I have no issues in putting down a good deposit and taking out a seven year hire purchase agreement for the remainder.  Both SFS and I know the product is well built and will last the course, so there's no issue there.  Alternatively, if we are looking at a second hand trailer, I might be looking to finance it over a period of two or three years.  Once again SFS is prepared to help because they appreciate what we are doing and why.


"The big advantages of dealing with SFS are that we have a great rapport with them.  They are not restricted to funding just Scania vehicles, and they make the entire finance process for trucks and trailers extremely simple and cost-effective.  And that is exactly what we need as it leaves us free to concentrate on serving our customers rather than running around looking for the best deal.  They also offer added-value services such as VAT deferrals, which we have used on occasion to help our cashflow.  That's another major plus benefit.


"As a result of SFS's collaborative approach, we have been able to rebuild our fleet quickly and efficiently.  Right now, we have 13 trucks in service, with another four on order, and 11 trailers.  Pre-Covid we were operating 20 vehicles, but using mostly third party trailers.  So I'm confident that as we emerge from the pandemic, S. A. Moore Transport will come out better and stronger than ever.  I'm very positive about the future and have to thank SFS in no small part for that – their help is invaluable to us."

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