21/03/2017

Swannells welcomes the next generation

Family values lie at the heart for Cambridgeshire based Swannells Transport, whose next generation of leaders welcome the next generation of trucking.

Established by husband and wife Andrew and Karen Swannell over 35 years ago, Swannells Transport specialise in general haulage. Each day their operation relies on their fleet of Scania trucks to deliver the highest standard of service possible to their customer base.

When it came to the need for an additional tractor unit, the question of going elsewhere was not an option. Following the launch of the next generation Scania, Swannells Transport opted for a new flagship - the V8 Scania R 520. 

A 6x2/2 highline cab variant provides a spacious environment for its driver. With an enhanced modular instrument panel, a larger display with improved graphics, intuitive controls just a fingertip away and a whole new level of visibility. The next generation cab interior sets the standard. When living life out on the road, the right working environment can improve both efficiency levels and driving experience which is something Swannells Transport takes into consideration.

“We are lucky our drivers are loyal and take great pride in their vehicles. They are like our extended family and we want to give them a great working environment where they continue to enjoy their job. With the next generation Scania we have just that, you can tell the interior has been designed with the drivers’ needs and comfort in mind,” says Andrew Swannell.

For many operators, fuel is the most important factor. The difference in mpg between manufacturers is constantly a discussion point and although a contributing factor to Scania being their brand of choice, it is by no means the key reason behind their continued business. 

“It all stems down to reliability,”  explains owner Andrew Swannell. “Being in the haulage industry, I need to rely on my fleet day in, day out and that means the product and the dealer back up. I know that if I buy a Scania, I could run it for ten years or more if I wanted to. The longevity is never questioned – if you buy quality it will last and when it comes to support TruckEast have always been there, nothing is too much trouble,” continues Mr Swannell.

Edward, Andrew and George Swannell standing in front of a next generation Scania

“We are lucky our drivers are loyal and take great pride in their vehicles. They are like our extended family and we want to give them a great working environment where they continue to enjoy their job."

Andrew Swannell

Owner, Swannell Transport

The next generation Scania being the new flagship for Swannells, signifies a milestone for the business where sons Edward and George, the next generation themselves, are coming up through the ranks and taking on more responsibility for the future direction of the family firm.

Having been brought up around the business neither son has wanted to do anything else and have strong sights on where they want to take the business. Operating nationally across the UK with several key clients across a diverse spread of sectors including a major airline corperation, business is booming, partially due to the mild winter that brought forward seasonal demand.

The concept of grow your own has never been more true with both Edward and George beginning their working lifes as apprentices, albeit opposite career paths – technical and admin. With alternative strengths the two believe it gives them the best of both worlds for driving forward the business.

“Our current site hosts 60,000 square ft of storage facilities with room to expand,” comments George. “That’s the way forward for us, as demand continues to grow, so will our warehousing infrastruture. Offering a strong mix of both warehousing and logistics is our aim.”

“Now the next generation is here, if offering advise to my sons, I’d say behind every successful man is a successful women,” laughs Andrew. His wife Karen has always played a lead role in the business. “In all seriousness though, deliver only service that you would expect yourself,” he continues. “Customers appreciate expertise and delivery on the promises you make.”

The latest truck, as with the rest of the fleet will be maintained at Swannells own in-houseworkshop, relying on Ely based TruckEast as their parts provider. “It doesn’t make sense really for hauliers of our size to run their own workshop these days, but with roots as a mechanic I would never have it any other way,” says Andrew. A view shared by son Edward, who agrees it will remain that way for the future of Swannells.