Norfolk’s Carter Haulage celebrate 40 years
Peter Carter shares his route to success in the haulier business
What comes to mind when you think of Norfolk? Perhaps it’s the county’s infamous broads, or maybe it’s the long stretching coastline. Norfolk Day, on Saturday 27th July, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all of the wonderful things that Norfolk has to offer. Throughout the county you’ll see restaurants showcasing the best of local produce, music festivals, flower displays, family fun days, and many more events for local businesses to promote their products and services.
With its vast countryside, it may come as no surprise that the agricultural sector is one of Norfolk’s biggest employers. According to the 2019 Norfolk Insight Report, over 10% of the county’s population (3,380 people) work in businesses in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. That’s over double the UK’s percentage as a whole of 4.3%!
It’s in this county, so revered for its farming and agriculture, that Carter Haulage and Storage have been supporting the sector for 40 years.
Set up in 1979 by Peter Carter, Carter’s has grown into a multi-faceted family company, providing a wide range of haulage and storage services. Their green, red and white livery makes their trucks instantly recognisable on the road.
We sat down with Peter to find out more about his key to business success, the role Scania trucks have played in this 40 year haulier legacy, and what it means to live and work in Norfolk.
So where did it all begin?
“I initially had three years working for the British Road Service in Kings Lynn, shortly after which I applied for my O licence. Me and my wife Louise then decided to start our own business” Peter said, “It progressed from there really.
“The business really took off about 23 years ago, when we went from a sole trader to a limited company and moved into bigger premises. Then my sons came into the business and it continued to grow. We run a mix of agricultural haulage and heavy haulage with a combination of 16 Scania’s and 16 Volvos.
Pete’s interest in Scania dates back to the 1980s. “Well, we first started off with Volvos, but I was always interested in Scania”, he continued, “I was actually one of the first in the area to own a twin steer axle Scania back in 1986, e-reg, E208 PAH. Nowadays we run R cabs for bulk and general, and we have 3 new S cabs for our long haulage boys who are away most of the week. We’ve had a good relationship with Scania since year dot.”
Carter’s vehicles are serviced by our team at Kings Lynn, where all inspections, repairs and general maintenance takes place. “We’ve always had a good relationship with the team at Kings Lynn, they’re a nice bunch.
“I’ve known Harley (TruckEast Sales Director) since he was a boy, as his Dad set up a Scania workshop. Guy Richards has been with us for years too.”
Carter’s are based at Shouldham Thorpe on the main A134, eight miles from Kings Lynn. As with many local businesses, being Norfolk based is a source of pride for Carter’s.
“What makes Norfolk unique is the people”, Peter added “everyone knows each other, and even within the industry people just get on with their own thing, there isn’t any feeling of animosity. The only way I could describe it is like a gentleman’s agreement.”
And what does Peter make of the 40 year anniversary? “It makes me feel old!” he said, “but it’s nice to have some recognition for our work over the years. We’re a family business, which has meant that I’m able to take a bit more of a back seat these days with my older son Shaun working in the heavy haulage/general haulage sector and my son Carl working with the produce and warehousing.”
“Looking back, when we moved to our present place that was a big hurdle for us, we really pushed the boat out. There have been lots of highlights over the years, but that was the biggest thing, it put us on the road. As one of my old customers used to say ‘when you moved, you went from a man with a few lorries to a business’, and I think that sums it up perfectly.”
There are plenty of events taking place on Saturday July 27th to celebrate Norfolk Day 2019. Stay in the loop on the event programme here.