M6toll plays its part in cultivating vegetable producer’s UK connectivity

Huntapac Produce Ltd is a fourth-generation Lancashire based company that grows and distributes its own vegetables, complete with its own transport division. A 24-hour, 365-day-a-year operation, they pick, pack and distribute produce to major supermarkets in the UK as well as wholesalers, food service caterers and independent retailers.

Joe Sweeney, Huntapac Produce Ltd’s Fleet and Worskhop Manager, discusses how the M6toll helps keep their ‘field to fork in’ promise to customers.

The next time you tuck into your Sunday lunch, you might want to consider Huntapac Produce Ltd and the M6toll’s role in getting those vegetable side servings onto your plate. For Huntapac Produce Ltd it’s a time critical, no margin for error operation, that has not eased up despite the challenges of the past eighteen months.

Joe said: “The demand throughout the lockdown and beyond has been unrelenting, we have never been so busy. With people stuck at home, they were eating more and at times it’s been like Christmas Day every day, such is the demand for produce.

“As we come out of lockdown, the demand has remained high, but we still have to keep our ‘out of the ground and onto the plate’ in 24 hours promise to customers. Therefore, we can’t afford any disruption or delay to our distribution process and that’s where the M6toll is so valuable to us as a business.”

With the majority of its farms in the Shropshire region and its processing plant in Preston, Huntapac is dependent on the M6toll’s efficiency and reliability to get its produce processed, packed, onto a delivery vehicle and out to customers south of the Midlands.

Joe said: “One of the key advantages of the M6toll is it provides the quickest route available to us to either our processing plant or out to our customers. The M6toll streamlines everything and makes it so much easier and quicker to get our products to where they need to go.

“We can’t afford to be stuck in congested traffic burning fuel and burning time, when we have such strict deadlines to meet. With the M6toll, it’s a quick hop on and hop off for us and always a guaranteed clear route through the congested Midlands road network.

"The time efficiency benefits are felt all across our business."

“If our vehicles get held up on the road, it not only impacts our drivers, but the staff at the processing centre and those loading the packed produce onto delivery vehicles. We can’t afford to have that downtime across the business and the M6toll helps us to avoid that.”

As well as the direct business benefits, the M6toll also benefits driver welfare, with Huntapac’s team of drivers’ firm advocates of the road.

Joe said: “The drivers love using the M6toll. They hop onto the M6toll road, put the vehicle in cruise control and it’s simple as that for them. The time the drivers save means more downtime for them and more driver hours for us to play with as a business.

“We also recently took part in the M6toll ANPR trial and the drivers have benefitted from that as well. Our drivers just want to keep moving and the ANPR enables them to do that, so that’s another positive for our drivers using the M6toll road.”

With Huntapac busier than ever, there are plans for further expansion of the fleet with more vehicles coming on board in the upcoming months.

Joe said: “We are always looking at ways to expand the business and we will be adding a further 20 vehicles to the fleet soon.

“As with all our current fleet, the new vehicles will also be using the M6toll. Given the benefits, its cost effectiveness, reliability, quick and efficient route, time and fuel savings, there is no reason why we would not put the new vehicles on it.

“All those individual benefits and savings add up to a lot for our business. It’s why we will keep on using the M6toll road.”