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The history of Woodsides

Starting out from the family farm in 1967, the business has grown and diversified to become a leading and widely recognised logistics company throughout the UK and Ireland.

Our story

The Woodside family have grown the business since the 1960s when the family farm at Ballynure supplied hay and potatoes, and had a few trucks for distribution of their own goods and supplies. Back then transportation and distribution was nationalised, and no one was permitted to distribute or carry goods for reward.

During the 1960's, Larne Harbour was much busier than Belfast Port, with an abundance of freight travelling back and forth across the Irish Sea. Whilst working at Agnew car dealership, Robert Woodside Snr noticed a privately branded lorry coming off the boat at Larne Harbour. Transportation and distribution had been recently privatised and there was now an opportunity to develop the family’s personal fleet of 3 or 4 vehicles to allow carriage of goods for others, for payment. This was the start of Woodside Haulage back in 1966. Woodsides started delivering containers out of Larne Harbour throughout Northern Ireland.

All three brothers contributed to the growth and development of the business and their first office was the garage of the farmhouse! The farmhouse has been developed and extended on a few occasions and is now home to the 100+ office based staff employed across the Group.

Seizing opportunities

In the early days the focus was primarily on full loads mainly back and forth across the Irish Sea. This was extended to car transportation in the early 1970s. Woodsides acquired J&T Moody in the early 1970s.  The company based in Glenluce, Scotland was the first step into the GB Mainland. In 1982, Woodsides purchased a site in Preston from which it runs its current Haulage GB fleet. The Preston depot also has warehousing and workshop facilities.

The Haulage and Motorfreight businesses continued to expand and grow during the 1970s and 1980s in both Great Britain and Ireland. The 1990s brought considerable change. In 1995 a site in Dublin port was acquired to build the Southern Ireland operation. The Group still operates from this facility today.

In 1996, the Group acquired Haulage Services Ltd - a bulk liquid and powder tank business based at Mallusk, Co Antrim.

In the late 1990s Woodside Distribution was established to segregate the part loads and pallet movements from the full load operations. The expansion of Woodside Distribution has developed with significant investment in warehousing as well as joining and becoming shareholders of pallet networks – Pallet Xpress in Ireland and Pallet Track in the UK.  The early 2000s saw the Group built to a £30m turnover with 250 employees.

Growth and expansion

The last 15 years has seen the Group develop further, turnover and headcount have more than doubled in this time and the Group now partners major customers in all areas it operates in. The service levels and professionalism have been driven forward by our customers and by our commitment to the standards and accreditations that we hold.

The most recent acquisition was All-Route Shipping (NI) Ltd in 2011 (now re-named Woodside Global Ltd), which has added freight forwarding and customs clearance capabilities to the Group.

Today, over 50 years since its inception, the business employs 500 employees, transporting goods of all descriptions throughout the UK and Ireland. Today, Woodside Logistics Group is one of the leading transport and logistics companies in the UK and Ireland with global capabilities through Woodside Global Ltd.

Woodside for the modern era

Our operational structure and service portfolio has evolved to meet all the core needs of our customers

Operational Structure

Our operational structure and service portfolio has evolved to meet all the core needs of our customers:

  • Woodside Haulage Ltd

    Our general haulage division, providing full load, dry freight transport services to manufacturers, retailers and industry.

  • Woodside Motorfreight Ltd

    Our auto-logistics division, providing vehicle transport, vehicle storage and fleet management services to the motor industry.

  • Woodside Distribution Ltd

    Our groupage and distribution division, catering for single pallet/part load distribution.

  • Woodside Global Ltd

    Our world-wide air and sea freight division, providing personalised door-to-door movement of commercial goods and personal effects.

  • Haulage Services Ltd

    Our tanker division, providing transport solutions for bulk powder, bulk gas, bulk liquid and bulk glass.

  • Warehousing

    Our warehousing logistics division, accredited to BRC standard and providing bespoke storage, racking, order picking and stock control solutions for the FMCG sectors.

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