Born and raised on a farm the Reed transport founders were steeped in the agricultural sector when horses were the pulling power. Harry and Les Reed worked in the farming community prior to setting themselves up with a lorry before WWII. Despite the War, they prospered and continued to expand until the early 1960’s, when with operating centres in the villages of Garthorpe and Swinefleet a difference of opinion forced a split. Their fleet of 10ton Bedfords were split between them, with Harry staying at Garthorpe, becoming H Reed Transport Ltd and Les operating from Swinefleet and becoming L A Reed (Haulage) Ltd.
[Above: Harry Reed, 1936. Below: Les Reed, 1950]
Shortly before this Les purchased the small holding at the bottom of his yard and his son Alan lived there. Between them they farmed the 28 acres of land whilst running the Haulage business.
In 1961, Alan wanted to move into the emerging General Haulage market using the “new” bigger artics but Les was sceptical, so with a 50/50 shareholding, L A Reed & Son (Haulage) was born with Alan at the helm. The new Company operated from the farmstead at Swinefleet which is still home to the Farm and joint workshop.
[Above: Alan Reed Circa, 1965]
Using as many of the 24 hours in each day as possible, one vehicle quickly became two on a contract for Crendon Concrete, delivering buildings throughout the north of England and Scotland where most Hauliers would not go back then. As the Import/Export trade started to pick up, the Port of Goole became a hotbed of activity and the Company grew to around 10 vehicles.
[Above: L. A. Reed Haulage Ltd Vehicle. Below: Crendon Concrete, 1977]
By 1974, the first of Alan’s family joined the Company, (now 3 sons and 1 daughter), and things were booming. Additional land was purchased for the farm and the Doyle St site was bought from British Gas near the Docks, this gave us a transhipment area adjacent to the Docks and we took on large shipments of coil, re-bar and plate as we had the lifting equipment and flexibility that the Docks could not offer at that time. More land was added to the farm along the way and the vehicle fleet increased to around 14, with a large sub-contract fleet hauling steel to the Midlands and Sheffield.
The recession of the late 1980,s held things back and cutbacks were inevitable, but following a chance opportunity we secured work with British Stainless Steel, (now Outo-kumpu) to transport heavy steel coils and slabs between Sheffield and Goole and the Company was on the up again.
[Above: Steel Shipment Circa, 1980. Below: 8 of 14 Trucks 1992]
In 1995 we purchased a green field site on the relatively new M62 Industrial Estate at Goole and built our first warehouse. A second warehouse followed in 1998 and further work was carried out in 2001 with additional resurfacing, both the fleet size and land acreage had also increased again and we were becoming diversified in our activities.
[Above: Warehouse Development, 1991. Below: Press Release, 1996]
New forklifts were purchased for the warehouses and following a contract win in 2003, a new 16tonne forklift was bought. We also loaded our first container for export and acquired a telescopic lifting frame for handling containers which I thought might be handy. Handy! That’s an understatement; it opened up a whole host of other opportunities, before long we were lifting containers and it was only a matter of time before someone said ”do you think you could load these” and so it goes on.
[Above: Folklift Trucks, 1996. Below: Long Service Award, 1994]
Compared to some we are not a big Company, but we feel we have come a long way, helped along by some excellent Customers, who have grown along with us over the last 20 years or so, and they are more like friends than Customers. They know that their problems are our problems and that we will solve them together, we are a Company for today and tomorrow, a solid Company able to offer individual solutions to both large and small organisations alike, Big enough to cope – Small enough to care.