Learning to Box Clever in Europe
First forays out of fish and into Europe are being made by PPS East, the company that acquired Grimsby seafood packaging and box washing operator TFA, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to PPS East.
Having invested £500,000 in a state-of-the-art facility on South Humberside Industrial Estate, the company is now pushing on with a new box design of its own, while winning new business across all food sectors.
And as the capacity created in the move from the old pontoon site on Grimsby Fish Docks is gradually filled, bosses continue to eye up neighbouring premises.
Director Steve Moore said: "We are now looking at more than fish. The capability, capacity and machinery we have got allows us to handle so much, and the standards we are operating at mean any supermarket group or food production centre would want it.
"We can wash bins, boxes, pallets, trolleys, any asset rental that is in a return loop we can manage it.
"The whole of the TFA traditional business was fish and we have invested a lot of money to service that industry. Now, we are looking at others, and we are starting to do it. We have just got a new contract with John Pettits, washing sausage boxes from both the factory and the shop, and that is our first venture into the meat trade.
"We are a solution provider, we are not just a wash plant. The washing is an added service. We wash for third parties, but we want to provide a complete logistics service for repeat order produce that requires cartons, boxes, pallets bins and trolleys. We can even repair your equipment too."
On the international front, the company has recently secured a first European contract. Director Iain McArthur, who saw the potential in TFA from the existing base in Measham, Derbyshire, said: "We have signed a contract with Belgian seafood company Levenston. Fish farmed in the Shetlands is transported to Belgium and the dirty boxes come back here to Grimsby, we wash them and send them back to the Shetlands and the whole thing repeats itself.
"That is our first move into the European market. We also have access to a third party wash operation in Bologne, France, so there is more potential too. These overseas operators have come to us rather than us going and getting them, but now we will be spending a lot of time and effort promoting ourselves.
"We now have Unit One of Omega Business Park, and Unit Two is empty. I am itching to get in there. If we get some of the business we are chasing then that is a great possibility. We are quite happy to put more money in, if it is justified. We want to expand the operation here. We have good, good people, no-one knows more about the fish market in this area than Steve, so we have that covered. We have now got Pettits, which is great, and we are now looking for more food businesses."
The company is also working towards ISO 22000, well aware of the importance placed on safety in the food industry, and the assurances sought by retailers.
A total of 14 people are employed, with a hope to hit 30 by the end of the year.
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