Customer in focus: P&C Hamilton

P&C Hamilton is a family run business based in Girvan in Scotland. Created in 1982 by brothers Phillip and Colin the company has steadily grown over the years by continually developing its fleet, adapting to changing market conditions and ultimately being named Scotland’s top chilled distribution company in 2012. Here in our latest customer focus Phillip Hamilton talks about the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis as well as the growing importance of digitalization for UK & International transport fleets.

P & C Hamilton’s fleet is currently made up of 20 lorries dedicated to chilled distribution (groupage and full load specialists) with a focus on hanging meat. Although P&C Hamilton’s vehicles, with their distinctive livery can be seen on many of the UK’s and Europe´s main motorways, part of the fleet is dedicated to transporting hanging meat to and from Italy. The Covid-19 crisis obviously hit Italy very hard in March and April and Phillip says “that restrictions on exports imposed by European countries in mid March when the crisis began to really hit created a bit of stress in the transport office”. These restrictions were later removed and exports have been largely unaffected since then despite the difficult circumstances created by the infectious nature of Covid-19. Phillip adds “Our strategy is always reactive to what the market dictates. Established since 1982, we have been through the BSE crisis and the Foot & Mouth epidemic, all of which damaged our business immediately. This however, is a different animal altogether, there is no way of predicting how long this will continue for or the changes it will have on ALL business sectors given the financial packages that respective governments are “promising”.”

With the current uncertainty around Europe and the different reactions by governments to the Coronavirus crisis, Phillip highlights the importance of profitability, compliance, efficiency, control and administration in the running of the business at this time. More than ever, transport companies are being challenged by market conditions which means that fleets must find any advantage they can in order to ensure that companies remain profitable and compliant in these times. “Digitalisation is a massive step forward in how we operate our fleet. From connected vehicles to the digital CMR, we are constantly looking at new ways to find efficiencies that help us meet our targets. Obviously, we are trying hard not to overwhelm our drivers with all this technology, but we recognize the importance of digital platforms and the advantage they bring.” P&C Hamilton has been using platforms such as route optimization, fleet tracking and freight exchange for several years. Many of their vehicles are already equipped with “connected” technology such as vehicle assistance provided by the vehicle manufacturer in case of breakdowns etc. Moreover, Phillip is confident that future transport operations will be run in this way where the whole supply chain exchanges digital documents and information in real time helping to guarantee the number of on-time deliveries.

Another digital platform that P&C Hamilton uses to manage his business is Vrio Copilot. For services such Tax Recovery, EU Minimum Salary (Ley Macron etc), Motorway Tolls or CMRs Phillip is happy to recommend our services which give his team 24/7 access to their online account allowing Phillip to concentrate on running the business.