Our History

1902

1950

1989

1996

1998

2002

2004

2015

2016

The image of the horse (1902) is Alfred Grant who buying horses and carts established what was eventually to become Grants Transport, carting coal and coke was one of their main occupations. In 1919 the first lorry was purchased and gradually replaced the horses.

1902 (Founding of Grants Transport)

Freightroute boast a proud history and heritage and the family origins in transport can be traced back many generations. Privately-owned and operated by the Grant Family, their lineage traces back to Grants of Irthlingborough who were a well-established parcel carrier and began to flourish following the deregulation of the transport industry after the Second World War. They later became a major player in the formation of United Carriers in the 1960s.

1950

Grants supplied transport services to many local businesses and this is the first vehicle in the livery of Weetabix. At the time Weetabix was a local company based in Burton Latimer and Grants supported their distribution network.

1989

Peter Grant’s own parcel business, Ailey Express, enjoyed success through the 1970s and 80s and grew to a turnover of six million pounds with five depots nationwide.

Peter sold Ailey Express in 1989 and launched his new venture – Freightroute Ltd. The seven acre site in Irthlingborough, Northants was retained as the company focused on fast and fair pallet distribution, serving the UK on a two/three day basis as standard and next day where possible.

As parcel carriers concentrated their attention on single cartons delivered in small vans, pallet consignments became a problem. With the need for operations capable of handling palletised goods quickly and efficiently a new market had emerged and Freightroute were well placed to capitalise.

1996

By 1995, with volumes growing, it was becoming more difficult to cover the whole country from one site and therefore a strategy for developing a UK network was implemented. New depots in Bradford, West Yorkshire and Falkirk, Scotland were opened in 1996 as Freightroute gained new customers and next day delivery became more popular.

Identifying the need for vehicles with tail lifts and curtain sides, together with telephones in cabs, customers soon realized the advantages of splitting their distribution requirements between their traditional parcel carrier and Freightroute.

“A successful operation was established in a very short time, creating an excellent service reputation.”

1998

Freightroute’s daily volume continued to grow rapidly. To maintain the excellent service level already experienced by the company’s customer base, a decision was made to begin operations in Gloucester. Business continued to flourish and further expansion followed shortly after with the addition of a new depot in Newport, Shropshire. With a total of five depots and a loyal customer base Freightroute were well-equipped to handle next day deliveries for the majority of the UK.

2002

Volumes had increased to in excess of 1000 pallets per day meaning that service had to be backed up with strategy. Partnerships with other regional pallet carriers were formed enabling Freightroute to offer a service-driven operation to all areas of the UK. A depot in Thetford followed in 2002 which allowed the company’s largest depot in Irthlingborough to focus more on the Midlands and London areas.

2004

To ease the pressure with Bradford’s growing daily deliveries, a depot in Wigan followed in 2004 and Freightroute’s most recent depot in Durham opened its gates in 2007. The Freightroute name was now synonymous with reliability so investment continued into our fleet to bring it to 165 vehicles and 110 trailers, this enabled us to cope with a growing demand and ensure our service was never compromised.

2015

On 31st December Freightroute acquired the assets of H Young Transport Eastleigh depot thus becoming the 10th depot in the Freightroute family. Eastleigh depot covers the Central Southern area for Freightroute with significant activity in the SO postcode.

2016

Despite its rapid growth over the last 15 years – with volumes tripling to 3,000+ pallets daily – Freightroute retains its family roots and traditions with three generations involved in the business to this day. Fulfilling the customer’s requirements and expectations has always been paramount; we know that only satisfied customers will ensure the business continues to develop for many generations to come.

We have a long history of which we are proud and the ethos at Freightroute is built around applying the parcel culture to pallet delivery. Recent investment in our IT infrastructure has enabled us to keep up with the ever increasing service demands of the market place.