Tell us a bit about your business? When were you founded, where are you based and how many people do you employ?
Tiger Trailers was founded in 2014 by brothers John and Steven Cartwright, with the vision of creating the most advanced commercial vehicle trailer and bodywork manufacturing facility in the UK based on their 60 years’ combined experience in the industry spanning from the production line to the boardroom. Tiger Trailers is based on a 20-acre site in Winsford, Cheshire, and employs around 250 people. We were the ﬁrst trailer manufacturer and commercial vehicle bodybuilder to join the Northern Powerhouse to help realise the full economic potential of the north. Providing opportunities for everyone in society is an integral part of Tiger Trailers’ ethos and each year The Alan Cartwright Apprenticeship Awards programme recognises our top-performing apprentices.
What does the business do?
Tiger Trailers is a leading UK manufacturer of trailers and commercial vehicle bodywork and our product range includes curtainsiders, fixed and moving double decks, refrigerated/temperature-controlled solutions, box vans, demountable trailers and bespoke, specialist commissions. We manufacture products for household names such as Hovis, Poundland and Wren Kitchens, for haulage and logistics firms of varying sizes including CM Downton (EV Cargo) and Lomas, and for a wide range of other customers across the UK, Republic of Ireland and internationally. We have developed a lightweight yet remarkably strong trailer solution in close partnership with Tata Steel, and our portfolio also includes the Tiger Trailers Deck Pod, an innovative loading bay solution.
To support our customers in the fullest way possible, we provide an around-the-clock service called Tiger 24/7 which encompasses parts sales, trailer servicing, breakdown and repairs, aided by our own team and vehicle fleet.
Tiger Rentals has quickly grown to comprise a significant part of our business, providing a wide range of trailers in different dimensions to customers around the UK, with tailored rentals starting from just one week and with a service agile enough to enable short notice asset-swapping if required. Our rental trailer operation is run primarily from our new site in the South West and the solution has proved invaluable to customers such as supermarkets in keeping shelves replenished during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Our Tiger Finance division supports customers by identifying and administrating bespoke and competitive financial solutions from finance leases and operating leases to hire purchase.
We are currently unique in that all stages of production are efficiently accommodated under one roof on our site, which also incorporates an indoor product showroom, 3D engineering suite and training facilities, plus electric vehicle charging points and other environmentally-focused systems.
How is business? What’s the outlook for the year ahead?
Though there have certainly been a number of challenges over the past 12 months, and notwithstanding the day-to-day battle with COVID-19, we still hold a positive outlook for the year ahead. We have introduced a string of measures that have allowed us to continue to manufacture and deliver our products to our customers; many of which are providing key support to the food, retail, and pharmaceutical industries at this time. We have a strong order book, and although the coronavirus crisis has certainly impacted upon business confidence and industry demand, we equally don’t envisage Brexit as a negative and remain confident that 2020 will build upon the growth we experienced as a business in 2019.
2020 has seen the recent launch of both Tiger Finance and Tiger Rentals, allowing Tiger Trailers to offer a broader range of options for its customers. Alongside launching our rental fleet, we have also partnered with Spanish trailer manufacturer Lecitrailer in developing a complete range of temperature-controlled trailers and bodies for the UK market.
What are the big issues or technological advances that fill you with positivity?
The coronavirus pandemic has unarguably highlighted what a vital role haulage and logistics firms play as key workers, keeping supply chains moving to ensure that household provisions, medical supplies and other items get to where they are needed – and the resultant, significant boost in public awareness bodes well for our customers and Tiger Trailers itself as a manufacturer. Linked to this, many fleets have relied on flexible hire solutions at this time, injecting positivity over how our Tiger Rentals business will continue to grow.
A related factor instilling us with confidence is the way in which manufacturing was one of the first sectors that Boris Johnson cited as key to restoring UK economic growth during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. This motivates us to continue striving hard in producing high quality products here in the UK for vital supply chain companies and others, underpinned by our apprentice scheme that will always be an integral part of our ethos and provides motivated individuals of all backgrounds in our local area with the chance to embark on a rewarding career in the heavy commercial automotive industry.
Tiger Trailers, Joint Managing Director, Steven Cartwright