Representing Wales within the RHA

Dedicated to the interests of the road haulage industry, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), is the only trade association in the UK to specialise solely on delivering advice and counsel for road transport operators.

Responsible for campaigning, offering guidance, training and information the RHA is the go-to body for all things UK haulage.

As loyal members of the RHA for many years, we’ve recently gone one step further…

We’re thrilled to announce that our Managing Director, Ray Clegg is now firmly positioned on the Board of Directors, representing Wales.

With over 7,000 members across the UK, the RHA provides immediate access to everything a business will need to run a compliant operation that is bolstered by industry knowledge and local and national expertise. However, to date there has never been an elected board member to represent Wales as a nation.

Until now…

“Following a re-organisation of the various RHA regions the non-executive board now has a member for Wales. I was humbled to be elected to represent our fantastic industry in Wales and to ensure the voice of the transport industry in Wales is heard.

“The RHA is member led and having a dedicated elected member to ensure our small but mighty nation of fantastic RHA members is recognised and heard is a major step forward. I am thoroughly looking forward to serving on behalf of you all,” commented Ray on his recent appointment.

To find out more about the RHA, please visit www.rha.uk.net/.

2010s: The turn of the wheel

 

Although it doesn’t feel like it, a whole decade (and a bit!) has passed since we said goodbye to the noughties and its Nokia mobile phones, and hello to the twenty-tens…

As we enter our most recent decade, the 2010s began amid a global financial crisis following the recession of the late 00s. Still feeling the effects of the economic downturn that plagued the UK in 2008, this next decade was one that echoed the fight or flight rhetoric for Alan R Jones & Sons.

Demonstrating resilience and commitment, the 2010s forged the path for business success, recognition and has put the foundations in place to see the company excel into its next fifty years…

 

2011: Time to make a change…

Much like many businesses in the UK back then, previous owners Ian and Peter had hit cross-roads in their journey. Recovering from the recession, activity seemed to plateau and as a result, they enlisted the support of a business mentor through their links with Palletline who would help them to decide the future of the business.

Devising a strategy that focused on growth and development, the decision was made to appoint a senior management team to assist with the ambitions and business direction going forward.

In March 2011, Ray Clegg joined the ranks as Operations Manager, armed with the tools and resources to appoint further senior members who would help to create an environment that encouraged growth.

With Operations Supervisor, Gareth Hall, working alongside Ray to enable these ambitions to reach fruition and Finance Manager, Michele Goddard to provide unparalleled financial advice and support, the senior leadership team was created.

 

2016 – 2018: Changing hands

Adopting the philosophy of ‘steady manageable growth’, the team invested in three main aspects of the business to ensure it continued to provide the support its clients had grown accustomed to but also encourage its members of staff to thrive within their positions.

Focusing on increasing business capacity, promoting staff development and enhancing its service offering to provide an all-encompassing logistics solution, Alan R Jones & Sons continued to grow sustainably and effectively.

Having seen the success over the last few years, the previous owners were reassured that the business was in capable hands. In 2016, the question was posed to Ray as to whether a management buyout would be an avenue they’d be interested in considering.

Fast forward to 2018, the business changed hands. Ray, as Managing Director, Gareth as Operations Director and Michele as Financial Director have continued to strive for excellence with the business, whilst retaining at the core, the transparency and commitment that resides within the business’ family run history.

 

The present day…

Over the last decade, sustainable and steady growth were the backbone of the management strategy to work towards business success. With 30 members of staff back in 2011, the team has increased by over 50% and the fleet vehicles have grown in numbers from 20 to 34.

With the support and confidence of the previous owners and already a solid stake in the ground to maintain the business journey, Ray, Gareth and Michele have kept the company’s culture at the heart of their growth. Ensuring members of staff are valued, clients’ expectations are exceeded, and investments are made in the right places to maintain steady growth, Alan R Jones & Sons has truly stamped its mark on the roads of South Wales and beyond.

As consistent achievers of key performance indicators, award-winning members of the Palletline Network and named Wales’ Haulier of the Year in 2020, Alan R Jones & Sons is a premium provider of logistical solutions that have been developed and perfected over its 50 year legacy.

 

 

As we close off on what has been a momentous journey, the heritage of Alan R Jones & Sons has been one of traditional values, coupled with resilience and pride. From one second-hand vehicle that needed some serious TLC back in the 1970s, to the fleet that graces the M4 today, the business has overcome challenges, obstacles and, need we say a global pandemic, to come out with the determination to keep its traditions running true in all aspects of the business journey.

Thank you for following our journey and reliving our company’s proud history with us as we celebrate our 50th birthday.

Customer Communication: Service Suspension Updates

The haulage industry is currently facing a perfect storm. Due to the easing of lockdown across the UK and sector-wide driver shortages, the logistics industry, particularly the pallet network sector, is seeing record volumes.

As a result, we wanted to share the below customer communications to update you and provide further information on the situation.

Please view the links below:

 

APN – Open Letter May 2021

 

Palletline Service Restrictions – Customer Communication

 

As always, we thank you for your ongoing support.

Please get in touch with us if you need any further support.

2000s: Marking the turn of the century with growth and longevity

The start of the 21st century wasn’t all fun and games. The ‘Millennium Bug’ sparked anxiety and fear towards the end of the 1990s as many people thought complex computer programmes would be unable to interpret the 00 of 2000 and therefore glitch the world’s systems…

Albeit hard to believe, rather than glitching, systems have continued to grow, develop and exceed imagination… Since 2000, we have seen the rise of technology, political stories that will last a lifetime and the global population exceed 7 billion.

Looking back to the start of the noughties, growth and development has also epitomised our journey and this month, we’ve got a special guest who will be taking a trip down memory lane…

 

The Noughties

As we left the 20th century and into our first decade as fully fledged members of the Palletline network, our business continued to grow and strive.

Working in collaboration with the distribution company and its wider partners across the UK, our regular and recurring work commitments resulted in us outgrowing our home of thirty years.

Flying the nest to much larger premises in Queensway Meadows (which is where we still are today!), we were able to exemplify our service offering even further. With the space to efficiently offer warehousing, container destuffing and more, we continued to build on and expand our legacy, delivering beyond distribution and into streamlined logistics.

To tell us even more about this, Palletline Manager and long-standing member of staff, Gareth Tapp is going to talk us through his years with the company…

 

Over to you, Gareth…

When I joined the company back in 2006, the business was much smaller in comparison to what we have now. Although incredibly busy with our Palletline commitments and local haulage projects, we had approximately 12 drivers in total.

With experience in a selection of different jobs, a close friend put me forward to join the ARJ team as a Class 2 multi-drop driver. Retaining that family-run ethos and supporting individuals who are ready to learn the ropes, Ian and Peter Jones met with me and the rest is history…

I completed most multi-drop runs in the local area for a few years until I decided I wanted to develop myself professionally and learn even more about the business that I had grown to be a valued part of. Applying for a position of Planner, I hung up my keys and moved into the office.

I was supported to follow my aspirations and put my ideas into practice and as a result, continued to learn, develop and grow. From this experience, I was appointed as Palletline Manager and am now responsible for the day-to-day running of our Palletline deliveries and collections, which is our predominant business.

That said, as the business got busier, one thing stayed the same and that was the ethos and culture that surrounded us. From warehouse staff to on-the-road drivers, to office staff – we all felt, and still feel, like valued members of the team. With a close working relationship with our colleagues and driving towards the same goal, everyone is nurtured and encouraged to develop themselves within the business in any way they wish.

 

Thirty years into the legacy of Alan R Jones and the family-run core is still at the heart of the business.

Next month, we’re onto the 2010s… The decade that saw change inspired by challenge, leading us up to the present day.

Stay tuned!

The 1990s: Aligning with Palletline…

Leaving the bright lights and the shell suits of the 1980s behind us, the 1990s were monumental in forging our ongoing business growth, success and ambition.

The decade that saw the advancement of alternative media, the rise of the internet and the heartbreaking death of the Princess of Wales, was also one that formed a fundamental pillar in our business offering and competencies going forward…

 

The Early ‘90s… 

Following our investment in vehicles and the development of a warehouse towards the end of the 1980s, our small warehouse and workshop were in full swing, come the start of the last decade of the century.

As our enhancement and development of the business continued to grow, so did the haulage and distribution world around us…

In 1992, the same year that saw rising unemployment and financial hostility, the unique concept and distribution model of Palletline was born.

 

1994: Palletline and ARJ

The pallet distribution company first opened up on the road in the early nineties, with a rather interesting business model that encourages reliability, trust and transparency between its members. With carefully selected members as shareholders in the network, the Palletline concept combines expertise with a commitment to efficient service.

In the spring of 1994, we proudly met the relevant criteria needed to become members and have been lucky enough to enjoy this long-standing relationship for almost three decades.

This membership was the flagship event for further business development and enhancement over the years. Transforming us from ‘the haulier next door’, to a proud, renowned and professional distribution business.

 

Then and now…

Fused with a commitment to our family-run heritage, local base and fulfilling client expectations to the best of our ability, joining the Palletline Network aligned our business models and values with a likeminded community.

Each with an ethos to drive reliable and efficient services that are met with quality assurances and customer confidence, we’re proud to say that we are regular achievers of Palletline industry awards for our service offering.

As one of the first companies to join the Palletline network in the early nineties and growing alongside the distribution model to become what we both are today has been an incredible achievement and one that we’re proud of.

 

 

Closing off on a decade that shaped our business direction, Alan R Jones is truly cementing our position within the UK haulage, warehousing and distribution sector with the support of dedicated staff, loyal clients and a lasting Palletline partnership.

As we continue on our journey, the turn of the century marks a decade of change and growth.

Keep an eye out for next month’s blog taking us through the noughties!

1980s: The decade that cemented family-run heritage

The 1980s are still iconic to this very day, Generation X shaped the era of nostalgia, pop culture and political conservatism. Although, in amongst this decade of flamboyance, new music and neon colours – the UK saw a Royal Wedding, and conflict both overseas and on home soil.

That said, for ARJ as a business, although entering our second decade – the 80s brought about good times, but also some incredibly challenging times, ones which would have a lasting impact on the direction of travel of our beloved company.

 

1982: The Sons of ARJ

In 1982, Alan R Jones and Sons welcomed Alan’s second son to the ranks of the business. Joining in the spring of 1982, Ian who was 19 years of age, followed in his father and elder brother’s footsteps.

In the initial few years of his joining the team, Ian drove a 7.5 tonne Renault flatbed and continued to support the business to conduct the haulage jobs and required works for the companies they worked with, until he passed and secured his HGV licence in 1984.

The 1980s were a vital turning point in the heritage of ARJ, marking the first year all three Joneses worked together, this family-run heritage is still something that runs true and resonates in our business activity to this very day.

 

The Mid 80s…

Over the next few years, ARJ ran up to five vehicles, significantly growing its fleet from the used Bedford TK bought in 1971!

As a result of hard work and commitment, much like the 80s much-loved mixtape, the business continued to undertake a mixture of general haulage jobs and support the movement of abnormal loads for the bridge-building company.

That said, the 80s were a time of economic volatility and like many businesses across the country, this is when ARJ began to fall on hard times… As a result of bad debts and poor trading conditions, the business continued to wade through the challenging waters as best it could.

 

1987: The turning point of the decade

As the business began to turn a corner financially and the light was beginning to shine at the end of the tunnel, the business suffered a catastrophic loss. Alan R Jones passed away suddenly in April 1987.

After a period of reflection, the family came to the decision to honour Alan’s memory and keep the business going – the sons, along with the support of their mother, Alan’s beloved wife, Margaret, worked on further developing the business.

During this time, the business was run from a yard alongside the family home in the village of Nash. As the business began to regain traction and thrive, it grew its fleet to seven rigid vehicles that were built up and on a daily haulage service to London.

The success of the haulage service across the channel and to the Big Smoke also resulted in a development at the yard in Nash, and a small warehouse/workshop began construction. This was the beginning of what has ultimately become the award-winning warehousing and logistics service that you see today.

 

As the second, most difficult decade draws to a close the family-run aspect of Alan R Jones and Sons is at the core of the business’ activity then, now and into the future.

Driven by a commitment to make the business a success, the Joneses continued to build upon the foundations set by their father to create the legacy we see today.

Next month, we will be looking at ARJ in the 90s (no acid wash jeans, we promise!), and the development of a relationship with a distribution business that still stands strong almost 30 years later.

1970s: The launch of a lasting legacy

 

Despite the 70s being a decade of economic struggle, it was one that also epitomised influential change.

Seeing the rise of music that shaped a generation, technological innovations and political influences that demanded the modification of the status quo, the 1970s were incredibly powerful for all corners of society.

The 1970s are vitally important to us as a business because, in 1971, Alan R Jones took to the wheel and established the South Wales business that we know and love today.

 

1971: Spring is a time for fresh starts

While still working at Llanwern Steelworks, in the spring of 1971, Alan bought a used Bedford TK from a local food distribution business. The truck was in a state of disrepair and over the following months it was given the TLC it desperately needed to get it roadworthy.

Putting the wheels in motion in the summer, Alan officially left his job and started Alan R Jones and Sons as an owner-driver.

Conducting general haulage jobs for other hauliers in the region, using clearing houses/brokers and learning his trade, this continued until 1973…

 

1973: The State of Emergency

For much of the UK, 1973 was a year that has been declared as one of the most significant years of the 20th century. The power cuts, the oil crisis, the three-day working week, miners’ strike, the list goes on…

However, 1973 was a year of significant change for Alan R Jones and Sons for much more positive reasons.

Every cloud has a silver lining and in 1973, the business saw the arrival of a brand-new Leyland Super Comet 16 tonne rigid vehicle, and the relationship between Alan and a local bridge-building company began.

What was originally meant to be just a few days’ work, resulted in a long-standing business association with Alan doing daily haulage jobs. And, so began the business’ ethos of customer commitment, determination and passion for service.

 

1979: The Sons of Alan R Jones and Sons

In 1979, Alan R Jones and Sons saw Alan’s eldest son Peter join the business aged 21.

Driving a 3.5 tonne Ford Transit pick up doing urgent deliveries, Peter was in the process of completing his HGV fitter’s apprenticeship and was a newly qualified HGV licence holder – qualifications which were supported by the business.

This rhetoric is something that is still incredibly important to the business today, the commitment to support personal and professional development within the relevant field of expertise is celebrated at ARJ.

Back to 1979…

Seeing the arrival of a second brand new 16 tonne vehicle in the summer, Peter hung up his keys to the transit and took to the cab of the Daf 2100 as a fully qualified HGV driver. Peter continued to support the business by working alongside his father to continue conducting a range of general haulage jobs and ongoing work for the longstanding bridge-building client.

 

The first decade of business for Alan R Jones was one that helped to put the family run business on the map, particularly amongst the local businesses within South Wales.

With the family run aspect at the heart of the business’ incorporation, in its 50 year legacy that is something that is reflected within all business activity. Alan R Jones and Sons remains committed to its heritage, by keeping in close correspondence with clients to deliver above and beyond service that acts as an extension to business process.

Next month we will be looking into the business history of the 80s… Stay tuned!

 

 

Palletline continues to develop and provide a quality service supporting its members across the UK

As we approach the end of 2020, Palletline has recently launched its third edition of the Palletline Today newsletter.

Keeping members informed of Palletline’s success, as well as good news stories from the last few months, the distribution company is bringing positive news to close off a challenging year.

After winning Haulier of the Year at this year’s Wales Transport Awards, we feature on page 3 of the newsletter, documenting our commitment to our clients and our strong delivery of services over the last twelve months!

You can read the newsletter here: https://www.palletline.co.uk/contentfiles/Newsletter03/.

We are your winners!

 

You may have seen our blog recently that announced that we were named as finalists in this year’s Wales Transport Awards? If you didn’t, that doesn’t matter because… WE WON!

We have been named as Haulier of the Year 2020 in the Wales Transport Awards!

After what can only be considered as a truly influential year for the transport sector, we are thrilled to have been awarded this accolade for our delivery of outstanding standards of performance.

Rewarding excellence in Wales’ transportation sector, the awards celebrate the industry that serves as this country’s backbone. However, even more so this year, the transport sector was coined with essential worker status and we all had our part to play in keeping the supply chain moving and supporting our fellow key workers.

Remaining operational and maintaining communication with our clients during the nationwide lockdown was imperative to ensure we delivered the same level of support and service our customers have come to expect. This was recognised by the judges and we were commended for going truly above and beyond for our clients.

“I am both thrilled and very proud of the long serving team here at ARJ who, day in and day out, provide fantastic service and dedication to our loyal and valued customers. This award is a reflection of their skills and myself and my board of directors express our gratitude to everyone who has played their part in achieving such an amazing accolade,” commented Managing Director, Ray Clegg.

As we quickly approach our fiftieth year in business, this is an incredible start to the next half a century!

To find out more about our industry award wins, please click here. 

 

 

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly… ARJ’s Holiday Hours

After a rather difficult year, we’re all hoping for some normality come Christmas time. So, if you’re starting to deck the halls, or are planning on walking in a winter wonderland… make sure your collections and deliveries are on the road before the big day.

As we approach the most wonderful time of the year, here are our festive opening hours!

 

Wednesday 23rd December – Normal Working Day.

  1. Next Day Collected freight delivered Thursday 24th December
  2. Eco Collected Freight Delivered Tuesday 29th December

Thursday 24th December – Deliveries only no collections.

Friday 25th December Closed.

Saturday 26th December Closed.

Sunday 27th December Closed.

Monday 28th December Closed.

Tuesday 29th December – Normal working Day.

Wednesday 30th December – Normal working Day.

  1. Next day collected Freight delivered 31st December
  2. Eco Collected Freight delivered Monday 4th January

Thursday 31st December – Deliveries only no collections.

Friday 01st January – Closed.

Saturday 02nd January Closed.

Sunday 03rd January Closed.

Monday 04th January 2021 – Normal Operations and Service resume

(for Offshore Delivery and Collection please contact the depot for advice on shipping and delivery dates)

 

If you have any queries on the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Otherwise, on behalf of the entire team at Alan R Jones and Sons, thank you for your continued support over the last twelve months, and we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!