A freight company in Chesterfield is transporting vital PPE equipment from the Netherlands to the UK and Ireland to support frontline NHS staff and shop workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Twice a week for the past two months, Hastings Freight in Barlborough, working alongside their European partners, have collected pallets of protective face masks 1,500 miles away in Geldrop in the Netherlands from the Sanders Group – the sister company ofMagnetic Solutions in Sheffield, which has been a customer of Hastings Freight for the past ten years.


Magnetic Solutions supplies a range of products such as magnetic tape, sheets, rolls and flooring to industries including retail and automotive sectors. At the start of the pandemic, the company switched production from their usual products to much-needed PPE equipment. Jon Denton, general manager comments: “At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, our managing director suggested we changed our production capabilities to help those on the frontline. We use visor material in the products we manufacture in-house so making the jump to protective face masks wasn’t a massive challenge for us. Initially we supplied some of the large retailers and it quickly became apparent that PPE was desperately needed by the NHS, care homes and local authorities. We’re now supplying organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.


“We’ve since developed a kit for workers who come into contact with numerous people throughout the day, such as drivers, which includes a face mask, visor, sanitising spray, cloths and anti-bacterial wipes. The kit can be easily storied in the cab so they can use it as and when they need to. We’ve now turned our efforts to developing a ‘back to work’ range, primarily for office staff which will include a sneeze screen to serve as a physical barrier between them and their customer and we expect to add to this range over the coming weeks.”


Gary Askwith, commercial director at Hastings Freight, added: “We currently provide Magnetic Solutions with a twice-weekly service however, we fully expect to make daily collections from the Netherlands within the not too distant future. The current circumstances place a greater level of importance on efficient collections and deliveries and we’re proud to play a small yet important part in the national effort to support our frontline workers.”


Hastings Freight was founded 35 years ago. Situated on the Barlborough Links Industrial Estate, close to M1 J30, it boasts a 45-strong fleet and employs 80 members of staff. Some 1,600 pallets pass through its warehouse every day, a delivery schedule that’s unsurpassed in South Yorkshire, and it ships international pallets to 24 European countries.