The Isle of Wight’s largest independent freight carrier, Steve Porter Transport, has been shortlisted for one of the transport industry’s most prestigious awards.

Together with Southampton based Meachers Global Logistics, and Solent ferry operator, Red Funnel Ferries, Steve Porter Transport have been shortlisted for the Partnership Award in the Motor Transport Awards.

These annual awards celebrate achievement, leadership and success in the road transport industry, which constitutes a major part of the UK economy.

The three organisations have been recoginised for the formation of a Solent Alliance – an innovative and unique partnership facilitating smarter deliveries to the Isle of Wight.

The long-standing strategic partnership agreement was first established in 2012 to co-operate on the delivery of inbound and outbound freight from the Isle of Wight via Southampton.

Steve Porter Transport Managing Director, Malcolm Gibson, said: “The initial partnership was conceived to reduce duplication across our respective networks. The arrangement made it possible for Meachers to trunk our overnight groupage loads from the Isle of Wight to our Midlands Distribution Centres in Northampton and Coventry, for onward national distribution.

In turn, we as Red Funnel’s Preferred Freight Partner, have the ability to bring in consignments, via Meachers, destined for the island.”

The operation includes a bespoke cross-Solent drop-trailer service, which provides significant commercial advantages to supermarkets, retailers and organisations moving significant volumes of cross-Solent freight.

Gary Whittle, Commercial Director at Meachers said: “Such is the success of this unique Solent alliance that the partnership has evolved from its original purpose, with the launch of a Southampton based cross-Solent consolidation service – the Sustainable Distribution Centre.

“This innovative operation is the first of its kind in the UK and draws upon the strengths of each organisation to overcome the many unique challenges of delivering goods to the Isle of Wight. The service opens up a whole range of new benefits for customers, while providing huge efficiencies for each organisation.”

This unique three-way Solent alliance has improved the breadth of services available to freight customers serving the Isle of Wight via Southampton. Businesses and retailers are provided with a full range of drop-trailer, full load and consolidated services to and from the Island.

Lee Hudson, Revenue Director at Red Funnel said: “Our successful partnership enables Red Funnel to focus on its core ferry and leisure business rather than road haulage, which is best left to the experts like Steve Porter Transport. This innovative partnership represents a unique way of working and it’s pleasing to gain national recognition in this year’s Motor Transport Awards.”

The winners of the 2017 Motor Transport Awards will be announced at a special event in London on 5 July.