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Saturday, July 31, 2021

£1m investment boost for Maidens as it celebrates 90 years in business

A Telford haulage and distribution business led by the founder’s great-grandson is celebrating its 90th anniversary as its parent company plans a £1m investment boost.

Maidens provides general haulage services including contract distribution, pallet distribution through Palletforce, and warehousing
Maidens provides general haulage services including contract distribution, pallet distribution through Palletforce, and warehousing

Maidens of Telford, which was established by Arthur John Maiden in 1931, is primed for expansion, with three acres of land behind its headquarters earmarked for development to facilitate future growth.

The £10m-turnover Shropshire-based company, which has 90 staff and a fleet of 60 vehicles, has been part of Kinaxia Logistics since 2017. It was Kinaxia’s seventh acquisition and it has significantly strengthened the group’s presence in the Midlands and Wales.

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Maidens provides general haulage services including contract distribution, pallet distribution through Palletforce, and warehousing.

It is based at Donnington Wood, close to the M54 and Telford’s many industrial estates. The business moved there in 2010 following a £2m investment in a 3.5-acre site where it has its offices, warehousing, garage and vehicle parking areas.

Today it is headed by Arthur John Maiden, 37, better known as AJ, who joined the business in 2000 as a 16-year-old mechanic. He has worked his way to the top, following in the footsteps of three previous generations.

Arthur John Maiden, 37, better known as AJ
Arthur John Maiden, 37, better known as AJ

His great-grandfather, a tenant farmer, set up the business when he bought his first truck to work for British Sugar, which in 1927 had built a sugar beet plant in Allscott, a rural part of Telford.

When a meat and bone meal plant also opened in the village, the business grew and Arthur John relinquished his smallholding. The meat and bone plant later became a fertiliser warehouse and Maidens expanded further, winning storage and transport contracts with a range of producers such as Fisons and ICI.

The founder’s son Arthur Joseph took over the business in 1969 and when he retired in 1987 his son, also called Arthur John but known as John, took the helm.

By then Maidens had nine trucks and 12 trailers and was heavily reliant on seasonal agricultural products. John steered it into transporting food, drink and other everyday items to grow the business, with contracts for clients such as Premier Foods, Dairy Crest, Tate & Lyle, Pura Foods and Texas Homecare.

AJ took over in 2019 when his father stood down. He has three daughters and a one month-old son, who is called Arthur Joseph.

AJ said joining Kinaxia offered the best of both worlds for the business, as it could retain its family ethos while enjoying backing from a large corporate.

He added: “We’re extremely proud that Maidens has been in business for 90 years, and we’re thankful to our loyal customers and staff throughout the years who have helped us achieve this.

“We’re also very proud that the Maidens name remains on the side of our vehicles and that we have retained our family values, but we are very much a Kinaxia business now,” he added.

The land behind Maidens HQ is earmarked for development to create more vehicle parking space, a canopy and cross-docking area to facilitate further growth of the business, new driver restroom and canteen facilities and new offices.

Maidens is one of 13 freight and logistics businesses within the Kinaxia group.

Kinaxia, which has its headquarters in Macclesfield, Cheshire, offers contract packing, e-fulfilment, returns management and storage services from its nationwide warehouse facilities. It has seen significant and continued growth over recent years, with annual revenues now approaching £200m. The group employs more than 1,600 staff in total and has a fleet of more than 800 vehicles.

Kinaxia chief executive Simon Hobbs said: “Maidens continues to be a strong business within the Kinaxia group.

“AJ manages and operates the business as if it were still family-owned, with a light supporting touch from the central team and access to further investment should he require it. Our intention is to soon commence a further £1m investment to help AJ and his team to continue growing the Maidens business.

“It reflects well the Kinaxia Logistics business model of retaining all the values that a local, family-owned business can offer with the back-office support, integration and national infrastructure of a top 15 UK logistics company.”

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