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Member Stories: A.D.D. Express

Over 30 years on from their founding and having been a Pall-Ex member right from the start, A.D.D. Express are veterans in the road haulage industry, boasting an impressive 65 prime movers, 100 trailers and over 100 staff.

From their depot in Rochdale, A.D.D. cover postcodes across the North West and have recently become home to the Pall-Ex Northern Hub, helping to increase efficiency across the network.

Brexit, a global pandemic and huge increases in fuel prices have caused chaos in the industry in recent years, but A.D.D. have kept on trucking and come out the other side.

Where it all began…

The company’s current Managing Director, David Fairbrother, started A.D.D in March 1991 with a single van! Dave initially worked for another logistics company but became disillusioned with their ethics and service levels. This spurred him to create his own company, confident that he could deliver the standards his customers would expect. A.D.D initially began delivering pallets and parcels, via the Force 10 parcel network.

In 1996, Dave joined Pall-Ex and hasn’t looked back since.

A.D.D. at a glance

A.D.D’s depot for their Pall-Ex operation is 100,000 square feet and is designed to handle between 4,000 and 5,000 pallets per day. It sits on a seven-acre site, has a fuel station, vehicle maintenance facilities and bays, and a weigh bridge. Every inch of the site is protected by over 85 CCTV cameras and has a very effective electric fence.

They offer next day and economy pallet distribution, UK haulage, contracted distribution, as well as a full pick and pack operation at both storage sites in Halifax and Rochdale.

Company ethos

“Look after the people that look after us” and “no one works for anyone; we all work together” are the basis upon which A.D.D. has been built. There is a genuine family atmosphere at A.D.D. Many of their employees have been there for over ten years, and some in excess of 25 years.

Dave Fairbrother, A.D.D’s Managing Director, comments:

“We’ve created such an incredible atmosphere here that I feel like I have never ‘worked’ a day in my life. We all get on so well that it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

Staying a step ahead of the competition

A.D.D. put their success down to the hard work and dedication of their team.

Norman Burgess, Commercial Director, comments:

I’m constantly blown away by the commitment and work ethic of all our staff, from our apprentices to the Board of Directors. They all drive the business forward, each and every day."

“Their drive and determination never wanes, no matter how high the mountain before them, as a team they always conquer. I truly believe we have the best team in the business.”

A.D.D. also cite their success to the strong relationships they have built with their customers over the last 30 years. Many of their customers have been with A.D.D. since its inception. Their loyalty has enabled them to build close relationships with A.D.D, meaning they understand the complexities and challenges the industry faces on a daily basis.

Norman adds: “We have grown with our customers; we maintain fantastic relationships with the entire workforces. The vast majority of A.D.D. Express customers are now firm friends of us all.”

Joining Pall-Ex and becoming a shareholder

Pall-Ex has allowed A.D.D. to become a quality local company that competes on a national scale and has won numerous awards.

Dave adds: “Shareholding in the network, in my opinion, is paramount for the wellbeing of the membership. No matter how large or small, every member has a say in the direction of the network.”

The Northern Hub

In December 2020, A.D.D. Express became home to the Pall-Ex Northern Hub, allowing all members to input their freight into the network in the most productive, systematic, logical and well organised manner.

Dave comments: “To be awarded the Pall-Ex Northern hub via a tender process was an amazing opportunity for us. From the outset we wanted to be the most efficient hub in the network and use our A.D.D facility to its full potential.”

Weathering the storm

Brexit was a very trying time for A.D.D. and the entire industry. Due to all manner of considerations beyond the industry’s control, Brexit stopped the international operation overnight. A.D.D. were forced to withdraw all services to Ireland and Europe as they could not provide their customers with accurate costs or arrival times for their consignments.

Soon after, the pandemic threw all kinds of challenges at the entire industry; all of Pall-Ex’s members, A.D.D. included, had to adapt their strategy to the situation.

Norman comments: “As a business, it was good for us because we were able to demonstrate just how flexible and versatile we are as a company. The pandemic really highlighted the importance of the work that is done by the logistics industry, particularly that of our drivers, which is often under recognised.”

The pandemic presented an unusual opportunity for A.D.D, with national lockdowns seeing a massive rise in online shopping, creating the extra requirement for B2C deliveries. These deliveries grew by over 70% at A.D.D. Express and at an alarming rate throughout all pallet networks. Despite the volume rise and staff illness, A.D.D. turned this opportunity into a massive positive and were able to work with the Pall-Ex network to overcome the obstacles that this presented.

The return of international freight as the market and procedures become more predictable will present a further opportunity for A.D.D. to investigate.

Dave concludes: “We are grateful to everybody for their help and guidance and we will always attempt to improve and grow.”


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