London’s Ketra Logistics Shortlisted for Top Industry Award

Ketra Logistics, a top performing transport operator with locations in the South and East of London, and a long-service member of the Palletways UK network, has been shortlisted for a top industry award alongside nationwide peers.

The judging panel of the Motor Transport Awards, which are prestigious industry-leading awards in the logistics and transport sector, announced Ketra as a shortlisted company for Urban Operator of Year 2024.

As UK towns and cities get more crowded, delivering goods and services in urban environments is often complex. Clean air zones, safety of vulnerable road users and dealing with congestion and limited kerb space are just some of the challenges. The Award criteria looked at fleet operators specialising in urban operations who can demonstrate excellence in difficult environments.

Martyn Young, managing director of Ketra, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted in this year’s Motor Transport Awards, especially as we were up against so many excellent operators. As an independent family run company to be nominated alongside two giants of the industry, DPD and XPO, is a huge honour. Both have hundreds of locations, we have just two.”

Ketra operates from London depots in Barking and Thamesmead, across the River Thames, serving customers across the city. Having been affected by COVID lockdowns, driver shortages, Brexit and rising fuel costs, the company launched a series of projects to meet these challenges called ‘City,  Fleet and Drivers’ with tremendous improvements seen across the business. For instance in 2023 the driver project placed a huge focus on investment and training the team of drivers, with both retention and productivity increasing as a result.

Ketra has also contended with the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and the Direct Vision Standard (DVS). Martyn continues: “Rather than view this legislation as unnecessary or a burden we saw it as an opportunity to invest in a first-class fleet of new environmentally friendly vehicles. They meet these standards and are able navigate our narrow, congested roads for residential deliveries, which makes up a quarter of our business.

“We constantly review our sustainability activities and have introduced a free used pallet drop off service for our local customers. Space is at a premium in London and many receivers don’t want pallets left. Where we can’t reuse them, they’re recycled at a local centre, saving 300 tonnes of wood waste going to landfill every year.”

Warwick Trimble, network director for Palletways UK, added: “This award nomination is a fantastic accolade for Ketra and testament to its solid people culture, ongoing growth and business development. Customers receive excellent service; in fact Ketra recently received a Platinum Award from Palletways for operational excellence, high service and sales performance.