New rail service acts as shortcut to export success

Andrew Stokes, Head of International Sales at Walkers Shortbread explains why Scotland's biggest exporter of food was one of the first to sign up to Peel Ports’ new rail freight service, connecting Scotland with the Liverpool quayside – Walkers’ gateway to key export markets in North America.

In 1898, young Scot Joseph Walker set out with a simple mission – to create the world’s finest shortbread.

Ambition and passion proved a recipe for success for Joseph, and word quickly spread across the country of the Walkers bakery in the Highlands of Scotland – and importantly – its shortbread.

By 1936, Walkers had introduced three valuable additions to its setup: a range of cakes, a selection of confectionery and the company's first delivery van.

Now, over 80 years later, Walkers is much more than just shortbread. An internationally renowned brand, our familiar tartan tins have become a hallmark of quality, with its cakes, oatcakes, tarts and biscuits visible on shelves worldwide.  

We first began exporting to America in the 1970s, and enjoyed a lot of success by growing our brand across the states. We’ve been a customer of Peel Ports for the past four years, taking advantage of their network which allows us timely door-to-door delivery of products from Scotland to key markets in North America via the Port of Liverpool.

When we heard about Peel Port’s new rail freight service for containers connecting Scotland and the Liverpool quayside, we jumped at the chance to be one of its first customers.

We produce 40,000 tons of biscuits every year and Peel Port’s new rail freight service will allow us to scale up our export efforts during times of high demand, and safely transport our delicate products across the Atlantic.

The new rail service has also helped us transferring what would we might have previously transported by road, to rail. This shift sits within our export strategy, which is set on increasing our logistics efficiency and removing congestion and carbon from roads by reducing road haulage miles.  

The integrated route to market will also feed into ambitious growth plans that have seen our exports to North America and Canada grow year-on-year.

The new rail service is proving a value added service that is allowing us to achieve real business goals and importantly, it’s allowing us to evolve our founding mission from 1898 - to not only create the world’s finest shortbread, but to make sure the entire world can continue enjoying it, too.

For more information on our new container rail service click HERE.

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