FD Warehousing

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by FD Warehousing's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from FD Warehousing is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Director and General Manager
Alison Kelly
FD operations team at our
head office in St Helens
Fred Davies Storage Ltd is a warehousing and distribution
company based in St Helens, conveniently located between
Manchester and Liverpool. It was founded in 1972 by
Fred Davies and three former employees of Fred Davies (St
Helens) Ltd, a well-known haulage company that had served
the fruit and vegetable markets in the UK for over 50 years.
It offers extensive warehouse space to a range of businesses,
distinguishing itself from its competitors through a careful focus
on standards and value. Director and General Manager Alison
Kelly manages a team of 12 staff and discusses the simple
reasons behind the company’s success.
Although Fred Davies Warehousing has been around for nearly 50 years, the
secrets to our success are fairly simple. We have invested consistently over the
years to ensure all our warehouses meet the current needs of the business and we
employ dedicated operatives with expert knowledge of the equipment they use on
a day-to-day basis. These staff are held to high standards and, as a result, we are
able to offer our customers the guarantee that their goods can be stored safely
and securely for a competitive rate. We are also close to the major air and seaports,
which provides an additional level of convenience for our clients, while we offer a
transport and logistics management service through a team of subcontractors.
As a member of the UK Warehousing Association, it is vital that we uphold the
standards that we set out when competing for new business. We have always
endeavoured to look after the individual needs of our clients and will adapt our
processes to suit their varying requirements, knowing that our team can respond
»Director and General
Manager: Alison Kelly
»Founded in 1972
»Based in St Helens
»Services: Warehousing and
distribution management
»No. of employees: 12
FD Warehousing
Highlighting best practice
effectively. We also have significant
capacity across three separate sites.
This extra capacity allows us to respond
to requests on short notice and as a
result we face emergency bookings
most days. The administration of the
business is therefore an important
aspect of our offering, and the skill
and professionalism of our employees
is what enables us to offer such a
flexible and adaptive service.
Local quality
While the fact that we provide a
seamless service for our customers
is the primary reason Fred Davies
Warehousing has been around for
nearly 50 years, our loyalty and local
focus is another important factor.
We have always worked with local
businesses and employed local people,
and thankfully they have often repaid
us with their loyalty in return. Some
of our clients have been with us for
45 years and some of our staff have
worked for us since leaving school. Our
longest-serving operative will celebrate
40 years’ service in July 2019. I joined
the board in 1998, becoming general
manager in 2013. When hiring staff,
we have always looked at the future
rather than thinking in the short-term.
Those we hire, therefore, not only
have to be a fit for the business and
the local area but also receive the
highest-quality training. This has been
an effective strategy and staff turnover
has been very low over the years.
Unlike many of our competitors,
we own all of our warehouse space
and have reinvested in it over the
years to ensure it is up to the highest
standards. Investment in plant and
machinery in particular has been key to
cutting costs, with the majority of our
deliveries now palletised. In years gone
by, unloading a loose loaded vehicle
would be highly labour intensive but as
the warehousing business modernised,
palletised deliveries speeded up and
streamlined the process, requiring
fewer staff.
Today, many of our clients are
multinational businesses, with many
based in the USA and Japan. Often,
our clients will store their goods with
us in the interim period between
the manufacturing and exporting
processes, which makes our convenient
location crucial. Our warehouses are
also spacious, and this results in a fast
turnaround of vehicles. Although we
don’t have a fleet of trucks ourselves,
we have a team of subcontractors that
we can rely on at short notice.
FD customer service
We have
always worked
with local
and employed
local people,
and thankfully
they have
often repaid
us with their
Underpinning all of these processes is
our quality policy, a document that all
staff are briefed on and understand.
It is part of our everyday operations
and ensures we conform to the
requirements of ISO 9001:2015.
Planning issues and economic
Over our 47 years, we have faced
a number of challenges that come
from a variety of sources. While this is
true of any business, we have always
been able to recover and find creative
solutions that allow us to continue
our progression. In terms of economic
challenges, rising business rates and
the knock-on effect of the recession
have affected us in recent years. In
the past, we faced reduced business
rates if our warehouses were not at
capacity, but this changed in 2005. As
a result, when the recession hit and
our warehouses were under capacity
on a more regular basis, we had the
effect compounded because of the
static business rates. This proved a
steep challenge for us and while we
were able to remain in business, we
feel this is a piece of legislation that
should be revisited.
On a more local scale, we have
been active campaigners against
the planning process for housing
developments in mixed-use areas. Our
warehouses are located on industrial
estates, but the council recently
approved a development of 52 houses
on a greenbelt area adjacent to our
main warehouse. We were concerned
about this leading to conflicts with
future residents regarding traffic issues
and noise levels, and we complained
to our local MP and council. However,
our concerns were discounted and the
development went ahead.
In a similar case, we lost a tenant
that had been renting one of our
warehouses for over 15 years because
they began receiving complaints from
residents who had moved into an
adjacent housing development and
then learnt that a further housing
development had been approved
immediately behind our warehouse.
This was an immediate loss of revenue
for us. While we fully understand that
there is a housing shortage which
needs to be addressed, the solution
cannot put businesses that pay tax and
employ local people at risk.
However, despite these challenges, we
remain very positive about the future
of our business. We have invested
significantly since the recession,
utilising the annual capital investment
allowances to invest in more plant,
machinery and technology and will
continue to do so. We were able to
quickly replace the lost revenue and
have seen a significant increase in
turnover, resulting in us recently taking
on three new employees.
Unlike many of
our competitors,
we own all of
our warehouse
A dedicated warehouse
solution for one of our


This article was sponsored by FD Warehousing. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster