Brief encounter sees burgeoning relationship take off


19 September 2023

A fleeting meeting in an airport lounge between a Northern Ireland general haulage company and Europe’s leading pooler of sustainable wooden pallets has seen the partnership reach for the skies.

In just six years, Wishart Transport Ltd has seen the number of orders annually with IPP increase by a staggering 4,600 per cent.

The County Armagh-based company collects and distributes wooden pallets on behalf of IPP from a wide range of customers, including manufacturers and retailers.

However, the successful partnership between Wishart Transport and IPP almost never took off from the ground.

James Goode, head of logistics at IPP, was visiting Northern Ireland in 2017 with a colleague to primarily establish a streamlined regional collection operation.

The separate planned meeting with Wishart was delayed but not wanting to miss the opportunity, they met before James flew back to the UK.

Since then, incredible as the growth is, what’s equally amazing is that Wishart Transport can claim a 100 per cent record of no failed orders for IPP.

Wishart Transport itself is owned by husband and wife team Stanley and Maggie Wishart and was started in 2016.

Both Stanley and Maggie had plenty of contacts within transport and since having its first truck on the road the following year, the company has never looked back.

It currently has vehicles working throughout Ireland, the UK and northern Europe.

Stanley said: “IPP was one of our first customers and is now one of our biggest. It’s a very strong relationship and IPP are very good at recognising the service levels provided. They appreciate the efforts that go in to servicing their customers.”

In the last three years alone, Wishart Transport has increased the number of IPP pallets distributed by more than 100,000 annually.

James Goode said: “Wishart Transport has the feel of a family-run business, which echoes the family business ethos of IPP. If there ever is a problem, then they come to us with solutions, more often than not actioned without our need for input.

“They currently typically carry 40 loads a week for IPP, including about 10 loads every week from the UK, and the reliability is fantastic.

“Wishart Transport is the total package and it’s fantastic to see how our relationship has grown from a meeting that almost never happened.”