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John and Tommy Williams win FTA Lifetime Achievement Awards

Posted 30th Oct

John Williams, Group Executive Chairman at Maritime Transport and his father, Tommy Williams, of TDW Distribution, have both been honoured with an FTA Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising their dedication and extensive contribution to the logistics industry.

Unfortunately, John was unable to attend the ceremony, but his pre-recorded acceptance speech was played as Tommy was being presented with the awards by FTA President, Leigh Pomlett, at the FTA’s Logistics Awards ceremony, which took place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on 24th October.

Around 450 industry peers gathered to attend the FTA’s third celebratory gala dinner, which once again hosted a full multimodal representation of award entries, from road, rail, sea, and air including operators, manufacturers, retail, logistics and supporting industries.

Commenting on his award, John Williams stated: ‘I am incredibly humbled to have received this award alongside my father, in recognition for our work within this industry. What Maritime has achieved in the last 18 years is beyond anything I ever imagined. We have overcome all challenges thrown at us, emerging as one of the largest privately owned transport companies in the UK today. So many people ask me what the secret to our success is, and every chairman, owner, or leader when asked the same question will always say the people; there is no doubt in my mind that we have assembled the best people, drivers and staff, and I honestly believe that our best days and greatest successes are yet to come.’

After learning his trade with Russel Davies, Securicor Logistics, and Hutchinson Ports, John acquired Maritime Transport in 2001; the company then had 137 vehicles, 5 depots, a revenue of £18million, and zero profit, with a level of personal debt that would prove daunting for most. Despite the numerous challenges the company has faced over the years including the global financial crisis, Maritime now has over 1,600 vehicles on the road, a nationwide network of 31 depots, and rapidly growing intermodal and distribution divisions with a turnover of over £300million.

Tommy started his career with a single lorry delivering coal in 1953. His business continued as a coal merchant until the miner’s strike of 1972, when he switched to general haulage. Growing from strength to strength, the hugely success TDW Distribution today is one of the largest carriers of palletised freight, distributing throughout the UK, whilst offering comprehensive warehouse and logistics facilities.

‘Both John and Tommy’s contributions to this sector and their operations over the years have been enormously impressive,’ said Leigh Pomlett, FTA President. ‘In an industry that often goes unrecognised, it is such a privilege to be celebrating their outstanding achievements, and the ongoing support they give to this sector. Simply put, these Lifetime Achievement Awards are nothing short of well-deserved.’