A Century in transport

Opportunity and inspiration created the company in 1918. The horse and cart provided a better and a faster service for Kent farm produce to arrive fresh at Covent Garden and also provided an equally welcome return load service to local greengrocers.

By the outbreak of War in 1939 the business had become well established with regular customers which included the MOD where Swain became a valued contractor. The staff even became a Home Guard unit in its own right.

The growth years

R. Swain and Sons thrived on local economic expansion, building an exemplary reputation with both customers and employees, from the post war years right through to the 1970s.

In 1972 Bob Swain, today's Group Chairman, returned from eight years in South Africa to become the fourth generation to manage the company.

With 18 vehicles and a turnover of £100,000 the challenge was to grow or disappear. Pursuing a strategy of organic growth, with selective acquisitions the Swain Group now sets a 'gold standard' for the industry. At £35M Turnover in 2013 and a strategy to build to £100M by 2020 we are able to grow with our customers and accommodate growth business.

Acquisition history

1999 – Transit Medway Ltd:  a flourishing port on the River Medway handling 200,000 tons of Forestry product

2000 – HND Group at Strood and Manchester with six depots, specialised storage and Switzerland service

2001 – Ensor Vehicle Services at Woodville, Derbyshire, which gave us a presence at the bottom of the Pennines

2002 – H&G Haulage Ltd:  General transport company which combined with our Manchester - 40 vehicle operation

2009 – Charles Hewitt of Canterbury and H&M Plant based at Cliffe - diversification & formation Special Projects Division

2013 – LV Transport based at Gravesend a local rival in curtainsidetransport

2014 – Hallett Silbermann Ltd a heavy haulage company based in Hatfield. Hallett Silbermann Ltd. Special Projects

2015 – Gatwick Group: a specialist transport company operating airside and rail construction project support

2016 – Jeffrey’s Haulage – Woodville based Tautliner operator, warehousing and 16.5 acre site – Midlands Logistics base