Michael Conroy, a former chief executive of Palletforce, has been appointed as the new CEO of Kinaxia Logistics, succeeding Simon Hobbs who has left after four years to pursue new opportunities.

Simon said of his time at Kinaxia: “We achieved a great deal despite the challenges we faced, and have brought a great business closer together. Kinaxia is now recognised in the UK market as a fresh and capable logistics provider and is well-positioned for its next phase of growth.”

Michael has been recruited to spearhead the next phase of development for Kinaxia, a top 15 UK logistics business with annual turnover of more than £220m.

He led Palletforce through its most significant period of expansion, taking the express freight distribution network’s turnover from £20m to £200m during a 13-year tenure as CEO.

Michael oversaw a £100m strategic investment across the Palletforce business, including the creation of its SuperHub, pioneered award-winning technology and innovation, led the collaboration of over 100 top UK regional hauliers, and was integral in the creation of EV Cargo UK in 2018.

That was followed by a period as CEO of Networks for Culina Group, where he led its digital transformation and achieved significant value creation and financial improvement by focusing on cost reduction, enhanced productivity, and successfully capturing commercial opportunities.

Kinaxia Chairman Graham Norfolk said: “We are delighted to have Michael on board. He is a respected industry figure, with vast experience in senior positions in the UK logistics industry. The board looks forward to working with him as Kinaxia moves into its next stage of development.”

Michael’s remit at Kinaxia will be to lead the group through this next stage of development, with a focus on unlocking further growth potential through scale and technology while simplifying and harmonising company processes, inspiring an inclusive workforce, driving sustainable initiatives and continuing to deliver customer excellence.

He said: “I’m extremely motivated to take up this new position and, despite the expectation of challenging market conditions continuing in 2024, I believe Kinaxia is in a strong position to capitalise on opportunities that exist.

“The business has a unique customer proposition, offering the benefits of a fully-owned and controlled national logistics network, with services delivered directly to customers by our local experts.

“This enables us to develop deep relationships with our existing customers, focus on providing sector-leading service excellence, and win market share from our competitors.”

He added: “Current market dynamics, together with the fragmented nature of the industry, offer a significant opportunity to unlock growth potential.

“We will have an increased focus on leveraging data and technology to reduce waste and improve productivity and efficiency, while also creating value for our customers by developing digital and data-focused solutions that enhance service, provide a competitive advantage and deliver sustainable growth.

“One of our greatest strengths is the talent, expertise and skills which flow throughout Kinaxia. Great people make great businesses, and empowering our workforce by nurturing talent and developing skills will see our people invested in the ethos of ‘one Kinaxia’ and the quality values the brand stands for.”

Kinaxia, which has its headquarters in Macclesfield, Cheshire, employs more than 2,000 staff nationwide with a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles transporting goods for the retail, leisure, food and drink and manufacturing sectors.

The group has 2.7 million sq ft of warehouse facilities nationwide, offering contract packing, e-fulfilment, returns management, storage services and a complete distribution service.