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Feature: Howard Tenens Make Contract Logistics Solutions Look Easy

Howard Tenens take proactive approach to logistics to save customers money and drive their business forward.

Howard Tenens is one of the UK's largest privately owned logistics companies, specialising in bespoke supply chain solutions for an impressive portfolio of household brands across multiple sectors including Renewable Energy.

Established in 1953, Edward Morris sold his business, Create More Work (CMW) to Howard Tenens, a ship-brokers in London set up by three old Etonians led by Howard Foster.  CMW specialised in packing and timber case manufacturing. On joining the company in 1953, Edward Morris was given a shareholding and over the next 30 years built the company up into the formidable business it is today.  The company was called Howard Tenens Services Ltd and was mainly involved in providing services to the British Motor Industry.  Peter Morris (current Chairman and CEO) joined the company in 1963, becoming Managing Director in 1979 after his father retired.  Heading a management buyout in 1983, the company has since expanded greatly and acquired many additional sites across the UK.

The company has since diversified into retail, food and drink, and solar logistics. The company now operates out of 19 locations and over 3.5 million sq ft of premium warehousing across the UK and owned vehicle fleet, the majority of which is freehold owned by Tenens. Since 2013 Howard Tenens has helped deliver over 175 solar projects, equating to 4,000 solar vehicle movements, 60,000 pallets and over 1,500,000 solar modules.


Howard Tenens can offer the complete logistics solution from container clearance services, to on port container collections, direct deliveries, warehousing, solar farm deliveries, inter-site movements, professional site surveys to ascertain whether access is suitable for HGV's, as well as an International transport network.

One of Howard Tenens largest solar customers is Lightsource Renewable Energy. As Europe's leading solar energy company, they have secured an unrivalled reputation for the design, installation and management of solar PV projects. Such significant and fast growth has in no small part been down to the culture within the organisation where flexibility, adaptability, creativity and expertise are key drivers, and the term "˜fleet of foot' has been coined to describe the dynamic approach responsible for their success.

Originally, Lightsource had looked to multiple suppliers to fulfil their warehousing requirements. But as the business grew, so did the need for an integrated logistics function and support strategy. Having supported Lightsource with multiple short-term warehousing requirements in 2013, Howard Tenens continued to develop the relationship with Lightsource, becoming increasingly involved in their operations, until in 2015 they were successfully awarded the warehousing operations contract.

Lightsource's Managing Director Kareen Boutonnat comments: "In the beginning, our operations were handled differently. It's fair to say that logistics wasn't a core focus and we didn't feel we needed a logistics partner. So we called upon different warehousing providers depending on the locations we needed at the time. As our rate of growth and the size of our business began to increase, we realised that this model would no longer support us. So we formalised the logistics and operations function within Lightsource and went out to tender for our warehousing operation. As well as meeting all of our tender criteria, Howard Tenens were able to demonstrate a clear commitment and ability to work alongside us and cope with the very individual demands that our account requires. The centralised reporting and partnership approach we have with them has brought benefits across the business. Because of the industry we are in a lot of things happen that are out of our control "“ so finding the right partner to work with us is key "“ we like to use the term fleet of foot and we need suppliers to work with us and match that. We have found in the past that many suppliers simply can't work at the pace that we need. Furthermore, It's great to find a partner who can truly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and this leads to a very valuable synergy between us"


Sustainability is an important part of the Howard Tenens ethos and development programme. In 2008 Peter Morris recognised the logistics industry needed to act to in order to try and reduce both their own and their customer's carbon footprint, and since then the company has been a pioneer of dual fuel technology and gas refuelling stations. Howard Tenens has also invested to ensure the majority of their site utilities are powered by their own PV installations on their warehouse roofs.

Howard Tenens has also featured within "Tomorrow's Supply Chain, Today" a programme which features key industry interviews and news style reports along with sponsored editorial profiles as part of the commercial project produced by ITN Productions and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

Howard Tenens feature twice within the programme introduced by national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, highlighting their expertise in both Two Man and solar logistics.

The first 4-minute feature focuses on the company's Two Man Logistics offering for Costa Express. The Howard Tenens West London facility offers a bespoke Two Man delivery system as well as machine install training as well. The second feature within the programme details the solar logistics operations. Solar projects have certain logistical nuances as Howard Tenens Lead Driver Pete Ford explains: "Access to many Solar sites can be very challenging, often the entrances to the sites are very narrow farm tracks which aren't designed to cater for Heavy Goods Vehicles and therefore the turning circles, meeting points and unloading areas all need to be considered and assessed as to whether they can cater for a 44T vehicle."

As the Solar market continues to diversify, Howard Tenens is adapting with it, including solar investments across their own commercial properties. Jamie Hartles, Howard Tenens Logistics Director notes: "The sector is getting more and more competitive; our customers expect and deserve a lot more. By taking a proactive approach to logistics we can save our customers money, enhance their service and develop ideas that help them to drive their business forward."

The Solar Logistics segment can be viewed at:

The future looks bright for Howard Tenens with recent developments and acquisitions at Sharpness, Swindon and Manchester, and further development plans within the Midlands. The development of a 169,000 sq ft facility "Bristol Gateway" is the largest speculatively developed warehouse within the Southwest. The Group have also just purchased two new sites. One in Heywood, Manchester which includes 175,000 square feet of warehouse space and significant yard and outside area, and one in Swindon which adds to their existing Swindon warehouse offering which is a 215,000 sq ft unit on the Groundwell Industrial Estate, increasing Howard Tenens' total warehouse footprint to over 3,500,000 square feet in the UK


The unit has been bought by the Group as a result of the growing demand for logistics warehouse space from their customer base. Hartles comments: "Manchester represents an important purchase from a strategic standpoint. As a national logistics business Manchester further supports our continued growth. The added advantage of owning the sites means we can provide our customers with enhanced service options. This is part of a significant investment package to create capacity in the business, enabling us to grow," Hartles continues: "This includes a warehouse build at our Sharpness site of 169,000 square feet, new market leading warehouse and transport management software, and investment in people development."

Further information can be accessed on our web site: or on 08702 415640.

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