Scotland’s Finest To Global Supply Chain Connector

In recent years, Bullet Express has successfully transitioned from being amongst Scotland's most prominent logistics companies into a firm capable of connecting supply chains on a global scale. Founded in 1990 by David McCutcheon and Gary Smith, Bullet Express began life as a same-day delivery company with the simple mission of becoming Scotland's number one logistics partner. Over the years to follow, Bullet Express arguably achieved its original mission, becoming one of the most active and reputable logistics partners in Scotland; moreover, the company expanded its core capabilities into offering a range of logistics and storage solutions, including developing work through Pallex Group.

As of October, 2023, Bullet Express underwent an equity backed management buyout led by John McKail, former Managing Director and present-day Group CEO of Bullet Express.

Bullet Express feature in T&L issue 262. Click to read

Initially joining the company back in 2020 as Managing Director, John McKail entered Bullet Express at the request of David McCutcheon to ultimately take the business to the next level and assist the company in unlocking its potential. Under John's leadership, Bullet Express not only enjoyed significant commercial success in the years to follow, but also evolved from the position of being a prominent local logistics partner into a global supply chain connector with expansive logistical capabilities and infrastructure.

Importantly, this has included expansion of the core fleet up to a total of 134 trucks and trailers in addition to shifting much of the firm's business development activity into long-term, contractual, and strategic relationships. "The strategy was to use the Bullet establishment, fleet, and facilities, but change the brand and point the business towards being more of a global supply chain connector. Effectively what I did was create five autonomous key business units within the company: Express Pallets, Contract Services, Aviation, Worldwide Logistics and Storage," explained John McKail, Group CEO of Bullet Express. "The Bullet company now effectively connects supply chains by leveraging those resources.

It's not just connected externally, but there's also co-dependency internally as well." As might be immediately obvious, a key ambition for John has been to transform Bullet Express into a global business capable of offering bespoke, end-to-end services for long-term clientele. As such, in May 2023 he introduced a new Commercial Director, Martin Craghill, a prominent global supply chain professional with 33 years of experience in the sector.

Not only has Bullet Express transformed operationally into the five business units it has today, but via the establishment of a global supply chain and partnership network the company is now able to offer a comprehensive logistics solutions, able to connect customer supply chains and streamline the logistics process. Not only has this allowed Bullet Express to distinguish itself even further from local competitors, but the move has already opened up new doors for commercial growth far beyond the bounds of Scotland itself (truly, on a global scale). Offering further insight into these capabilities, John continued: "We have a procurement partner overseas and work under exclusivity with them.

They procure and support logistics requirements overseas on our behalf, and that makes a hell of a difference to us. It means we can compete for the right sectors and attack the markets that we want to attack with much more vigour. "So, we bring in containers across the high seas, which can then be collected by Bullet trucks, the Bullet customs team can get it cleared, we then take it to a Bullet centre, palletise and shrink-wrap the pallets, scan them, put them into storage, and then pick and ship them out for the final mile delivery on the Bullet fleet.

Effectively you have the full loop covered, which is the secret ingredient for us; our storage centres have actually become one of our largest clients for distribution because we have 34,000 pallets of storage capacity." As for further operational and infrastructural changes, Bullet Express has invested into its driver network, management structure, and technology to modernise the business and drive operational efficiencies. This has included the addition of a new Transport Management System (TMS), the introduction of a new Group Transport Manager, and increased efforts to both professionally develop and maintain a network of talented drivers.

Combined, these efforts have allowed for Bullet Express to enter 2024 on incredibly strong footing and with all the infrastructure in place to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the market.

Bullet Express For more info see press release. Pic Peter Devlin

Concerning the future, having recently secured a transit guarantee for beers, wines, and spirits, Bullet Express has revealed plans to become a licensed wet bond logistics partner as a means to strengthen existing partnerships, expand capabilities, and broaden the company's client base. While this is not expected to drastically change the core focus of the business, the move comes with the establishment of three new contracts that will no-doubt catalyse even further growth at Bullet Express.

Further to this form of sustainable growth, John also expressed the potential for acquisitions further down the road (particularly in support of the Contract Services, Storage and Worldwide segments of the business) as the firm aims to vertically integrate as much of the logistics service as is possible.

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