A HIGHLAND haulier which is one of Scotland leading distribution firms is marking a year of record growth that saw it open eight new depots and create more than 100 jobs across the country.

M&H Carriers expanded its operation in the Highlands and Islands and moved into Argyll, providing major opportunities in a year that also saw business thrive at its depots in Dundee and Aberdeen.

Fraser MacLean, its managing director, said there was a lot of uncertainty at the beginning of the year, but said: “We’ve experienced a year of incredible growth thanks to the dedication of our team, and our customers who have stuck by us.

“In 2021 we doubled our staff – in turn, almost doubling our turnover.

“As well as recruiting new drivers and warehouse operatives, we’ve expanded our management team with a new general manager in our Inverness depot, a customer services manager, and a continuous improvement manager to ensure we’re always focusing on the future of the business.

“Throughout the pandemic, the haulage and distribution industry as a whole proved how vital it is to the running of the country.

“During lockdown, when online ordering increased to unprecedented levels, it became a vital frontline resource for the country. I’d like to personally thank all our drivers who worked tirelessly to ensure our customers’ deliveries reached their destinations during such an unpredictable time.”

One of its M&H Carriers’ biggest investments came with the opening of a new depot in Glasgow, serving Argyll with further satellite depots in Oban and Tarbert.

It also opened five satellite depots across the Highlands and Islands, allowing greater levels of service for those living in harder-to-reach areas.

Elsewhere in Scotland, the firm’s pallet deliveries, coordinated in Dundee, have increased significantly.

Levels of two-man deliveries of large and bulky items in Aberdeen have also increased – including for national brands like B&Q, who hailed the Aberdeen depot the best in the country in late 2021.

Depot staff chose to donate their prize to local children’s hospital charity, the Archie Foundation.

This growth has been supported by the signing of a number of long-term partnerships with major national carriers – allowing the firm to increase its fleet by more than 50 vehicles, including 10 electric vans used for last-mile deliveries in Inverness.

The introduction of e-vans to the fleet is part of M&H Carriers’ commitment to the future. MacLean joined a panel discussion at COP26 focusing on the steps SMEs can take to decrease their carbon footprint.

He added: “When we committed to becoming the first delivery firm in the Highlands to introduce electric vehicles to its fleet, many thought it was just a pipe dream.

“But operationally, it’s been a huge success and it’s been a real hit with our customers.

“We’re already looking at how we can introduce more EVs to our fleet across the country, and as their range improves we can see them becoming a much bigger part of our operations.”