A selection of significant milestones, achievements and events
Ferguson Transport was founded
Ferguson Transport was founded by the late Archie Ferguson with his wife Anne in Ardrishaig, Argyll.
Archie’s uncle, Andrew Grinlaw was the first haulage contractor in Ardrishaig and operated horse-drawn carts and coaches in the early days. Archie worked with his uncle after he completed National Service, before starting out on his own from a single truck, Archie’s pride and joy, the Commer Two-Stroke.
The business started to grow from its humble beginnings with the Ferguson road fleet expanding.
Farm feed, forestry and general haulage were the typical types of transport carried out in the early 1960s and in the late 1960s, Ferguson Transport played a major part in clearing up the large wind blow in Argyll.
The road fleet gradually grew throughout the years and is now upward of 70+ trucks with a mostly Volvo fleet, but also including Scania and MAN trucks.
One of the meticulously maintained trucks is still kept in operating condition today almost 30 years after it joined the fleet and is regularly showcased at Truckfest events.
Move to Lochaber
Ferguson Transport moved to Lochaber when the forestry work dried up in Argyll, to load and unload ships at the Corpach Basin for Wiggins Teape Pulp and Paper Mill.
Work at the time also included the transport of raw materials such as round wood and paper pulp and the deliveries of finished products, as far afield as Ireland via Campbelltown.
"Timber Jack" - Modified cranes
Ferguson’s cranes in action unloading a cargo of round wood
In the early days, Archie Ferguson and his son Jack were heavily involved in building and modifying vehicles and trailers to meet the needs of the company. In the early 90s, Archie and Jack designed and built a mobile crane together suitable for loading and unloading ships and lorries with round wood.
The crane, which had a longer reach than “off-the-shelf cranes” affectionately became known as “Timber Jack” and was the starting point for a range of cranes modified by Jack Ferguson.
Passing of our founder
A heart breaking time in the history of Ferguson Transport as one of the original founders, Archie Ferguson, was tragically killed whilst assisting with the recovery of a loaded vehicle stuck on a forest road.
Ferguson Shipping was born and shipping operations began, firstly carrying out sea trials, and then we chartered a ship to operate on the West Coast of Scotland.
Because Lorries would often have to travel down narrow, single-track, unsuitable roads to reach fish farms Director, Alasdair Ferguson saw an opportunity to revolutionise the way fish feed deliveries were carried out at the time.
By working with our clients Ferguson Transport came up with logistic shipping solutions to provide a more efficient delivery service that provided the best results for them.
Kishorn Port scouted
Whilst looking for a suitable port facility to run the company’s Shipping operations out of, Group Managing Director, Alasdair Ferguson remembered a visit he had made to Kishorn Port with his father years before. Alasdair went to visit the Port and found it the perfect place to base Ferguson Shipping and serve the needs of the industry.
Construction begins on the Kishorn Warehouse in 2005
Ferguson Transport & Shipping moved on site in early 2000. We have since made significant investments to integrate freight services and cut down road miles, particularly in rural areas where the road infrastructure is very fragile and lacks sufficient investment or available funds for major improvements.
Winners of the Business of the Year Award, by Fort William and District Chamber of Commerce.
Purchased first vessel
In 2004 we purchased our first vessel, the Harvest Anne.
A Ferguson Transport family tradition that started with the earlier vessels’ double-barrelled names incorporating the name of one of the founding members Anne Ferguson, as operations grew the new vessels that joined the fleet were named after Anne’s daughter and grandchildren.
The company currently carries out approximately 90% of fish feed deliveries by sea, via port and warehousing facilities at Kishorn Port and Mallaig Port and has 6 vessels currently in the fleet today.
Anne Ferguson retires
Founder Member, Anne Ferguson opening new Head Office in Corpach in 2009
Anne Ferguson retired from the business at the end of 2004 after 45 years of dedicated service.
The company is now run by 4 of Anne and Archie’s children: Group Managing Director, Alasdair Ferguson, and Group Directors, Leslie Innes, Carol MacKinnon and Jack Ferguson.
HRH Princess Anne & Managing Director, Alasdair Ferguson
Winners of the Scottish Haulier of the Year, which was presented by HRH Princess Anne.
KPL is formed
Kishorn Port Ltd (KPL) was formed with the partnership of Ferguson Transport (Spean Bridge) Ltd and Leiths (Scotland) Ltd in a 50:50 joint venture.
KPL was formed with the objective of re-establishing the Dry Dock and port facilities at the site. Kishorn is the ideal site for the laydown and assembly of oil & gas and decommissioning projects, renewable energy devices, operations in the manufacturing of offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors, and the aquaculture and timber industries.
Winners of the 2008 Crown Estate, Marine Business Award for our work at Kishorn Port.
New Head Office is built
Founder Member Anne Ferguson and son Managing Director, Alasdair Ferguson.
Custom built in 2009, the Corpach base is central to many of our main customers and encompasses our Head Office, Maintenance Facility and extensive warehousing depots.
In 2012 Ferguson Transport & Shipping offered a new logistic solution in integrated rail transport to take freight off the roads helping to increase road safety, decrease congestion and reduce CO2 emissions.
Numerous trials were carried out in 2011/12, with products including sawn timber, aluminium and fish feed trialled for onwards delivery by rail.
Our long-term goal is to develop an intermodal hub at Corpach, reducing road freight by millions of miles per annum off the notoriously bad A82 road via modal shift.
Harvest Caroline II Purchased
Further to the signing of a contract with Marine Harvest to undertake the logistics movements for Marine Harvest Scotland fish farms, Ferguson Transport & Shipping announced the acquisition of a large self-discharge bulk vessel for operations on the West Coast of Scotland.
The Harvest Caroline II was purchased in April 2013 from the Faroe Islands, and represented a large step forward for Ferguson Shipping. The vessel is a sister ship to the Harvest Caroline, which was owned and operated by Ferguson Shipping between 2006 and 2009.
Winners of the ‘Great Local Employer Reward’ at the Lochaber Ideas Week.
Purchase of Skye Transport
Ferguson Transport & Shipping purchased Skye Transport (Crossal) Ltd on 1st March 2015. We continue to provide the same high standard and service that the Skye Transport team have delivered over the years.
Ferguson Transport & Shipping Wins ‘Lochaber Business of the Year’ Award L-R: Group Managing Director, Alasdair Ferguson, Founder Member of Ferguson Transport & Shipping, Anne Ferguson, Group Company Secretary / Financial Director, Carol MacKinnon, Group Director, Leslie Innes and Group Operations Director, Jack Ferguson.
Winners of the 2015 Scottish Transport News Reward for ‘Scotland’s Environmental Haulier of the Year’.
Winners of the ‘Business of the Year’ at the annual Lochaber Ideas Week Dinner and Awards.
Winners of the 2015 ‘Lochaber Business of the Year‘ award at the Highland Business Awards
Winners of the ‘The Crown Estate Award for Excellence in a Marine Business’.
Acquisition of Barclay Bros
(L:R) Alasdair Ferguson, Don Barclay, Colin MacKinnon and Aly Barclay
Ferguson Transport & Shipping Expands its Logistics Hub Network in Road Haulage Firm Acquisition. Barclay Bros Limited was purchased for an undisclosed sum by Ferguson Transport (Spean Bridge) Ltd and merged with the Ferguson Transport group of companies trading as Ferguson Transport & Shipping.
Group Managing Director, Alasdair Ferguson collected ‘The Highlands and Islands Enterprise Regional Director of the Year‘ at the Institute of Directors Scotland Director of the Year Awards.
Winners of ‘The Crown Estate Award for Excellence in a Marine Business’ at the SCDI Highlands and Islands Annual Dinner & Business Excellence Awards.
Winners of the ‘Scottish Fleet of the Year’ award at the Transport News Rewards
Winners of the ‘Highland Business of the Year’ at the Highland Business Awards
Alasdair Ferguson received ‘Business Leader of the Year’ at the Highland Business Awards
Winners of the ‘Highly Commended for Developing the Young Workforce’, West Highland at the Highland Business Awards.