Virginia International Logistics, the well-known transport company that operates in Ireland and abroad hauled home two major prizes at the 11th annual Fleet Transport Awards Gala Banquet at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on Thursday 28 September. It marked a successful two years for the second generation business established in the 1960’s by the Cole family. Having secured back-to-back Fleet Transport International Haulier of the Year awards for 2017 and 2018, the Cavan based company followed it up by taking the biggest prize on Thursday night by winning the tile of Fleet Transport Irish Haulier of the Year 2018, sponsored by Rosslare Europort.
The 1,000 attendees at the Gala Banquet gave Virginia a standing ovation on its achievement following the announcement by event compère Marty Whelan, who was ably supported by the Camembert Quartet, aka The Late Late Show band.
Marty began proceedings by listing the finalists for the various categories. Pamela Dennison (W.S. Dennison, Antrim & Limerick), was warmly received as the Women in Transport award winner, with Colm O’Regan (Musgrave Retail Partners, Cork) winning the Fleet/Transport Manager of the Year. Martin Convey representing ESB Fleet & Equipment (Dublin) was voted top Technician of the Year with Tommy Graham (Kildare) elected as Owner Driver of the Year, fittingly as he records 35 years in the sand and gravel business.
The other prize recipients included Zellwood (Dublin) chosen as the National Haulier of the Year 2018, while BWG Foods (Dublin) collected the Own-Account Transport Operator of the Year. Costello & McDermott (Mayo) were declared as Regional Transport Operator, with Autoglass (Dublin) running the Best Van Fleet. The Best Safety Practice award went to Musgrave Retail Partners. Keeling Retail’s (Dublin) eye-catching corporate identity was deemed to have the Best Livery on its vehicles, while McCulla Ireland (Antrim & Dublin) impressed the judging panel with its work and investment to win the Environment Award. The Innovation title went to Tranzaura (Limerick) with Ballinlough Refrigeration (Dublin & Roscommon) winning the Customer Service Excellence award, while DJ Downey (Cork) performed supremely in the Excellence in Warehousing & Product Handling category.
Long standing road Haulage campaigner Pat O’Donovan (Cork) received lengthy applause on being presented with the Services to the Transport Industry award.
Honours in the Truck, Trailer and Innovation awards went to Volvo Trucks – it won the prestigious Irish Truck of the Year for the FH.500 6×2 Globetrotter, and it also scooped the Best Fleet Tractor-unit. The Renault Range K 8×4 picked up the Irish Construction Truck of the Year 2018, while in the Irish Green Commercial of the Year awards, it was Scania and Iveco that were successful in winning the Natural Gas classes for their G-series CNG tractor-unit and Daily Natural Power van line-up respectively.
Rounding off the Innovation classes, Cork company RotaRail took the Truck Innovation title with its protective side guards, while BMI Trailers received the most marks to win the Trailer Innovation Award with its RockPusher Ejector trailer.
In complimenting Virginia International Logistics on receiving this prestigious accolade, Jarlath Sweeney, Group Editor, Fleet Transport, on behalf of the organisers of the event said: “Congratulations to Virginia International in scooping the main prize tonight. Well deserved as it runs a very efficient business. Virginia is also noted as being an early advocate of alternative fuels in its fleet. To date, it has a number of its tractor-units running on Natural Gas and sees great potential as a viable, cleaner fuel for transport.
Fleet Transport Irish Haulier of the Year 2018 (sponsored by Rosslare Europort) | Virginia International Logistics (Cavan)
Women in Transport Award (sponsored by FTA Ireland) | Pamela Dennison – W.S. Dennison (Antrim)
Fleet Transport Manager of the Year (sponsored by Iveco) | Colm O’Regan – Musgrave Retail Partners (Cork)
Technician of the Year (sponsored by Renault Trucks) | Martin Convey, ESB Fleet & Equipment (Dublin)
Owner Driver Haulier of the Year (sponsored by MAN Truck & Bus) | Thomas Graham Sand & Gravel Ltd (Kildare)
International Haulier of the Year (sponsored by Thermo King) | Virginia International Logistics (Cavan)
National Haulier of the Year (sponsored by Volvo Trucks) | Zellwood (Dublin)
Own Account Transport Operator of the Year (sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Commercials) | BWG Foods (Dublin)
Regional Transport Operator of the Year (sponsored by FUSO Trucks) | Costello & McDermott (Ballinrobe)
Best Safety Practice Award (sponsored by Health & Safety Authority) | Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland (Cork)
Best Van Fleet Award (sponsored by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles) | Autoglass (Dublin)
Customer Service Excellence Award (sponsored by FIAT Professional) | Ballinlough Refrigeration Ltd (Dublin)
Excellence in Warehousing & Product Handling (sponsored by Cold Move) | DJ Downey (Cork)
Best Livery Award (sponsored by Blue Tree Systems) | Keelings Retail Ireland (Dublin)
Environment Award (sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland) | McCulla Ireland Ltd (Antrim & Dublin)
Innovation Award (sponsored by easytrip) | Tranzaura (Limerick)
Services to the Transport Industry Award (sponsored by Close Brothers Commercial Finance) | Pat O’Donovan (Cork)
Truck, Trailer & Innovation Awards
Fleet Transport Irish Truck of the Year 2018 (sponsored by CC Lubricants/Emo) | Volvo FH.500 6×2 Globetrotter
Best Irish Fleet Tractor-unit 2018 (sponsored by CC Lubricants/Emo) | Volvo FH.500 6×2 Globetrotter
Fleet Transport Irish Construction Truck of the Year 2018 (sponsored by CC Lubricants/Emo) | Renault Range K 8×4
Truck Innovation Award 2018 (sponsored by Mike Murphy Insurance) | RotaRail (Cork)
Trailer Innovation Award 2018 (sponsored by Mike Murphy Insurance) | BMI Trailers’ RockPusher Ejector trailer
Irish Green Commercial Truck of the Year 2018 (sponsored by Gas Alliance Group) | Scania G-series CNG tractor-unit
Irish Green Light Commercial of the Year 2018 (sponsored by Gas Alliance Group) | Iveco Daily NP