Stuart Hancock, a leading light in the cold chain industry, has sold his stake in temperature controlled storage specialist the Magnavale Group to free himself to pursue new ventures.
The industry pioneer and entrepreneur is investing in several ventures with a view to taking advantage of changes in the industry that offer quick wins to business by increasing efficiencies and ultimately reduce the cost of food.
He believes that US led investment into the UK’s supply chain will drive increased automation and has invested in a robotics business. He has also made several investments in food production businesses with a view to use his expertise to optimise their supply chains and remove final mile delivery costs from food at the foot of the chain.
Stuart, who has over 30 years’ experience in the industry, also continues to offer consultancy in areas including optimising, consolidating and streamlining supply chain and offering insights into the industry.
“Ever tighter margins, post-Brexit labour supply issues and the rapid advancements of technology mean that the time is right to focus on the potentials efficiencies offered by reducing the links in the supply chain, reducing final mile delivery costs and utilising robotic automated systems to replace labour intensive processes,” said Mr Hancock.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been a stress-test for the everyone in the food supply chain and it has revealed a number of opportunities where I can use my knowledge and expertise to provide innovative solutions to enable businesses to be more cost efficient and competitive in these uncertain times.”
Having started in the transport office of haulage company Phil HanLey at 16, Stuart rose to become the company’s managing director by 2004, before selling the business to Innovate Logistics. After several years working as a consultant to the industry, he formed cold store rental specialist Via Coldstores in 2010 which was followed by the launch of Magnavale in 2013. By 2019 the group had grown from 22,000 pallets to 200,000 and offered microwave up tempering and other added value services.
He added: “I remain deeply committed to the cold storage and food production industry and, I’m keen to work with the many friends and business contacts I have made in the sector on any projects they feel I can contribute to.”