Wincanton was founded in 1925. Its business initially consisted of the maintenance of dairy plant and equipment and farm collection of milk in churns for the West Surrey Dairy company (later to become part of Unigate). In the 1950s, Wincanton diversified further into milk haulage, principally for the Milk Marketing Board, and later into other areas of tanker distribution, including the distribution of fuels. In the 1970s, Wincanton moved into temperature-controlled distribution for manufacturers, and continued to expand its range of logistics services in the 1980s. In 1993, Wincanton grew further through the acquisition of Glass Glover PLC, which considerably strengthened its presence in the retail logistics sector and in warehouse management generally.
Using its accumulated expertise in warehousing services, Wincanton built its first automated warehouse for a customer in 1994. Since then, Wincanton has built several further automated facilities for blue chip clients.
The company demerged from its then parent company Uniq (formerly Unigate) in May 2001.
In December 2002 Wincanton acquired P&O Trans European for £152.5m. The transaction represented a major step change for the Group and delivered on its strategy of becoming a leading European logistics operator as well as expanding its geographic reach and range of services.
Two years later in December 2004 Wincanton acquired midiData to become a leading player in the specialist field of logistics services for high tech customers.
Oct 2005: Wincanton acquires the principal French operations of Premium Logistics
June 2005: Wincanton move into purpose built European HQ in Chippenham Wiltshire, UK
Dec 2004: Wincanton acquires midiData (renamed Wincanton midiData January 2005)
Dec 2002: Wincanton acquires P&O Trans European
Jan 2002: Wincanton launches new corporate identity
May 2001: Wincanton plc, as an independent company, quoted on the London Stock Exchange. UNIQ formerly Unigate, demerges from Wincanton
1995: New logo and identity launched to reflect new activities and market sector focus
1993: Wincanton acquires Glass Glover Group, its largest acquisition to date
1992: WCD merges with Unigate Chilled Distribution, doubling the size of its operations
The 80s: WTL moves into new sectors with its total fleet management services
The 70s: WT&E splits into two separate companies: Wincanton Transport Ltd (WTL) and focuses on petro-chemicals and milk haulage. Wincanton Chilled Distribution (WCD) links manufacturers to St Ivel’s regional distribution centres
Early 50s: Cow & Gate merges with United Diaries to become Unigate Lyd. WT&E continues to operate as a separate company
1929: West Surry Central Diary Company Ltd changes its name to Cow & Gate
1927: WT&E moves into its parents company’s sites in Station Road, Wincanton
1925: Wincanton Transport & Engineering Ltd (WT&E) created.