There is no doubt that Manchester has something very special. Science, technology and industry join forces here unlike any other city. Charles Rolls got to know Henry Royce in Manchester in 1904 to be more precise, in the city’s Midland Hotel. This marked the beginning of the Rolls-Royce brand; its cars were manufactured in a small factory on the edge of the city in the early days. The atom was first split in Manchester in 1919 and the first programmable computer in the world was developed here in 1948.
The pathway to success has not always been smooth. After the rapid industrial boom of the 19th century, which turned Manchester into a centre for cotton processing and gave it the nickname “Cottonopolis”, a period of economic decline followed. The city managed to overcome this thanks to the spirit of its people. The city’s symbol is a worker bee. Featured in the city’s coat of arms, the worker bee refers back to the industrial revolution and celebrates Mancunians’ industriousness, hard work and solidarity.
The city demonstrated this best in 1996 after an attack by the IRA, which destroyed large parts of the city centre. Manchester then experienced an unprecedented period of urban redevelopment and received a prize from the European Union for the best structural transformation in a European city in 2003. “Manchester has coped with many challenges in the past and has always grown as a result. The city is constantly changing and each development makes it more impressive,” says Rob Mulligan, General Manager of Rhenus Logistics in Manchester, emphasising this point.
However, Manchester is far more than just a grey workers’ city. Three rivers and countless canals pass through the city that is surrounded by the Pennine hills. Two of the country’s most important motorways meet in Manchester. Train journeys to London take just two hours. The airport located to the south of the city is the busiest and largest outside the capital. “We can reach most of the major towns and cities in the north-west in less than one hour because of our strategically favourable location,” Mulligan reports.
The logistics hub, which the company moved into during the autumn of 2017, is also the UK headquarters of Rhenus Logistics and is located in the city’s new Port Salford development on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. Sea-going vessels once discharged their cargo at the docks in Manchester until their closure in the late 1970s. The area has since undergone huge regeneration and now provides an inviting mix of new buildings, shopping malls, galleries and museums – as well as the arts centre known as “The Lowry”, which takes its inspiration from the City's nautical past.
Salford is also home to the MediaCityUK; this is the home base for huge television shows that are broadcast by the BBC and ITV. The soap opera “Coronation Street” is produced here and the BBC’s Breakfast and sports programmes too. Another of Rhenus’ business sites is located a little further to the south, on the other bank of the canal to be precise, on the world’s first industrial estate known as Trafford Park. This is where the high-tech specialist Rhenus Lupprians has its headquarters; it completes projects that involve the installation and commissioning of medical equipment, automatic ticket machines and admission control systems.
Rob Mulligan has now been working for Rhenus for almost three decades and has witnessed the development of the logistics specialist at first hand. “We launched the first groupage freight services from northern England more than 70 years ago. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Rhenus continue its growth in the UK. It's impossible to imagine the north west without Rhenus nowadays!”
The new Rhenus hub in Manchester has been based at Port Salford since October 2017. The multimodal logistics centre has 3,7 930 square metres. The high-tech logistics specialist Lupprians has its branch on the industrial estate of Trafford Park.