Canute Haulage Ltd was established in 1977, with two vehicles collecting and delivering brick and block for local builders in the Purfleet area. By 1979, we had won our first significant building materials contract operating out of Linford. This enabled us to expand the Canute fleet to 20.
Within five years, Canute's turnover had grown to over two million, graduating from a regional to a national contractor. To support our development we acquired Frank Stokes Ltd in 1988. This provided us with an operating site in Nottingham beginning the formation of the Canute Group. In 1988 Canute moved into retail distribution by winning our first major dedicated contract operating out of Manton Wood. This led to the Group's turnover passing £10m over the next four years and provided the platform for Canute to diversify into new markets. To meet the demands of the growing haulage business, Canute purchased Brookfield Transport in 1995, securing a presence in the South West, operating out of Caerphilly.
The acquisition of Albert Road Recovery in 1995 enabled Canute to develop a national roadside recovery network of engineers and workshops. With a view to creating a fleet engineering division with hydraulic capability we added Truck Crane Services to the group in 1999. In 2000 Gamston was opened to form a Midlands hub within the growing national infrastructure.
The development of a national haulage network was achieved when we purchased Ree Distribution in 2001, providing sites in Kendal and Stratford. In conjunction with the growth of the haulage division, we developed our warehousing and deconsolidation capabilities for a number of national contracts. The purchase of Cole Transport in 2003 gave Canute a base in Carlisle to service the significant growth in North East and Scottish traffic expanding the pallet network services and taking the total group fleet to over 1,000 trailers.
Canute ventured into the Healthcare market in 2005 with the creation of Canute International Medical Services. This was made possible by the acquisition of Johnson & Fitzmaurice. This move placed Canute on the global stage and, over the next two years, saw us align with strategic pan-European partners to strengthen the global supply chain solution service. Today, we still follow the original principles established 30 years ago. We continue to expand existing market sectors and identify new opportunities for diversification. With our stated intent of raising professional standards in operational expertise and client management, The Canute Group continue to be one the fastest growing, global supply chain providers operating today.