Here at Gordon Leslie Group, we are immensely proud of our heritage. Despite our global reach, at heart, we are essentially a solid family company that still holds dear the same key values some 40 years down the line.
‘Good quality, honest service, going beyond our customers’ expectations and providing staff and suppliers with a stable and long-lasting income,’ states Craig Leslie, MD, of the fundamental principles that have driven this family business to success.
Craig’s father, Gordon Leslie, began his career working for hauliers, including Ilkeston Haulage, in the 1960s. Gradually he began to realise that his aspirations outstripped those of his colleagues, and Craig recalls his father’s disillusionment with working for others as opposed to himself led directly to a family emigration to America in 1967. There he briefly found employment with a freight broker, but sadly it was not to be. ‘We all returned to the UK a year later, having not found the American dream,’ says Craig.
At this point, Gordon decided to start his own business, and, in 1970, his eponymous company was launched from an office in Royal Terrace, Glasgow. Undaunted by the fact that he didn’t own any vehicles, initially, Gordon employed subcontractors to transport goods for his clients.
Soon Gordon established a niche market, arranging full load haulage of whisky, wine and spirits throughout the UK. Early clients included J&B, Chivas, WM Grant Whisky, URM, González Byass and London City Bond. An additional client base was formed, hauling books and other print materials for Harper Collins.
It stands testimony to the longevity of the Gordon Leslie name that several of these early clients – London City Bond, Chivas and WM Grant Whisky – still use the company’s services today.
Soon this wealth of clients led Gordon to the crucial acquisition of his own vehicles, and immediately the company moved into a small rented unit in Denmark Street in the suburb of Possilpark. Winning a coveted contract with Fibreglass in the late 1970s allowed relocation to a considerably larger unit in Paisley. At this point, Gordon’s focus on haulage expanded to include storage and distribution to make the most of his newly acquired space.