Appleton appointed chairman of Horizon Platforms in UK

By Murray Pollok14 April 2014

Kevin Appleton, managing director of Yusen Logistics UK.

Kevin Appleton, managing director of Yusen Logistics UK.

Kevin Appleton has returned to the powered access rental industry as chairman and director of Horizon Platforms, the Wakefield, UK-based rental business.

At the same time he takes up a new position as managing director of the UK subsidiary of Yusen Logistics, the Japan-based freight forwarding and contract logistics business. Yusen employs more than 13000 people in 37 countries.

Mr Appleton, who is also a non-executive board member of Ramirent and columnist for International Rental News (IRN) magazine, was chief executive of Lavendon Group between 2002 and 2011 and more recently divisional chairman at Travis Perkins Builders Merchants.

Horizon’s managing director, Ben Hirst, said the appointment was a signal of its ambitions; “We are delighted to have Kevin join the board team and look forward greatly to benefiting from his experience of the industry and from the wide range of contacts that he can bring to bear.

“At a personal level we share very similar beliefs and values and we believe this will be essential in creating an environment of positive and productive challenge around the board table. It is a signal that we have big ambitions for the business, and an equally clear signal that we want to achieve those ambitions in a way with which we all feel comfortable”.

Horizon has a fleet of several hundred self-propelled and truck mounted platforms and is based in Wakefield, UK, with a second depot in Warrington. The company was founded six years ago.

Mr Appleton said; “I have been deeply impressed with the work that Ben and the Horizon team have done so far. They have a solid, well-managed business and an encouraging desire to continually strive to do better.

“Theirs is also a business that places a central emphasis on how you deal with people – be they customers, colleagues, suppliers or the wider community – and I firmly believe that is a must for service businesses that desire to succeed. I am really looking forward to helping the team further develop what they have already built”.

Meanwhile, his appointment at Yusen – he takes up the post on 14 April - sees Mr Appleton return to the logistics business where he began his business career. He first worked with the Royal Mail and then spent several years with the NFC, becoming sales and marketing director of their parcel division and before leaving to join Caliber Logistics.

Commenting on his Yusen appointment, Mr Appleton said; “These remain challenging times for the logistics industry, with ever longer supply chains and an increasing demand for logistics solutions to support clients’ multi-channel distribution strategies, together with a constant need to improve efficiency and reduce cost.

“Yusen Logistics has the basic elements in place to satisfy all of these demands, and a fantastically experienced and committed team. I am excited about the opportunities before us and look forward to getting to know colleagues and customers over the next few months.”

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