BoxWay to restructure and invest

A Kolbus Autobox Multi-Nova MN400 was installed in Peterlee in late 2021
A Kolbus Autobox Multi-Nova MN400 was installed in Peterlee in late 2021

Corrugated packaging manufacturer BoxWay Packaging Group has laid out its upcoming plans, including a strategic restructuring exercise that could see one of its sites close as well as investment in new kit.

The business was established just over a year ago after Saica Group sold its sheet plants in Peterlee, Telford, and Exeter.

But in a new statement the firm said it has concluded that the Telford plant “does not have the right cost structure, asset base or infrastructure to capitalise on the strengths of BoxWay or on the opportunities presented by the UK corrugated sheet plant market”.

“BoxWay believes that, for the long term, the majority of its loyal and longstanding customers in Telford can be better served by the increased capacity and widened capability in the Peterlee and Exeter sites, which the recent and impending investments bring.”

As a result, the business has commenced a 30-day consultation with 18 employees at the Telford plant, which could lead to a proposed closure of the facility at the end of September 2022.

“BoxWay will be working closely with all staff affected in supporting them through this difficult process. The plan is also to work with the customers of the Telford plant to transfer the majority of these loyal customers to either the Peterlee or Exeter plants,” the company stated.

“The loyalty of the Telford customers has been greatly appreciated and BoxWay is determined to settle those customers into one of the existing plants satisfactorily, or to introduce them to one of the strategic partners that BoxWay have been working with to accommodate their valued business.”

BoxWay CEO Andrew Woollard said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the proposed closure of the Telford plant.

“However, we know we have always set our sights on the long-term and we will continue to build on the considerable progress the group has made in the last twelve months since its incorporation, both in terms of building the right asset base and the appropriate customer and market positioning.

“The investments at our other plants are setting us up well for the long-term. We are very excited about the prospects for the group over the months and years to come.”

In the last year the company has made a raft of kit investments at its Peterlee and Exeter plants and in its central finance, IT and design infrastructure in order to better serve its existing and potential customers.

It said highlights of its plant-based spend included the investment last year at Exeter in a Hanway HighJet 2500B water-based digital printer and “the significant upgrading” of its speciality gluing capability.

There is also now an “imminent installation” at the Exeter site of a new Eterna flatbed die-cutter and a Kongsberg C44 digital finishing table, to allow for smaller production runs, higher efficiency, and improved productivity.

At Peterlee, meanwhile, a new five-colour Weipong rotary die-cutter is due to be installed in October this year, on top of the already installed Kolbus Autobox Multi-Nova MN400 gluer and a replacement Kongsberg sample cutting table.

“Customer feedback to all the developments in BoxWay has been extremely positive and good sales growth has been experienced,” the company stated.

“The ongoing investments are designed to increase the capacity, and to widen the capability, of BoxWay.

“An important part of the development of the group is to ensure it has the right assets and infrastructure for its continued growth with all customers in existing and targeted markets sectors.”

In its maiden results just published, for the period from 25 January to 31 December 2021, BoxWay had turnover of just over £8m and made an operating loss of £454,799.