Fleet Transport Awards return in style with Zellwood taking the overall honours as Irish Haulier of the Year 2023


The Fleet Transport Awards event returned to the stage in style at the Johnstown Estate Hotel, Enfield, on Thursday evening 10 November. After an absence of three years, the full house gathering enjoyed the evening’s entertainment, hospitality, networking and the announcement of the various Irish Haulier of the Year Awards and Irish Truck of the Year Awards by compère Shay Byrne. It was a case of ‘Back to the Future’ for the event as the venue, then known as Johnstown House hotel, hosted the inaugural Fleet Transport Awards in 2006.

Swords, County Dublin headquartered Zellwood emerged as the overall Irish Haulier of the Year 2023 winner, sponsored by Rosslare Europort, following its success in achieving top honours in the Environment & Sustainability Award, in association with Gas Networks Ireland. Established in 1995, Zellwood is a family run business and one of the country’s leading contract management and logistics solutions providers in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Over the past 25 years the company has grown substantially to become one of Ireland’s leading retail temperature controlled distribution solutions provider.

William Flanagan, MD at Zellwood was pleased to achieve the accolades and said: “We believe that the transport industry is constantly evolving and we have endeavoured to adapt our services to meet all our customer’s requirements. We have developed our ‘one stop shop’ capability over the years and Zellwood’s main objective is to provide the ‘complete distribution solution’ for each customer. Recent investments include the renewal to more fuel efficient trucks and the addition of the first all-electric truck in our distribution fleet. We are absolutely delighted to win these awards and the high recognition they bring to our business.”

Among the category award winners were: Toner Transport & Logistics, Dublin; Dixon International Transport, Dublin; Quitmann O’Neill Packaging, Galway; JS Ryan Freight, Laois; Evergreen Fields, Galway; Cantwell Electrical Engineering Ltd., Tipperary; ATC Computer Transport & Logistics, Dublin; Irish Rail, Dublin; Derry Group Ireland, Armagh, Waterford & Dublin; McCulla (Ireland), Antrim & Dublin; Shaw Commercials, Mayo; Kennedy International, Kildare; Polar Ice, Laois and DAF Trucks Ireland, Dublin, while the Services to the Transport Award was presented to the Irish Road Haulage Association on the eve of celebrating their 50th anniversary.

On the night there was special ‘Abba’ musical theme to acknowledge Swedish stage sponsor Volvo Trucks, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in Ireland last year. To draw the curtains on the occasion, Shay Byrne brought the audience to their feet joining in, in full voice with his rendition of Tony Christie’s ‘Show me the way to Amarillo’. Tony has strong family roots in Claremorris, County Mayo where ‘Fleet’ is based.

Jarlath Sweeney, Group Editor, Fleet Transport was delighted with the successful in person return of the event, commenting: “Yes, we were very happy to be in a position to return to a live event, with full attendance after hosting other award events virtually, such as the #StrenghtInUnity Transport Heroes 2020 and Best Fleet Truck Brand of the Year 2021 awards. Congratulations to all of the finalists and the award winners and special thanks to our sponsors for their continuous support. 2022 is a landmark year for us in Fleet as we mark twenty years publishing road transport and commercial vehicle titles. Here’s to the next two decades!”

Over two days, there was also a display of the contenders for the Irish Truck of the Year Awards, sponsored by AIB Finance & Leasing, along with commercial vehicles and trailers at the Exhibition Arena at the car parks.

National Haulier of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by Volvo Trucks
Winner: Toner Transport & Logistics (Dublin)
International Haulier of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by Thermo King
Winner: Dixon International Transport (Dublin)
Own Account Transport Operator of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by Mercedes Benz Commercial Vehicles
Winner: Quitmann O’Neill Packaging Ltd (Galway)
Owner Driver Haulier of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by MAN Truck & Bus
Winner: JS Ryan Freight Ltd (Laois)
Regional Transport Operator of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by FUSO Ireland
Winner: Evergreen Fields (Galway)
Van Fleet Award 2023 – Sponsored by Peugeot
Winner: Cantwell Electrical Engineering Ltd (Tipperary)
Livery Award 2023 – Sponsored by Orbcomm
Winner: ATC Computer Transport & Logistics (Dublin)
Women in Transport Award 2023 – Sponsored by Freight Transport Association Ireland in association with Commercial Driving Apprenticeship
Winner: Denise Ryan – Polar Ice Ltd (Offaly)
Safety Practice Award 2023 –Sponsored by Health & Safety Authority
Winner: Irish Rail (Dublin)
Innovation Award 2023 – Sponsored by Close Brothers Commercial Finance
Winner: Derry Group Ireland (Armagh, Waterford, Dublin)
Environment & Sustainability Award 2023 – Sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland
Winner: Zellwood Ltd (Dublin)
Technician of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by Dennison Fast Parts
Winner: Daryl Smyth – DAF Trucks Ireland – Dublin
Excellence in Warehousing & Product Handling Award 2023 – Sponsored by Combilift
Winner: McCulla Ireland Ltd (Antrim & Dublin)
Customer Service Excellence Award 2023 – Sponsored by Schmitz Cargobull
Winner: Shaw Commercials (Mayo)
Fleet Transport Manager of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by Iveco in partnership with Emerald Truck & Van
Winner: Paul Kennedy – Kennedy International Transport (Kildare)
Services to the Transport Industry Award 2023 – Sponsored by Tranzaura
Presented to IRHA – celebrating its 50th Anniversary