For a quarter of a century, Jas McCarthy Transport have been providing exceptional haulage services from their base in Carrigtwohill, County Cork, using a magnificent fleet of trucks and trailers, which is regularly replenished. Irish Trucker caught up with Jamie McCarthy – son of founder / proprietor Jimmy – to find out more about this outstanding family-run operation.
The fleet is simply breath-taking. That’s the first thing that strikes you when you turn your mind to County Cork headquartered Jas McCarthy Transport. Operating one of the finest-looking and most finely-tuned fleets on the island, the renowned family business provides a level of service that’s simply second to none – every consignment delivered securely, professionally and on time, be it by tanker, tipper or tautliner..
A rigorous pre-emptive replenishment / upgrading programme ensures that all units in the steadily expanding fleet are firing on all cylinders at all times, resulting in optimal customer satisfaction. This commitment to setting and maintaining the highest standards by pairing the best equipment with experienced and dedicated personnel has seen Jas McCarthy Transport go from strength to strength over the past two and a half decades and all the indications suggest that – in partnership with key client Irish Distillers – the company will continue to thrive for many more years to come.
The genesis of the business dates back to 1994 when founder Jimmy McCarthy set up as an owner-driver. The Cork man took on his first employee in 2002 who remains with them to this day. Jimmy now oversees a team of nine, including his son Jamie.
A period of expansion is currently being enjoyed. Last year, the fleet was bolstered with the addition of brand-new DAF and Volvo trucks - the former from Cork Truck Services, the latter from McCarthy Commercials in Watergrasshill.
Investment has continued into the current calendar year, with a new Volvo FH 500 Globetrotter XL joining the ten-strong truck fleet in July, Jimmy and Jamie also having taken delivery of a pair of 2019 Montracon tautliners in January.
These trailers are built to EN 12642 XL European Load containment standard and come in at 4.625 metres high. Jas McCarthy were delighted with the finish and service they received from Montracon, while OMC Signs did a wonderful job adding the new company logo to the back doors of the new tautliners.
All work is carried out for Irish Distillers, predominantly carrying tanker loads of whiskey from Midleton to Dublin, where the produce is bottled and exported through Dublin Port to 130 markets worldwide.
Irish Distillers is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and produces the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, led by Jameson. The fact that Jas McCarthy Transport is the transportation partner of such an internationally-renowned company speaks volumes for the level of customer service provided!
Every load is precious and the McCarthys leave no stone unturned in ensuring that it gets to its destination safely and on time. “We run a modern fleet and all out drivers are highly trained,” Jamie notes. “All the tankers are securely tracked on the road and we know exactly where they are at any given moment.”
Six or more tankers travel to Dublin daily and tankers also depart from Midleton Distillery to Waterford, Cavan and Northern Ireland, where Jameson and Paddy are used to make different brands.
The strong, enduring relationship between Jas McCarthy Transport and Irish Distillers goes back more than two decades. “We’ve been with them since 1996/97,” Jamie recounts. “Jimmy did tipper work with them originally, bringing in malt to the distillery – which we still do today - but he started carrying whiskey in tankers in the early ‘noughties. It was just a few runs at the start but it got busier over time and Irish Distillers were happy with the service we provided which has seen us expand to where we are today.”
How has Jas McCarthy Transport managed to thrive for a quarter of a century and counting in such a competitive and challenging environment? “I would say it all comes down to customer satisfaction which lies solely with your employees. I would say we have the best bunch of drivers on the road.. They were all sourced locally by my father through recommendations from people he knew and trusted. They are great drivers and we value them above all else. They start work every morning around 3.00/4.00am and they are always on time without fail. The drivers are also key to keeping the spotless reputation we have, each driver cleans his truck 3-4 times a week and they all look after it as if it was their own. We focus on doing the job right because the loads are valuable and safety is paramount on the road, so there is no room for error.
“We are constantly upgrading our trucks to make sure that downtime is absolutely minimal . Eight of the ten trucks are 2015-reg or newer. This is specialised work and we make sure that every job is done properly.
“Maintenance is critical. We do the servicing and 12 week checks ourselves while Sean Dennehy Commercials look after all our repairs once the trucks are out of warranty.”
Going forward, the objective is to continue providing Irish Distillers with the best possible service: “We’re very happy with where we are and the tanker work – and associated jobs - with Irish Distillers is our main priority. Expansion is welcomed but not our main focus, continuing to provide Irish Distillers with an optimal service will always be our main focus,” Jamie concludes.
“ The two new tautliners we bought in January are being used to transport used barrels for Irish Distillers from Cork to Tullamore and we’re adding two more tautliners from SDC in July for the same work. There’s no let-up in the investment but we’re very busy and delighted to be working for such a great customer. We have a very good relationship with Irish Distillers and we’re absolutely focussed on continuing to provide them with an excellent transport service.”