A BUSINESS has teamed up with a national network to allow it to transport products across the UK and Europe.

Newton Aycliffe logistics firm Stiller Warehousing and Distribution has joined the Hazchem Network and can now transport hazardous products.

Stiller has signed up to its membership and expects the deal to be worth at least £500,000 a year initially, while the Aycliffe firm hopes to employ three-to-five new drivers.

The firm is also hoping to tap into the strong chemicals and coatings sector on Teesside.

Commercial manager Lizzie Brophy said: “This is a big deal for us which will expand our capabilities and offering to existing and new customers.

“We hope it will open up new business opportunities for us, particularly in the Wilton and Haverton Hill areas of Teesside.

"There are quite a few reputable coatings businesses that we would seek to support with this new service.

“It will create between three and five new driving jobs and we’ve also spent more than 200 hours on training for staff, while we’ve also employed a new health, safety and security manager to help support the complex requirements that being a Hazchem member will involve.”

The firm has joined the Hazchem Network, which has 60 members around the UK, Ireland and in 28 European countries.

Hazchem is similar to a standard pallet and parcel network but specialises in the movement of hazardous packaged goods, liquids or difficult-to-handle products.

Network director Nada Marinovic said: “We’re very proud to be associated with Stiller.

“Our intention is to continue to expand the business and to bring on board more companies that have the pedigree and ethos that Stiller bring with them.”

Stiller was formed in 1954, and provides warehousing and distribution services to businesses in the North-East region as well as commercial property lettings and is also a member and major shareholder in Palletline, a national co-operative network of 70 companies specialising in overnight palletised freight distribution.

Stiller last year opened a new £2m freight distribution centre at its 22-acre site in the heart of Aycliffe Business Park.

It also converted its former logistics centre into a new 50,000 sq ft warehousing to accommodate 6,000 pallets, taking the company’s total investment in property, facilities and people to £11m in the last four years.

Stiller has seen sales rise by more than 20 percent to £14.8m, while staff numbers have jumped from 149 to 174 in the last 12 months.

For more information about Stiller visit stiller.co.uk