VEHICLES IN BOXES ….. NOTHING NEW ABOUT THAT!
Behind the Agility name is a legacy of pioneering work in automotive logistics dating to the early 20th century.
LEP Transport, one of Agility’s legacy companies in the UK, was a key player in logistics at the dawn of the automotive age. In the 1920s, LEP handled roughly 75% of all UK vehicle imports and more than half UK vehicle exports. LEP was a considerable innovator, creating methods for packing vehicles in kits for quick assembly, known in the industry as CKDs or Completely Knocked Down vehicles.
Among the pre-WW1 models handled by LEP was General Motor’s Buick two-seater. These were imported in wooden crates, the assembled chassis and running gear in one box, and ancillary parts in another. Basic assembly was done by LEP at the landing point and the cars – minus body shell – were either driven in convoy or barged up the Grand Union canal to LEP’s facility in north London. There, the bodies were completed, using panels built in LEP’s own workshops, made by outside coachbuilders, or sometimes imported.
By 1923, an eight-acre site on the River Thames was dedicated to LEP’s automotive business providing a bonded warehouse, knock-down packing, an assembly workshop and storage for more than 1,000 vehicles. LEP’s automotive logistics business grew to encompass trucks, tractors and other agricultural machinery with products from among others, General Motors, Diamond T, Studebaker and later, Dodge. The automotive market continues to be an important vertical market focus for Agility in the UK.