The Company was established in 1919 when William Bowker used his war gratuity to buy the first vehicle. He began making local deliveries in East Lancashire earning a reputation for a pioneering spirit and an innovative approach to industry's needs. It wasn't long before he'd assembled one of the largest fleets in the area.
The General Strike of 1926 became the catalyst for further expansion when he began making the first overnight trunks to London carrying record consignments of fruit from Liverpool Docks to the markets of Covent Garden.
The Company continued to prosper until 1949 when they were nationalised along with the rest of the UK Haulage Industry but continued to trade as warehousing keepers. In 1954 a change of government brought a swift and welcome reversal of the situation and de-nationalised the industry.
William Bowker bought back a number of vehicles, and it wasn't long before they were once again at the forefront of the UK Haulage Industry.
In 1961, Bowker took their first steps into Europe moving carpet tufting machines to Holland which attracted a lot of interest from UK manufacturers in the process. The new service led to unprecedented levels of freight being moved by road to the continent and with business booming, Bowker opened its depots in Hull in 1973 and Zeebrugge shortly after in 1976.
The Company diversified its activities in 1984 with the acquisition of Clock Garage in Accrington - the authorised BMW dealership for East Lancashire, and today, its Retail Motor Division incorporates the BMW and Mini Dealerships in Preston and Blackburn, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealership in Preston,Maserati Dealership in Ribble Valley and its latest acquisition BMW Motorad Dealership in Southport, which has relocated to its new purpose built site in Preston.
In November 2016, Bowker completed the purchase of Potter Logistics' warehousing and distribution operations at Ripon, York, Selby, Knowsley and Droitwich. Like Bowker, Potters are a quality driven operation and in recognition of their high standards were declared the Motor Transporter of the Year at the Motor Transport Industry 2015 Awards.
Today, Bowker is a major UK and international transport and warehouse provider operating in excess of 200 vehicles 450 trailers, providing over one million square feet of warehousing at their 9 UK sites.
We continue to invest in our people, equipment and infrastructure including continually evolving our state of the art IT solutions.
Our commitment to providing responsible, secure and reliable transportation services has been recognised by the accreditations and Industry awards the Company has received.
The Company is also extremely proud to have recently been voted one of the 'Top 20 Great British Transport Companies of all Time' - a testament to our heritage, the present and our future.