The history of Gist Limited

Gist has been transforming supply chains for nearly a century. The timeline below charts some key events that shaped the company that Gist has become today.

Gist Limited



1920

Following World War 1, fresh produce was imported from the West Indies and the Canary Islands into West India Dock and Canary Wharf in London. The foreman on the bank would call anyone at random to take produce to market by horse and cart. George Littmoden seized this opportunity to set up an enterprise. Acting as a middleman, he negotiated deals with the foreman and assigned jobs to individual drivers, who took fruit and vegetables to Covent Garden and Spitalfields Market by horse and cart. At its early peak, George's business, which he later dubbed GL Baker, owned 100 horse-drawn carts.

GL Baker, Covent Garden



1925

The newly formed GL Baker set up an office in Covent Garden and started running mechanical vehicles.

GL Baker, Covent Garden



1932

Marks & Spencer gets into the fresh fruit business and negotiates a deal with George Littmoden to transport goods to their stores in London and the Home Counties.

1932, GL Baker



1961

GL Baker bought its own premises in Oare Road, Faversham – where Gist still operates from today – for £2,500. GL Baker established a depot with a warehouse and maintenance bay, and took on extra business from M&S to deliver canned goods, as well as fruit.

GL Baker, Faversham



1969

Interested by GL Baker’s use of liquid nitrogen in chilled containers, BOC acquires the company and it becomes known as BOC Transhield.

BOC Transhield



1971

BOC Transhield consists of 1,100 employees and operates from five strategically-located depots in Barnsley, Bristol, Cumbernauld, Faversham and Kirkby. A network was born.

BOC Transhield lorry



1978

The company opens up a new site in Hemel Hempstead.



1980s

The company continues to grow, with the addition of sites in Crewe in 1981 and Thatcham in 1986. The company commences six-day deliveries to M&S and evening deliveries to stores.

BOC Thatcham, 1986



1986

Gist commences work with M&S to distribute clothing and general merchandise under the banner of BOC Storeshield.

BOC Storeshield



1991

BOC Transhield merges with BOC Storeshield to become BOC Distribution Services.

BOC Distribution Services



1995

European textiles contract moves to Hemel’s International site.

Hemel International, 1995



1996

Work begins in the Czech Republic with Ahold, one of the world’s leading retail groups.



1998

After joining the company on the Graduate Scheme, Martin Gwynn is appointed as Chief Executive.

Martin Gwynn becomes CEO

 



2001

BOC Distribution Services relaunches as Gist Limited. The complete rebrand came with new livery, uniforms and even a move to a new head office in Chineham.

BOC Distribution Services rebrands as Gist Limited



2003

Gist wins new business with Intergreen to transport horticultural products between Holland and the UK.

Gist transports horticultural products between Holland and the UK

 



2005

Gist acquires Van Dongen Holdings BV – a Dutch transport company.

Gist acquires Van Dongen Holdings BV



2006

The Linde Group, which consists of Linde and BOC, acquires Gist.

The Linde Group acquires Gist



2009

Gist signs a monumental contract with M&S, securing all foods operations including frozen foods and extending into Ireland. This saw the opening of two more Gist sites, with Bedworth taking the frozen stock, and Clonshaugh opening for Irish stores.

Gist and M&S contract



2011

Gist’s Child Road Safety programme is launched, with the aim of becoming Gist’s key Corporate Social Responsibility scheme.

Child Road Safety scheme is launched



2012

Gist’s Dutch companies are merged and moved into a site in Bleiswijk.

Gist Bleiswijk



2015

Gist Auburn represents Gist’s first site in the USA. The Seattle-based site services Starbucks.

Gist Auburn



2016

Major investments to the network include new sites opening in Enfield and France, site
extensions in Spalding and Clonshaugh and a complete reconfiguration of Hemel Hempstead.

Major investment



2017

Sites open in Chesterfield and Motherwell to boost Temperature Controlled Logistics business.

Gist Chesterfield



Today

Today, Gist continues to deliver value beyond managing warehouse and transport operations; we develop tailored and flexible supply chains for a number of high-profile customers, including Tesco, Waitrose, Bakkavor, Starbucks, and, some 86 years later, Marks & Spencer.




1920

Following World War 1, fresh produce was imported from the West Indies and the Canary Islands into West India Dock and Canary Wharf in London. The foreman on the bank would call anyone at random to take produce to market by horse and cart. George Littmoden seized this opportunity to set up an enterprise. Acting as a middleman, he negotiated deals with the foreman and assigned jobs to individual drivers, who took fruit and vegetables to Covent Garden and Spitalfields Market by horse and cart. At its early peak, George's business, which he later dubbed GL Baker, owned 100 horse-drawn carts.



1925

The newly formed GL Baker set up an office in Covent Garden and started running mechanical vehicles.



1932

Marks & Spencer gets into the fresh fruit business and negotiates a deal with George Littmoden to transport goods to their stores in London and the Home Counties.



1961

GL Baker bought its own premises in Oare Road, Faversham – where Gist still operates from today – for £2,500. GL Baker established a depot with a warehouse and maintenance bay, and took on extra business from M&S to deliver canned goods, as well as fruit.



1969

Interested by GL Baker’s use of liquid nitrogen in chilled containers, BOC acquires the company and it becomes known as BOC Transhield.



1971

BOC Transhield consists of 1,100 employees and operates from five strategically-located depots in Barnsley, Bristol, Cumbernauld, Faversham and Kirkby. A network was born.



1978

The company opens up a new site in Hemel Hempstead.



1980s

The company continues to grow, with the addition of sites in Crewe in 1981 and Thatcham in 1986. The company commences six day deliveries to M&S and evening deliveries to stores.



1986

Gist commences work with M&S to distribute clothing and general merchandise under the banner of BOC Storeshield.



1991

BOC Transhield merges with BOC Storeshield to become BOC Distribution Services.



1995

European textiles contract moves to Hemel’s International site.



1996

Work begins in the Czech Republic with Ahold, one of the world’s leading retail groups.



1998

After joining the company on the Graduate Scheme, Martin Gwynn is appointed as Chief Executive.

 



2001

BOC Distribution Services relaunches as Gist Limited. The complete rebrand came with new livery, uniforms and even a move to a new head office in Chineham.



2003

Gist wins new business with Intergreen to transport horticultural products between Holland and the UK.

 



2005

Gist acquires Van Dongen Holdings BV – a Dutch transport company.



2006

The Linde Group, which consists of Linde and BOC, acquires Gist.



2009

Gist signs a monumental contract with M&S, securing all foods operations including frozen foods and extending into Ireland. This saw the opening of two more Gist sites, with Bedworth taking the frozen stock, and Clonshaugh opening for Irish stores.



2011

Gist’s Child Road Safety programme is launched, with the aim of becoming Gist’s key Corporate Social Responsibility scheme.



2012

Gist’s Dutch companies are merged and moved into a site in Bleiswijk.



2015

Gist Auburn represents Gist’s first site in the USA. The Seattle-based site services Starbucks.



2016

Major investments to the network include new sites opening in Enfield and France, site
extensions in Spalding and Clonshaugh and a complete reconfiguration of Hemel Hempstead.



2017

Sites open in Chesterfield and Motherwell to boost Temperature Controlled Logistics business.



Today

Today, Gist continues to deliver value beyond managing warehouse and transport operations; we develop tailored and flexible supply chains for a number of high-profile customers, including Tesco, Waitrose, Bakkavor, Starbucks, and, some 86 years later, Marks & Spencer.