A Cumbrian haulage firm is adding its fleet of trucks to a 23,000-strong armada dedicated to distributing vital emergency supplies across the UK.

Longtown-based Wm Armstrong is one of over 700 logistics businesses who have joined forces to put their combined fleet of vehicles at the Government’s disposal during the coronavirus outbreak.

All are members of the UK’s eight major distribution networks, operating under the umbrella of the Association of Pallet Networks.

Wm Armstrong, a founder member of the Palletforce network, will add more than 100 trucks and 200 vehicle trailers to the express distribution mission.

Director Geof Armstrong said: “An unprecedented challenge calls for a unique response and we are proud to play our part in this collaboration headed by APN.

"Collectively, we have a huge resource available and are vastly experienced in delivering critical supplies as a key part of the UK supply chain.”

APN chairman Paul Sanders added: “We are uniquely placed to offer our services to ensure that emergency supplies coming from anywhere and destined for any corner of the UK, can be delivered quickly, safely and reliably to support critical services, whether in rural or urban settings.

“We would urge the government to take advantage of our unique skills set and infrastructure at this time of national crisis.

"The supply of emergency supplies for critical operations – not least ensuring food in our supermarkets and well stocked pharmacies and hospitals – is one of the most important aspects of protecting the UK public during this crisis.”