A manufacturing company which makes plastic products from recycled milk cartons has awarded a six-figure transport contract on the back of a Durham Oktoberfest meeting.

Marmax Products based in Stanley attended the manufacturing and engineering showcase expo for the first time in 2016.

During the event, bosses met representatives from Newton Aycliffe logistics firm Stiller and after several meetings and a review of existing provision, Marmax decided to make changes to improve its own offering.

Production Manager Paul King said: “I am always looking at ways to improve our efficiency and reduce costs, which ultimately means we can offer our customers a better service.

“After Oktoberfest I met with the team at Stiller to learn more and quickly became sure they were right for us. Appointing them as our distributors was an easy decision in the end.”

Marmax, which was launched 16 years ago and now employs 26 people, makes a wide range of products for companies and organisations across the country including the Dogs Trust, the Angling Trust and Battersea Dogs Home, as well as schools, theme parks, pubs, restaurants and local authorities.

The contract with Stiller is worth around £150,000 and means Marmax can guarantee a quicker turnaround in product delivery.

Stiller Managing Director Matthew Stiller said: “We offer our clients an excellent service, both in terms of delivery and support, which is why we’re so good at retaining our existing customer base and bringing on board new companies like Marmax Products.”

From its base at Aycliffe Business Park, Stiller operates over 120 heavy goods vehicles and trailers which distribute products for large multi-national firms through to sole traders.

The third generation family business distributes for 275 companies across the UK and now employs 140 people with plans to further recruit over the course of 2017.

Both businesses are returning to Durham Oktoberfest this year, which marks the 10th anniversary since the event was launched.

Ben Gilhespy, Operations Director at County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN), which organises Oktoberfest, said: “The main aim of our event is to introduce businesses and help them meet potential suppliers and buyers and the deal between Marmax Products and Stiller is the perfect endorsement that it works.

“As a direct result of attending last year’s event, Stiller has secured a six-figure contract with a new customer, and Marmax now has a haulage company in place that can meet all of its needs.”

Durham Oktoberfest 2017 is being held on Thursday, October 19, at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe. To find out more visit the website, durhamoktoberfest.org.uk.