AN INDEPENDENT and family run delivery service has fended off nearly 70 other companies to scoop a prestigious award.

Braintree Courier Services, a distribution business that was founded in 2014 by Mark Hambleton, 54, of Brunel Road, and prides itself on dispatching quality customer service, has just won the National Independent Courier Company of the Year award.

Presented by the National Courier and Despatch Association, which is the UK’s leading professional body for independent ‘same day’ courier companies, the business was required to demonstrate exemplary service to its customers, before a vote determined the result.

Mark’s son Aaron, 27, who is a cyber security contractor and responsible for the operational side of the company, said: ‘‘It means a huge amount to our family to be recognised in this way.

‘‘We are a tight family unit who only wanted to provide a reliable and reputable courier service and our customers have voted for us as they recognise the service that we have provided them over the last five years, so to get this award means a lot to us.’’

Mark’s decision to create his own company came after spending 30 years as a roadside mechanic.

Armed with just £1200 at his disposable to fund his new venture, he purchased a single van and from the family home, built a reputable business now renowned throughout the district.

In the five years that have passed since Mark’s dream to manage himself and nurture and acquire the knowledge of his own family began to materialise, the business start-up has grown considerably, and now has a fleet of five vans, a much bigger office space and a sizable storage unit.

But despite having more equipment and drivers to carry out the growing demand of package drop-offs, Aaron believes it’s the family’s ability to communicate with their customers on a more personal level which has resulted in success and givem them the edge over the larger, more globally established courier companies they are competing with.

He said: ‘‘Because we are an independent company, we are not hamstrung by internal politics or over-the-top processes.

‘‘We have the ability to make personal relationships with all of our customers by spending time to speak with them and understand each individual’s unique requirement for a courier.

‘‘No other big company can replicate, and our customers recognise this.’’