Pride in performance

In 2019, International Forwarding Ltd will reach its 30th birthday. In that time, it has developed a full range of freight and logistics services to support its clients, thus becoming one of the UK’s most reliable and trusted independent freight forwarders. “The company was founded in 1989 by two of its present-day directors, who together possessed a wide-ranging degree of experience when it came to freight forwarding and European road freight,” begins Andy Grubb, International Forwarding Ltd’s Sales Director.

“Both individuals had previously worked for multi-national forwarders and their aim was to establish a forwarding and logistics business to specifically serve the needs of exporters and importers throughout the Midlands,” Andy adds. “It was then, in 1998, that the decision was taken for the company to operate its own transport fleet to enable it to exercise better door-to-door control over UK domestic collections and deliveries.”

Today this fleet consists of 20 vehicles, ranging from 32t tractor units, 18 and 7.5t tautliner rigids to 35cwt light pick-up trucks. The company’s distinctive livery has come to be well known throughout the industry, and it has achieved bronze membership of the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS). Furthermore, a proportion of its drivers have ADR training for hazardous goods and their vehicles are appropriately equipped for dangerous cargoes.

In the UK, the West and East Midlands represents the ‘home territory’ of the company, but expansion of its own transport fleet, together with its membership of the Palletways network, is enabling International Forwarding Ltd to provide an effective level of service further afield. In the case of its membership of Palletways, the company was delighted to once again be awarded Platinum member status in 2018. “This award is only given to network members who demonstrate excellent and consistent performance in all aspect of pallet collection and delivery,” Andy says. “Palletways is the market leader in pallet network information technology innovation and this helps to drive us to extend related benefits to all aspects of our day-to-day operations.”

Platinum membership of Palletways also gives the company access to more than 400 depots across Europe. “European groupage services have always been a mainstay of our forwarding activity and currently we have active new developments in our Swiss and French operations, alongside our frequent services to and from Austria, the Benelux, Spain, Germany and Italy,” Andy explains. “As well as these operations, we also have air and sea freight departments, operate our own customs clearance office at the Port of Dover, and in 2010 we were awarded Authorised Economic Operator accreditation by H M Revenue and Customs. Further services offered by International Forwarding Ltd include warehousing, and pick and pack operations, and the totality of these services is designed to provide a one-stop-shop to customers, matching the offering of global companies with the added advantage of a bespoke personal support service.”

International Forwarding Ltd’s directors remain actively involved in the day-to-day management and operation of the company, and have spearheaded an ongoing policy of investment across the business. This has included putting extensive capital into its fleet, its environmental efforts and into new technology. “We take very seriously our responsibility to demonstrate to our customers that we are well aware that the freight transport industry has a leading role to play in the introduction of green technology to combat the effects of climate change, which is why we have invested over £120,000 into greener transport and logistics solutions,” Andy continues. “In the meantime, we are also working on introducing a range of information technology based services to provide post Brexit forwarding and logistics solutions, while also adding new destinations to our range of European services and planning to significantly expand our warehouse offering in 2019.”

Brexit developments will undoubtedly have an effect in one form or another on International Forwarding Ltd and its customers in the months to come, something that the company is preparing itself well for. “We will continue to keep a close eye on Brexit developments to ensure that whatever does occur we are in the best position possible to minimise supply chain disruption to both importers and exporters,” Andy states. “At the same time, we will continue to make every effort to mitigate the effects of the HGV driver shortage that the industry currently faces, and to exercise tight cost controls to offset the impact of rising fuel and labour costs.”

With almost three decades of success under its belt, thoughts unsurprisingly turn to what the next decade will hold for the business. “It is the policy of the board, led by Managing Director Rob Pike, to expand and develop International Forwarding Ltd as a standalone Midlands-based freight forwarder and UK pallet distributor, offering the highest standard of service to our customers,” Andy concludes. “We will do this while also further enhancing our reputation in the market as being one of the best independent operators in our field.”

International Forwarding Ltd
30th birthday in 2019
Fleet of 20 different vehicles
Platinum members of Palletways