Going the extra mile
That Linehaul Express, known in the industry as Linex, is a special company with excellent prospects, is confirmed by the fact that the logistics and transportation provider can name not one, but two major postal organisations as shareholders. It was GeoPost SA that first invested in the business in 2009, before Japan Post followed suit five years later. The majority shareholder, however, remains Morty Langslow, Linex’s founder. From its beginnings as a freight forwarder and customs broker, the company has eventually expanded into express courier and parcel services, working with both B2B and B2C customers.
“We are primarily a wholesale neutral operator servicing industry players,” Managing Director – UK, Alistair Wood, points out. “Over the past four decades we have grown one of the largest independent networks in the world and are also the worldwide express courier General Sales Agent (GSA) for Cathay Pacific. In my opinion, this web of wholly-owned subsidiaries, joint ventures, and agents, available to any company in the transportation industry requiring a top-quality neutral express sales and distribution solution, is one of Linex’s biggest strengths.”
Over the past five years, the company has invested heavily in the growing e-commerce logistics sector. Its complete range of services includes unique hybrid solutions that combine commercial and postal clearances and last mile delivery, as well as return logistics back to origin. “The former is aptly named ‘ez’ and offers faster transit times compared to your normal economy product, and full tracking, but at economy prices,” Alistair remarks. “In addition to the ‘ez’ service, which caters for larger packages and faster transit times, there is also our ‘ePAC’ service, which works in the same way, but is more cost-effective for smaller parcels with slower transit times. Our current destinations for the two solutions include our global hub Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia with more countries to follow shortly.
“Linex is also always working to produce new unique products for the changing e-commerce logistics sector,” he continues. “This is done by consolidating our resources, combining our partners’ strengths, and leveraging our own global network and gateway operations capabilities. A good example of such a product, is our internally-developed ‘hub-ez’. Essentially, this is an online platform that acts like a one-stop shop for all of our e-commerce solutions. By accessing it (either directly at my.hub-ez.com or through API integration), our customers are able to utilise all the services we offer, print our unique labels, track their shipments, and make payments. ‘hub-ez’ is currently being rolled out in many of our network offices and we will begin trials in the UK this month.”
Alistair goes on to analyse some of the ongoing trends across the industry that have an impact on Linex’s work. “We all know that e-commerce disruption is a challenge to all traditional freight companies as more and more customers are looking for single suppliers who can offer end-to-end solutions, including last mile delivery and return logistics. This can indeed pose problems, as setting up last mile delivery is not only very expensive, but also not easily done, because in most countries, this service is controlled by one or two large market players. Nevertheless, we can respond effectively to the situation, because we have partners that have last mile delivery operating in many countries. What is more, as we have gateway operations in all the destinations we service, we are able to offer return logistics solutions to our clients.”
No successful positioning within the hi-tech e-commerce logistics sector would be possible without building an internal IT structure that fits the bill. Linex realised that more than ten years ago when it decided to stop outsourcing its IT systems to third-party companies, resolving to invest in its own in-house IT team, instead. “We have spent a lot of money and deployed a large amount of human resources to create our own IT systems focused around our operating system which we affectionately call ‘SAM’,” Alistair explains.
“Through the hard work of our CTO and the IT team we have assembled, our systems continue to evolve and improve. Notably, they are unique in the sense that they are adaptable not only to our, but also to customers’ requirements, all while enabling us to be operationally and cost effective,” he adds.
Benefitting from the wide coverage its network of wholly-owned subsidiaries provides, Linex has a positive outlook for the foreseeable future. While Alistair admits that political uncertainties have rendered 2019 challenging, he also reveals that the company has recorded stronger performance this year than at this point in time in 2018.
“We have got many new products and solutions coming on board and we are hoping to have a strong second half of the year. Further down the road, we are aiming at doubling our revenue in five years’ time and becoming the market-leading, preferred international e-commerce logistics service provider that offers complete end-to-end solutions,” he summarises Linex’s aspirations for the years to come.
A wholesale provider of neutral express solutions
Operates one of the world’s largest networks of wholly-owned subsidiaries
Recently expanded into the e-commerce logistics sector