Making the impossible, possible
Ever since it was founded in 2000, EFM Global (EFM) has been one of the best kept secrets in the world of specialised global logistics. In the near 20 years since, EFM has provided unrivalled solutions to the live events and entertainment industry, proving countless times over to the biggest names in music, sport, event, and stage and screen, that it is a company that can be relied upon to deliver precisely on time, on budget, every time, even when the task at hand seems impossible to everyone else.
Backed by an extensive international network of partners that are able to provide local expertise and tailored services, it is EFM’s list of competencies that enable it to deliver project cargo solutions. As a fully multimodal freight forwarder, these include the ability to distribute equipment via air, road, rail and sea freight, as well as extensive capabilities to provide customs brokerage, documentation, and on-site logistics such as cranes, forklifts, labour and warehousing. Meanwhile, its six offices – strategically located in London, Frankfurt, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Dubai – consist of approximately 80 employees with skills in project and account management.
“Within each member of our team, we instil a belief that nothing – unless under the most extreme of circumstances – should be considered impossible, no matter how complex, sensitive or time-critical a project may at first appear,” explains Lisa Ryan, Chief Commercial Officer of EFM. Lisa forms part of the company’s hugely experienced senior management team, herself having worked across all areas of the events industry for more than 20 years.
EFM’s early years saw it predominantly working with touring music artists, before branching out into sports, theatre, live events and exhibitions. Since then, it has gone on to work with all manner of international sports organisations, production houses, touring companies and event agencies, as well as blue chip clients in the automotive and aerospace fields. As Lisa goes on to highlight, no matter who the client may be, what it all boils down to is reliability. “With every job we take on, and every customer we work with, our overriding commitment is to demonstrate our unrivalled reliability as a major event logistics provider,” she states.
What makes EFM’s track record for achieving the aforementioned goal all the more impressive is the fact that virtually every new project that it takes on is essentially bespoke, and often takes place under highly pressurised circumstances. With each new project comes a new puzzle to solve, and by establishing strong working relationships with contractors, international agents and like-minded partners in all of the countries in which it operates, EFM is able to find the right balance between the fastest, most cost-effective and safest solutions to deliver it on-time and to budget.
“From a project management perspective, our people spend a great deal of time conducting thorough research in order to determine the best method of transporting a clients’ freight, and the best suppliers and carriers to use in that particular instance,” Mike Llewellyn, Chief Executive Officer continues. “Throughout the life of a project, we also ensure that our client has a single point of contact here at EFM and that they have the peace of mind knowing that we are contactable 24/7, 365 days a year.”
Nevertheless, in spite of however much planning goes into a project of the nature that EFM handles, there will always be new challenges that emerge, often during the course of delivery itself. Fortunately, this is something that its people are well versed in dealing with. “Each day, we find ourselves involved in all manner of wonderfully unique undertakings, and many of the curveballs that we encounter do occur while ‘on the job’ itself,” Mike states. “This requires us to be incredibly flexible, to be able to quickly assess how best to handle a given situation, and to always have a ‘Plan B’ in place, should the need arise, to make sure that the project is delivered as per our client’s needs. It is qualities like these that really do set us apart from anyone else in our field.”
Over the years, EFM has played an essential role in a number of firsts, from being the first logistics provider to take a Western rock band into Cuba – which it did in 2001 with the Manic Street Preachers – to being the first company of its kind to open an office in the now flourishing region that is the Middle East. The pioneering nature of the business, therefore, cannot be questioned, and in more recent times it has taken its first steps into the motion picture world – traditionally a somewhat closed market – by handling a major movie production. The company envisions this as being a growth area for itself in the years to come, along with its developing aerospace and automotive business.
Having over 20 years of experience in the logistics arena, one would perhaps be forgiven in thinking that there isn’t much that Lisa hasn’t encountered within her line of work. As she happily points out, however, this is far from the case, and she continues to see each new day as being a ‘school day’. “By this I mean, with EFM you are learning something new all of the time, with a new challenge landing on your desk on an almost daily basis,” she enthuses. “What is especially rewarding, is that it is not uncommon to receive a call from a client stating that they have been told ‘if anyone can do it, EFM can’, and that really is the ultimate compliment that we can receive.
“I think our clients appreciate the fact that we are a company that has mostly stayed under the radar, in that we like to get on with the work at hand, deliver it to the best of our ability, and not really shout about it afterwards. That is perhaps why the lion’s share of our business to this day comes from recommendations and word of mouth.”
• A leading major event freight logistics provider
• A fully multimodal freight forwarder
• Boasts a global network of contacts and partners