R&B Logistics: How their confidence in CX helped them grow 


In 2004, after almost 20 years of being a successful multidrop driver, Roger Netherwood felt it was the right time to go out on his own and so he founded R&B Logistics.

After 5 years of operating as an owner-driver, in 2009 Roger decided it was time to take his business to the next level – and that’s when he turned to the Courier Exchange. 

Today, R&B Logistics has become a successful freight forwarder, from earning a 99.2% positive feedback rating in the app, Roger has built a thriving reputation among his customers.

I’ve got confidence in me, but I’ve also got confidence in Courier Exchange.

Roger Netherwood, Managing Director, R&B Logistics

Here’s how Roger did it

To stand out from the crowd and grow R&B Logistics, Roger decided to focus on building out a niche customer base.

Drawing on his passion for advocating sustainability, net zero & carbon emissions, Roger started to build up his book of engineering customers.

Before long he had customers ranging from small engineering companies right up to wind turbine blade manufacturers.

As a freight forwarder, Roger knew the key to his success would not only be promising his customers a good service – but delivering it.

Thankfully, Roger’s customers quickly came to realise “they could ring me, and I could get a vehicle to them. Anything from a bike ride up to a four-meter sprinter within an hour, sometimes sooner.  Sometimes it could be 10 minutes.”

“I always say to them, if it’s going to be any longer than that, I will let you know.” 

Incredibly, in 20 years, he’s only ever had to do that twice. That’s how ‘on it’ CX is, Roger says referring to the “good driver base”.

[CX] have a good insight into how to recruit drivers and you’ve got a wealth of knowledge there that you can tap into quite readily and quite easily – and it’s not going to cost you a fortune.

Roger Netherwood, Managing Director, R&B Logistics

That’s why Roger has found the feedback feature on CX so helpful for his business.

“What I look for in a quote is obviously the first thing is feedback. Also what they put in the notes as to how soon they can be there and what vehicle size it is. It doesn’t always come down to price” 


15 years

As a CX member


Positive reviews

His hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and confidence in the Courier Exchange has helped him build a “very profitable and very successful business” all on his own.

The Courier Exchange has been the backbone of my business.

Roger Netherwood, Managing Director, R&B Logistics

In the past year, whilst posting over 800 loads, Roger has upheld over 200 positive reviews on the platform, with not a single negative review.

It’s safe to say the numbers really do speak for themselves. 

Reflecting on everything he’s accomplished, Roger attributes the success of R&B Logistics from the trust and confidence in himself and the Courier Exchange.


Much like Roger’s confidence in himself, his confidence in CX has allowed his business to thrive.

“If one of your customers is like, can you do HIAB work for me? And you’ve in the past said no… You see, I won’t do that. I’ll say, leave it with me…because I know what’s in CX”

Ultimately Roger says:

It’s all about making your own opportunities. Don’t say no, just go for it. Say yes, do it.

Roger Netherwood, Managing Director, R&B Logistics

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David McBride speaks to Courier Exchange about how ‘thinking out of the box’ in terms of asset utilisation is key for expanding freight forwarding operations.

What makes a successful freight forwarder?

It’s the ability to constantly deliver a high standard of service to a diverse customer base. But in today’s fast-paced world – one where just-in-time manufacturing dominates – a mark of success is how quickly a forwarder can fulfil the needs of its clients. But if, as is the case for U-TRAK Logistics, most of your customers serve ‘rapid response’ industries – such as aviation, automotive, agriculture and healthcare – then arguably the challenges are far greater.

U-TRAK Logistics is not only meeting expectations, but it’s also exceeding them. In the last two years, it has increased its turnover by 80%. So how has this Coventry-based freight forwarder, which provides time-critical same-day delivery services throughout the UK and mainland Europe, managed to stay ahead of the curve?

U-TRAK’s Business Development Manager, David McBride, explains, “To be a successful freight forwarder, you need to provide a joined-up service. Therefore, it’s vitally important to understand each client, the complex supply chains that they work in, and the markets that their customers serve too. Take our agricultural business for instance. We’re often called out in the middle of the night in the height of summer to deliver a spare part for a tractor or a combine harvester. Our Agricultural Logistics Delivery Service is designed to be fast, far-reaching and flexible. But we can only provide this service by sourcing the correct vehicle for the job. And this would be virtually impossible if we didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the internal mechanics of a tractor or all the other different varieties of farm machinery.”

Technology: an enabler

But Mr McBride, who joined U-TRAK five years ago, also recognises the role that technology has played in boosting his business, which employs 15 members of staff, and has a private fleet of 10 vehicles.

He explains, “In our line of work it’s crucial that we get the most out of our assets. And while we’ve got quite a diverse fleet – which ranges from 2 tonne small vans to 3.5 tonne Luton box vans – it’s simply not large and varied enough to cater for the specialist needs of our clients 24/7, 365 days a year. Therefore, whenever our client calls us, we make use of the thousands of member businesses who belong to Courier Exchange and Haulage Exchange’s 50,000-strong virtual fleet. In this respect, being a member of the Exchange has proved incredibly effective. In fact, I’d go as far to say that we absolutely rely on both CX and HX for jobs which need to be turned around within an hour.”

McBride believes that having CX as a partner has helped every part of their business grow. Take the farming sector, for example, and the agricultural logistics companies U-TRAK serves.

He explains, “The challenge for our clients is to get spare machinery parts to farms as quickly as possible. It’s a race against time because any instance of machine downtime can have a major impact on productivity – especially in the harvesting season. If we didn’t have CX to call upon, it would be extremely difficult to serve our clients.”

I’d go as far to say that we absolutely rely on both CX and HX for jobs which need to be turned around within an hour.

Business Development Manager at U-TRAK, David McBride

Why U-Trak’s partnership with CX is vital

So how does CX help? Mr McBride explains, “CX helps us in three ways. Firstly, by posting a load on the system, we can always get a vehicle from a reputable company to pick up the part within 40 minutes to an hour.

“Secondly, by using CX, we can get the right sized vehicle for the job. The Exchange has such a diverse fleet that we’re able to source five tonne trucks – which is a very rare vehicle spec because of its 5-metre length frame that’s perfect for transporting entire tractor engines, or to combine harvester parts.”

By posting a load on the system, we can always get a vehicle from a reputable company to pick up the part within 40 minutes to an hour.

Business Development Manager at U-TRAK, David McBride

“Thirdly, the Exchange’s national fleet allows us to deliver goods quickly and efficiently to any farm in the country. It doesn’t matter, for example, that we’re based in Coventry and the broken-down tractor is in Aberdeenshire, as we wouldn’t send out one of our own vehicles. Instead, we would post the load on CX, and the likelihood is that we’d receive several quotes from specialist couriers in north-east Scotland in minutes.”

CX: a platform for all industries

But it’s not just U-TRAK’s agricultural business that has benefited. Mr McBride also says that the automotive, aviation and healthcare divisions – all of which require rapid response courier services – “have profited”.

Says McBride, “Our largest contracts are tied to the aviation and automotive sectors, which are interconnected. Often it’s automotive parts which are being transported on planes from the UK, Europe or further afield to Britain’s largest automotive factories – many of which are a stone’s throw away from our HQ. To satisfy our clients, we need to be able to deliver to – or collect from – every large airport in the UK in an hour. But that would be impossible without the Exchange. How for example, could we, a Coventry-based fleet, get one of our vans to Glasgow in 30 minutes? It would be impossible. But with the Exchange, we can assign the job to a trusted local subcontractor trained and certified for airside deliveries. That’s a big difference.”

And McBride says that “the same principle applies to the healthcare sector”. “Okay,” he concedes, “unlike agricultural logistics, we don’t require a specialist vehicle. A conventional one will do. But we rely on the Exchange to provide us with experienced and compliant drivers, who use integrated telematics – a system which synchronises the Exchange’s technology with the driver’s telematics system. This means that we can track the consignment in real-time which – given the fact that the goods could be life-saving machines, spare parts or even medical drugs – is absolutely crucial.”

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In addition to its head office in Glasgow, Monarch Transport has branches in Nottingham and southern Spain, where it has access to large fleets ranging from 3.5 tonne vans to 44-tonne articulated lorries.

But as a freight forwarder, it’s not access to large fleets that separates it from others. Instead it’s being able to call upon a wide and varied nature of its mixed managed fleet that really counts. In Monarch’s case, it has a vehicle for just about every heavy haulage scenario you could imagine. For example, articulated lorries, rigids, flat-beds and specially designed vehicles that cater for abnormal and hazardous loads.

But John Weir and Derek Anderson, who bought the company a year ago, say that access to a large and varied fleet has “little value without the skilled and experienced people who are tasked with keeping it moving”.

Like any successful business, we believe that strong customer service skills go a long way. That doesn’t just mean demonstrating good manners, it’s about ensuring that our customers are always satisfied.

John Weir, Owner at Monarch Transport

Mr Weir continues, “Therefore, when we train staff we try to get across a different mindset. We tell them that our customer’s businesses are not separate entities. Instead, we see ourselves as an extension of them.”

“Not only do our people need to have the foresight to see a potential bump in the road before it becomes a problem, they must have the confidence to act too and always be able to communicate a changing situation back to the customer in a timely manner. That’s what our clients – many of them Blue Chip companies – have come to expect and we must ensure that we are always able to deliver their goods in the designated time frame set.”

But in addition to nurturing his workforce in the strategic and soft skills needed to succeed, both Mr Weir and Mr Anderson are firm advocates of developing staff who are comfortable around technology.

“It’s not an optional requirement these days,” Mr Weir explains. “We serve several blue-chip companies and a basic requirement of working with them is that our operational and administration systems work in harmony. Incorporating these systems into our business and ensuring that our staff can use them has benefited the company. Over the years, for example, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best results are achieved when people embrace technology. As they say, you can’t make people faster, but technology can make them quicker.”

Against this backdrop, Monarch uses Transport Exchange Group’s two largest platforms – Courier Exchange and Haulier Exchange – to promote great efficiency and productivity.

Overseeing the day-to-day operations is Monarch’s Transport manager, Neil Morrison. Neil, who has worked for Monarch for three years, manages nine members of staff in Monarch’s busy HQ. All of them are plugged into Haulage Exchange and Courier Exchange platforms. So how do Morrison and his team use HX and CX?

“As a freight forwarder, we have a very large client base, and while we have access to a sizeable managed fleet, sometimes we need extra capacity to fully meet the needs of our clients. The Exchange greatly helps us in this respect because it helps us react much more quickly to our customer’s needs.”

“By using CX and HX, we’re able to post loads and when we do we always receive a quick response – whatever time of day – from drivers that we know that we can rely on. We usually have ten to fifteen loads on CX at any one time and so that gives you an idea of how frequently we utilise the platforms.”

“The other great thing about the Exchange is that it helps us to source a wide range of different sized vehicles for our customers. So whether, it’s a transit van, a curtain-sider, or a 26 tonne lorry, we know that there’s a compliant Exchange member out there who we can always subcontract the load to.”

The Exchange also help power Monarch’s thriving courier business too, which provides same day and next day courier services to Glasgow and to the rest of the UK.

CX gives us access to thousands of compliant owner drivers. Whenever we receive a request from our clients, we quite often post it on the Exchange, as we know it will be allocated to a trusted trade-only transport business.

John Weir, Owner at Monarch Transport

And like so many other large operators, Morrison says that the Exchange, which covers 10 percent of the company’s work, has also helped to extend its reach.

“We often get calls from customers based hundreds of miles away, who require a flat-bed truck. Although our Nottingham branch can cover most of these jobs, there are times when the vehicles are over-subscribed. However, nowadays, when this happens, we simply subcontract the load to a driver on the Exchange. Loads heading south of the border account for a growing percentage of our business these days and the Exchange helps ensure that we remain agile in a crowded market place.”

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