How to grow your business without adding vehicles to your fleet.
It’s a fine balance and one that few couriers achieve. How do you grow your business, yet remain faithful to your roots? It is a question that Kevin Evans, the owner of Avantee Logistics, pondered for a long time until he found the solution by signing up to Courier Exchange, one of the UK’s leading collaborative logistics platforms.
Mr Evans, who founded Avantee Logistics, a same day courier with headquarters in TunbridgeWells and Reading five years ago, explains, “We worked hard to build up a large and profitable customer base in Kent and Berkshire. Many of our clients are large logistics companies or manufacturers, that are locally based, but operate throughout the whole of the UK and Europe. Like any ambitious logistics company, we wanted to forge closer links with them. But with a small fleet, we realised that, on our own, we didn’t have the agility and scale to provide national delivery capability to them at such short notice -unless we could find a recognised freight partner organisation to help.”
Evans, who has worked in the same day courier sector for 35 years, believed that the solution lay in collaborative logistics. It was then that he turnedto the Courier Exchange.
He explains, “I had known about Courier Exchange for a long time and decided to join. The technology is fairly intuitive, and it began to make a real difference to the business after just four months. Looking back, signing up to CX is probably one of the best decisions that we have ever made. Why? Because CX’s virtual fleet allows us to utilise the vast skillset of around 43,000 skilled drivers, meaning that we can take on jobs anywhere in the UK, and usually have them covered in around 60 minutes.”
With Avantee Logistics primarily using CX to post loads, in percentage terms, how much does Evans think that CX has added to the company’s annual revenue?
He says, “Ninety-nine percent of the time we use CX’s Live Availability Map (LAM) system to check the status of drivers in our network, and to post loads. We estimate that we earn between fifteen to twenty thousand pounds each month subcontracting work through the Exchange to its compliant freelance poolof drivers. And we would say the work we subcontract via the platform adds around70 per centto our annual turnover.
Signing up to CX is probably one of the best decisions that we have ever made.
But has access to the CX virtual fleet also helped Avantee to win new business?
Says Mr Evans, “While I cannot say that CX is solely responsible for winning us new customers, it’s certainly played a part in winning new contracts. It’s made our business pitches to perspective clients much more compelling, because we are able to tell them that we are able to tap into a compliant
virtual and mixed fleet at any time and all of the time. That, I think, has added an extra dimension to our service offering.”
Evans, who believes that “regular and pro-active communication between operator and customer” is cornerstone of any successful logistics business believes that pioneering new technology developed by Courier Exchange, can play a key role in ensuring that the client received regular updates.
He says, “CX, has made this much easier for us and the drivers that we subcontract too. Why? Because if the driver activates the ‘on my way to pick up’ button, it means that the driver, thedespatch manager at Avantee, and the customer can all track the vehicle’s real-time position on the LAM. This means that nobody has to waste their time phoning the driver to find out where he is, which improves communication and efficiency.”
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