In recent months we’ve heard many inspiring stories from owner drivers and fleets -both small and large -documenting how the Transport Exchange Group has helped to increase profits. But there are other trade-only businesses on the Exchange -such as freight forwarder sand brokers -that are also flourishing.
Often called the “architects of transport”, these innovative businesses don’t own a single vehicle, but prosper due to their vast network of industry contacts. They’re some of the most knowledgeable people in freight and help connect UK fleets to complex manufacturing supply chains.
Today we hear from Naresh Patel, an Essex-based freight forwarder, how Haulage Exchange has helped him to grow his business.
Mr Patel, who owns Vyom Services Ltd (VSL), says “that much of his core business came from supplying air, ocean and rail to his clients”. But he’d also noticed that many of his large customers wanted”niche road-based services” too.
To satisfy demand, he decided to create a same day delivery arm to his business too. But there was one problem. The large same and next day delivery operators that he was using could not meet the complex and specialist needs of his clients.
Says Patel, “One of my biggest customers, works in the construction sector,where it supplies materials to the Crossrail project. All Heavy Goods Vehicle working on the project have to meet its stringent lorry safety requirements. Fleets must be members of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and must have blind side detection equipment installed. These upgrades can cost several thousand pounds and so the majority of UK fleets don’t meet the standard.”
So how has HX helped Mr Patel?
Mr Patel explains, “Well, firstly it gives me real-time access to its virtual fleet. Its fleet is huge -there are over 40,000 vehicles to choose from -and, most importantly, it also caters for forwarders like me who need specialist drivers and vehicles. But when I posted my first load, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’d already been letdown by a large parcel carrier and had fairly low expectations. But within five minutes of putting the job on the HX, I had not just one -but three offers. They were all very competitively priced and fitted the strict Crossrail criteria to a tee. I can honestly say -that that day – more than any other was pivotal to me in terms of growing the business. It meant that not only could I deliver for my customer, but win many other contracts too.
HX has “made me successful in the next day space too”.
Mr Patel recently won a large contract with a major hospital supplier. Without HX, however, he says that he “wouldn’t have landed the work”.
He explains, “I’d tried to win it previously, but without success. The problem was that the provider needed vehicles to collect the goods on Saturday, store them on board the vehicle over the weekend and then deliver them early Monday morning. Finding a haulier to do this job was virtually impossible, so I’d always have to turn the work down. However, when I advertised the job on HX, I found several interested parties -who were all highly experienced and supremely qualified to do the work. The supplier is happy,and so am I.”
HX has “increased my client base”.
Some 18 months later, Mr Patel hasadded 35 clients to my portfolio, many of whom use his company exclusively for its same day service capabilities.
He says, “I post between 30-35 loads each week and I’m confident that when I move to new premises later in the year and take on some new staff, that number will only increase, as will my margins. I’ve already increased them by five percent thanks to HX. It may not seem much, but that’s an extra couple of hundred pounds each week, which is really making a difference to my business.”
Join over 6,000 member businesses across the UK and Europe.
Find the plan that works for you
It's a fine balance and one that few couriers achieve. How do you grow your business, yet remain faithful to your roots? It’s a question that Kevin Evans, owner of Avantee Logistics, pondered for a long time until he found the solution by signing up with CX, one of the UK's leading collaborative logistics platforms.Read story
Darrin Armstrong, Managing Director of Lost & Found Courier Services, explains why CX is the perfect business partner.
"When I started couriering 14 years ago, things weren't easy. The industry was much more conservative and risk adverse. It was difficult to get in front of large companies, let alone win new business..."Read story
HSP Couriers carry everything from tractor and engineering parts to staging and lighting equipment for movie sets on blockbusters such as Twilight. They first joined CX just one month after the business started in August 2008, and even won the Transport Exchange Group's Best Newcomer Award in their first year as a member.Read story
Talk to us! On the phone, online or in person…we’re here to help