Forwarders, truck finders not fillers

Forwarders, truck finders not fillers

What do forwarders have in common with Facebook, Uber, Alibaba and Airbnb?

I’m often asked by people who don’t know me what I do. I feel as if I need to explain what a freight forwarder is so I describe it as a transport company with no trucks.

The bewildered look never fails to amuse. The question “So how do you go about transporting goods without any vehicles?” inevitably follows, just as day follows night.

It’s not surprising that people outside of the industry, and even sometimes with those that have commercial logistics requirements, don’t fully understand or appreciate the importance of the forwarders role in the supply-chain.

The extensive network of partners across the UK, Europe or indeed any other part of the world that we establish takes time to build. It’s our understanding of cross border transportation, it’s our knowledge and experience that the customer buys.

So if a customer contacts us on a Friday, needing a double-manned 7.5 tonner with tail-lift and 2 drivers to load goods from a hotel in central Prague on a Saturday with delivery to Manchester, we can sort it. After all, we’re truck finders not fillers.

A forwarders focus is on fulfilling a customer request on time and without the issues that come with it, not filling our own trailers.

• Uber, the world’s largest taxi firm owns no cars

• Facebook, the world’s most popular media company creates no content

• Alibaba, the world’s most valuable retailer carries no stock

• Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no property

You can have the biggest fleet of trucks in Europe but if the customer experience and if employee engagement is poor, those trucks become useless.

We’ll never tell a customer a trailer is full and to call back next week. We called our company Espace, French for space, as that’s exactly what we buy and sell.

So that’s what Espace and other forwarders have in common with Uber, Facebook, Alibaba and Airbnb.

You don’t have to own physical assets to provide a great service.

Tony Shally, Managing Director of Espace Global Freight

To speak with Tony and the Espace team, visit: