NNR reports five-fold growth in its UK European road transport business since Brexit

Award-winning logistics and freight services provider NNR is continuing to develop and build its UK freight management solutions for customers, particularly in response to the new logistics and customs challenges posed by the UK’s exit from the European Union and its single customs market.

One key area has been NNR’s European road transport solutions, which prior to Brexit were mainly provided as a complementary logistics service for its internationally established and renowned air cargo and ocean freight services, operated from within NNR’s 4PL ‘Control Tower’ department. But since Brexit, NNR has seen a five-fold increase in its UK-European road transport business, as customers have sought out its solutions for UK-EU road freight movements that had previously been friction-free, but now faced significant administrative hurdles.

Customs expertise

Well ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU, NNR recognised that its expertise in Customs & Excise formalities would be in high demand after Brexit, prompting it to appoint a new manager for its 4PL department and hire additional Customs Brokers. It later added a Customs Brokerage Manager, providing a focal point for its expertise and knowledge to be channelled, internally and externally.

NNR also recognised a new opportunity: to market its European road transport solutions as a standalone service – correctly anticipating that its proven abilities in providing customised, technical, road freight solutions, including managing customs and other complex cross-border formalities, would be more fully appreciated after Brexit.

Many operators had underestimated the significance of the changes in regimes, and some “capitulated under the strain and lack of basic knowledge during those times of unprecedented change”, explains Lee Griffiths, MD for NNR Global Logistics UK.

NNR’s initial priority was to support its historically loyal customers with the new-found complexities of Brexit, investing a lot of time to share ‘best practice’ and advice on legislation and compliance. But NNR’s preparations and investments meant it also had some capacity to take on and support new clients.

Growing fast

By the end of 2021, NNR’s European road transport business was growing fast and the company recruited a head of road freight development, Simon Hucks, to control procurement and support the continued sales initiative – “ensuring NNR’s structure and resources met the growing demands of the business and the increased customer portfolio”, says Griffiths.

Despite further challenges in 2022, with some customers restructuring their UK and European logistics operations to reflect the greater complexities caused by Brexit, “we have seen yet more success as we continue to invest in ways to enhance our portfolio of European services”, Griffiths comments. “Year to date, we remain over 400% up versus our start point of 2020.”

Strong partnerships

Hucks says one of the next challenges is to move towards a greater proportion of longer-term rather than ad hoc European road freight business. But he sees strong continuing potential to develop and build the business, as NNR further establishes its reputation as a leading and trusted European road freight provider. Hucks says this is going down well with its road freight haulage partners, which are particularly keen to work with NNR once they identify that it is part of a financially strong and stable global $5 billion business with ambitions to continue growing its road freight services – and a plan to deliver that.

And with reliable UK international haulage services not always easy to find, Hucks says that is an important part of making its business, and those of its customers and partners, a continuing success.

Source: NNR