Despite the shake-up of the ocean freight industry in the form of major alliance changes earlier this year, Europa Air & Sea is reporting projected growth and a spike in new business enquiries.
As of April this year, global shipping alliances were transformed as four alliances became three – 2M Alliance, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance. The shipping industry braced itself for disruption and delays, but four months later National Seafreight Manager at Europa Worldwide Group Rebecca Jenkinson is reflecting on how quickly and effectively her team has adapted to the changes.
Rebecca, who is based at Europa Worldwide Group’s Birmingham site in Minworth, said: “We knew about the proposed alliance changes for a while in advance and so we had time to prepare to some extent, but you can never predict all of the impacts of such a huge shift in the entire global market. We expected delays, disruption and instability for a time and experienced a good deal of this as mega vessels were positioned into new services.
“Our customers were of course aware of the coming changes, and relied on us to manage the process with as few hiccups as possible. We’re proud to report that despite the squeeze on space due to the alliance changes, we’re currently achieving record TEU figures with a particular spike in new business enquiries from China, India and the USA.
“The alliance changes have actually helped to create a more stable rate level. After Chinese New Year it is usual to see a rate slump, as we saw in 2016. But this year because of the demand on space, there was no rate slump, which in our eyes is a positive thing. We like to see supply and demand equalling out, as it creates a more predictable and manageable market to work in.”
Europa Air & Sea, which is a division of ambitious logistics operator, Europa Worldwide Group, recorded one of its best ever quarters in Q2 of this year for import growth within its seafreight operation. The team has doubled in size over the last two years having heavily invested in its sales team, by appointing dedicated Business Development Managers to help grow its offering.
Director of Europa Air and Sea Angus Hind added: “The alliance changes obviously meant that there was going to be disruption to business, but the team was prepared for this and saw it as an opportunity to be in constant communication with our customers.
“We pride ourselves on our customer service and believe this is why we’ve developed such strong relationships in our sector – but at a time of uncertainly it is even more important to ensure your customers are reassured and regularly updated. We’ve continued to do this while the alliance changes settled and feedback from our customers has been very positive as a result.”
Europa is a member of the FETA Freight Systems International Network (FFSI), a global agent network of companies offering the full spectrum of transport services.
As well as its successful Air & Sea freight operation, Europa Worldwide Group also provides specialist road, warehouse and showfreight services. The business, which is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, is operating at around 25 per cent growth across the board and recently broke through the £100m turnover barrier.