Independent midlands freight forwarder opens third large warehouse in Birmingham ready for Brexit

IFL's warehouse

Independent freight forwarder and Palletways member, International Forwarding Ltd (IFL), has just taken over its third large, secure, storage facility in the Midlands. The expansion is to help import-export businesses combat disruption from reduced air and sea freight capacity due to coronavirus restrictions, as well as provide space for extra goods ahead of Brexit changes at the end of the transition period.

The 3,700 sq m (40,000 sq ft) warehouse in Garretts Green, Birmingham, is already starting to fill up with short and long-term goods storage bound for UK and European destinations. The further expansion comes a year after the company almost doubled its storage space with a second 2,000 sq m facility located at its Coleshill HQ.

IFL is a member of Imperial’s Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network. Adding a third pallet storage facility supports the company’s growth plans and its aim to become one of the leading warehouse companies in the Midlands for imports and exports. The new unit will provide significant additional capacity – up to 6,000 pallets. It is located on the site of Birmingham’s former Hovis bakery, which closed in 2013, within close proximity of Birmingham city centre, the M42 and M6, and Birmingham International Airport.

Rob Pike, managing director of IFL, said: “These are tough times for everyone. But we are very excited to be opening our third warehouse at this strategic site for goods coming into Birmingham or being shipped to Europe. It’s a fantastic growth opportunity for the company and will significantly increase our storage capacity.

“Like many other forwarders, our warehouse operations have been running at near maximum capacity throughout lockdown. The trend for over-purchasing of goods from Europe is one that is likely to continue in the lead up to Brexit, and for the next year at least, as companies try to cushion the impacts of disrupted supply chains. Even where goods have been delivered, many companies don’t want to take delivery or install products/components because they are operating on a skeleton staff with furloughed employees. We are also now able to offer additional temporary space to other freight and logistics operators who are also at capacity.”

Commenting, Rob Gittins, managing director of Palletways UK, added: “This expansion is excellent news from a member of our network. As part of Imperial, Palletways is always looking ahead, to new business opportunities and further growth across Europe. Quality members like IFL ensure that the Palletways network is able to flourish and continue to provide excellent service to our customers across the continent.”

International Forwarding was founded in 1989 to fill a niche in the West Midlands of providing a personalised bespoke freight forwarding service to local exporters and importers. The company has continued to go from strength to strength and now has 60 staff, a fleet of 20 trucks and a turnover of almost £10 million.

Since joining Palletways in 2002, International Forwarding has built a strong network of European partners to provide door-to-door export and import groupage services and is now a Platinum member, an accreditation earned as a result of high quality and consistent customer service.

The company is one of over 115 independent transport providers that are part of the Palletways UK network. They benefit from shared expertise and resources from within the group to deliver consignments of palletised freight to market faster and more cost effectively than ever before. The Imperial’s Palletways Group, famed for its industry-leading IT developments and operational systems, comprises 450+ depots and 20 hub operations, through which it provides collection and distribution services across 24 European countries, including the UK.

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