The Managing Director of TransGlobal Freight Management Ltd, Stephen Knight, was in Mauritius in April. Staff of his company have regularly visited Velogic since Rogers and TransGlobal started working together in 1979. He talks about the benefits that have accrued from this long-standing partnership.

photos : rogers image bank

It has now been nearly 35 years since TransGlobal Freight Management, a leading UK international freight forwarder, started its collaboration with Cargo Express, the freight-forwarding business of Rogers Logistics which was integrated within Velogic in 2009. Between 1979 and the mid-1980s, the business relationship was primarily confined to servicing airfreight business between the UK and Mauritius. The collaboration then expanded to include ocean freight, which also developed into a strong business partnership.

Since then, TransGlobal staff have been regularly visiting Mauritius for sales and meetings with existing and potential customers. “Clearly understanding the marketplace is very important,” says Managing Director Stephen Knight. “We have found the visits to be a productive way of informing customers of new solutions and arrangements in the UK and also providing Velogic personnel with an overview of TransGlobal’s activities.”

TransGlobal’s MD visited Velogic in Mauritius in April 2013 and is convinced of the value the relationship adds. “Service and communication are excellent and this has allowed us to retain clients over a very long period. There is a good understanding between customer service personnel at each end and this enables us to jointly provide a first-class service to our clients both in the UK and Mauritius. Of course, the value of working with Velogic is that it is part of one of the major trading houses in Mauritius and this allows us to sell to a wide range of organisations, big and small, safe in the knowledge that we are dealing with a first-class partner.”

TransGlobal sees Mauritius as a niche market, catering for all types of air and ocean freight, including machinery and spares, chemicals and pharmaceutical products, books and printed matter, certain high-end retail products, computer equipment and some semi-finished products which are used for further manufacturing. Despite strong links with the UK, Mauritius has turned to importing from China and other Asian countries in recent years due to cost constraints. “Overall freight volumes from the UK to Mauritius have declined in the last ten years or so, as the country has turned to other markets which offer more competitive pricing particularly in the consumer retail sector. However, our relationship ensures that we are still handling some 20% market share in Mauritius, and this makes us important players on the route.”

The global slowdown has also had an impact on TransGlobal’s southbound trade with some fluctuation in buying patterns. “When the pound is strong, customers in Mauritius tend to look elsewhere; when the pound is weak, they do return to the traditional supply point. In general TransGlobal’s export business from the UK has been increasing over the past five years, and in 2012 our total export volumes increased by some 13%.”
Regionally, TransGlobal also works with other freight companies in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. “Where possible,” says Stephen Knight, “we cooperate with Rogers’ offices in Madagascar, Reunion and Mozambique, although these are not very important trade lanes as far as the UK is concerned.”

Commenting on the outlook for the Velogic-TransGlobal partnership, he emphasises that “It is important never to become complacent and our customers are now expecting more interaction electronically and for us to come up with solutions to difficult logistics-supply chain issues. Problem-solving and providing customer solutions is an essential element in our long-term partnership and, whilst the UK may not be as quite important as it once used to be, it will continue to be an important supply point and trading partner.”

Five reef types

TransGlobal Freight Management is a leading independent international freight forwarding company, with over 200 personnel in 12 locations handling over 110,000 shipments per annum. The company has been involved in ocean freight forwarding since the 1920s and air freight for the past 30 years, providing solutions for cargo transactions by air, land or sea. Operating on a worldwide basis, TransGlobal Freight Management has particularly strong and well-established business links with India, China (including Hong Kong), the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

http://www.tgfml.com

TransGlobal sees Mauritius as a niche market, catering for all types of air and ocean freight, including machinery and spares, chemicals and pharmaceutical products, books and printed matter, certain high-end retail products, computer equipment and some semi-finished products which are used for further manufacturing.

Despite strong links with the UK, Mauritius has turned to importing from China and other Asian countries in recent years due to cost constraints. “Overall freight volumes from the UK to Mauritius have declined in the last ten years or so, as the country has turned to other markets which offer more competitive pricing particularly in the consumer retail sector. However, our relationship ensures that we are still handling some 20% market share in Mauritius, and this makes us important players on the route.”

The global slowdown has also had an impact on TransGlobal’s southbound trade with some fluctuation in buying patterns. “When the pound is strong, customers in Mauritius tend to look elsewhere; when the pound is weak, they do return to the traditional supply point. In general TransGlobal’s export business from the UK has been increasing over the past five years, and in 2012 our total export volumes increased by some 13%.”
Regionally, TransGlobal also works with other freight companies in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. “Where possible,” says Stephen Knight, “we cooperate with Rogers’ offices in Madagascar, Reunion and Mozambique, although these are not very important trade lanes as far as the UK is concerned.”

Commenting on the outlook for the Velogic-TransGlobal partnership, he emphasises that “It is important never to become complacent and our customers are now expecting more interaction electronically and for us to come up with solutions to difficult logistics-supply chain issues. Problem-solving and providing customer solutions is an essential element in our long-term partnership and, whilst the UK may not be as quite important as it once used to be, it will continue to be an important supply point and trading partner.”

Three decades at the service of TransGlobal

Married with twin boys, Stephen Knight has been with TransGlobal Freight Management for more than 30 years. After leaving university in 1981, he joined the company’s airfreight division and has subsequently held a number of positions within the Group, jointly running the Ocean Division and later becoming Sales Director following the merger with the Air Division in 2000. In 2003, Stephen, whose hobbies are running, cooking and dining out, was appointed Managing Director of the combined freight company. He also sits on the main Board of TransGlobal PLC.

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