• Luke Mitchell

2. One to watch - Europa Worldwide Group

Europa Worldwide Group - since its acquisition in 2013 Europa has grown to become one of the largest privately owned transport and logistics providers in the UK. The Group employs over 1,000 staff servicing over 160 countries worldwide. Their incredible growth meant they were the highest-ranking freight & logistics operator in the Sunday Times Top 250 Track Table this year, a feat they have achieved for three consecutive years now. Their latest accounts highlight a revenue increase of 16.5% reaching £205m, and a 15.3% increase in Profit before Tax to £6m.

The Group consists of six divisions – Europa Road, Europa Air & Sea, Europa Showfreight, Europa Warehouse, Europa Contact Centre & Continental Cargo Carriers. These departments ensure customers are catered for throughout the supply chain process, with dedicated teams that focus on each element of the process.

Even during unprecedented times, there is no sign of investment drying up at Europa, they have recently opened a new £60m facility based on a 25-acre site in Corby, Midlands. This state of the art facility boasts 715,000 sq.ft of warehouse with 100,000 pallet spaces, doubling the size of their existing warehouse portfolio. Completing this during Covid highlights Europa’s nimble & dynamic approach; the introduction of Covid related guidelines for the construction team was just one hurdle to overcome, with intended office space on the top floor being reconstructed to staff lockers and changing rooms. Testament to the developers and Europa management for delivering this project ahead of schedule.

The facility is already virtually at capacity, emphasising the current demand for modern warehouse space in the UK.

In addition to dealing with COVID, the UK logistics industry is faced with the looming date of the EU customs transition period ending, on 1st January 2021. Europa’s Managing Director Andrew Baxter has launched a product to combat potential transit challenges called ‘Europa Flow’ which has been endorsed by Deloitte. Post transition, every EU shipment will need an import and export declaration and to make this declaration you will need a compliant invoice and proof of origin.

The product has been developed to combat potential delays that will occur, due to the requirement of import vat and duty paid, prior to delivery. If payments are not made on time, there is a high chance of delays and extra costs. Aiming to maintain consistency for importers and exports in their European supply chain, Europa has established two customs brokerage businesses in Calais, France and Oostende, Belgium which together with the team in Dartford, will manage declarations and procedures.

In a process that is arguably the biggest challenge to the industry in the past 20 years, Europa are doing their upmost to ensure they are ready to navigate their customers through the EU break away.

With the ambition to reach revenues of £400m by 2024, Europa are well positioned to continue their growth trend, by attracting customers who depend on a service driven model with national network capabilities. By leveraging their infrastructure alongside a sophisticated technology platform called Leonardo, Europa continue to win multinational contracts.

After successfully exiting R H Freight to global 3PL Kuehne & Nagel back in 2011, it will be interesting to watch Baxter's Europa story unfold as the growth trajectory is certainly catching many people' eyes and rightly warrants attention from the industry’s largest operators. 

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