One of the UK’s largest independent logistics providers, Europa Worldwide Group, is celebrating its ‘Decade of Growth’, marking 10 years since its acquisition by transport entrepreneur, Andrew Baxter.
Andrew acquired Europa in August 2013, when the company employed just 400 people across nine UK branches and one international site in Hong Kong. Today, the business turns over £302m, an increase of 400 per cent and employs more than 1,400 people across 30 sites globally.
The business has come a long way, with major investment and innovations helping it set the pace in the market.
Andrew said: “When I took the business on, I had a vision of what was most important to customers. To establish an organisation that delivered this, the company needed people and facilities in place to optimise operational quality, provide best in class customer service, and deliver it all at a fair price.
“Building Dartford’s £30m 1Hub from the ground up was just the start. Before this, our distribution system had longer transit times, higher costs and no track and trace capabilities. After its completion in 2015, we centralised our road freight service offering, by going from two hubs to one. This operation provided more daily direct services to Europe than any other carrier, and all from the UK’s largest groupage hub, the 1Hub.”
Today over 40,000 consignments pass through the terminal each month, optimising the movement of goods to and from the continent post-Brexit.
“The 1Hub concept, paired with our bespoke IT infrastructure Leonardo launched in 2016, gave us the ability to seamlessly link up key parts of the supply chain, offering full visibility and efficiency at a competitive price.”
Every day, cargo from Europa’s 18 UK branches trunk into the 1Hub, making upwards of 22,000 crossings on the channel per year. To drive growth in the Benelux, Europa Road acquired Belgian unaccompanied trailer operation Continental Cargo Carriers in 2018 and has since boosted its European presence with groupage services in Oostende, Belgium, and a new site in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Staying ahead of the curve with innovative solutions has certainly paid off for Europa, with another milestone being the completion of Europa Warehouse’s £60m state-of-the-art 3PL facility in Corby, in 2020.
“Completing work in Corby – during a pandemic, no less! – was certainly a milestone for us,” comments Andrew.
“The 100,000-pallet storage facility doubled our warehouse portfolio and gave us the capacity to provide a range of value-added capabilities, from e-commerce fulfilment and pick and pack, to critical parts management. A year later, to future-proof our warehouse offerings, we invested a further £11m in a cutting-edge automation system”.
The system, which was fully operational in just six months, allows the Corby team to continue to improve efficiencies and cater for increased demand during peak times.
Europa has consistently proven itself to be an innovator and disruptor in the logistics sector, staying ahead of the curve to adapt to new challenges. A demonstration of this was its development and adoption of Europa Flow in 2021.
Developed because of Brexit, this market-leading Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) service ensures customs declarations are made, that VAT is zero rated and that duty is paid all whilst goods cross the channel. So that they are in free circulation by the time they arrive in Calais.
Andrew comments: “Europa Flow was the result of a £5m investment and was developed to solve the extra complexity that traders would face post-Brexit. Now, over 50 per cent of our shipments are booked through Europa Flow with buyers benefiting from no unexpected fees or duty, and VAT zero rated to help their cash flow.
“Customers shipping using DDP incoterms are guaranteed a seamless flow of goods in and out of the UK.”
“Europa Road has shown further confidence in its ability to optimise the flow of goods between the UK and Europe through the recent launch of a Money Back Guarantee service that is available to customers in the UK and Ireland.”
However, the developments at Europa are not just in our Road division, Andrew added: “Europa Air & Sea has gone through a landmark period of change. Since its launch as a separate division in 2015, the team has expanded, attracting new talent from office locations in Dubai and Shanghai in 2022, and in Shenzhen and Delhi this year. Moreover, our dedicated air and sea freight specialists have contributed to our growth in turnover to £302m, as well as being pivotal in increasing our influence in new, exciting markets.
“At the core of this business, there is a team who works tirelessly to seek out new business, solve customer challenges and create a good-natured working environment for those around them,” concludes Andrew. “As we continue to adapt, evolve and innovate, I am grateful for what we have achieved and look forward to entering our second Decade of Growth.”
Europa Worldwide Group is an ambitious independent logistics operator with three divisions, Europa Road, Europa Air & Sea, and Europa Warehouse. The group employs over 1,400 people with 30 international sites in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong, China and the UAE. The global operator reported a record turnover of £302m for the last 12 months, as of August 2022, and remains on track with its ambitious investment programme.