A case study in supply chain logistics to and from the Swiss market

Switzerland freight

For more than 13 years, International Forwarding has been the go-to forwarder for daily road freight transport to and from Switzerland. Here’s how we developed and continue to grow our flagship daily Swiss service…

Innovation driven by customers

In September 2003, International Forwarding created a market-leading niche transport service to Switzerland. This was driven by our customers’ needs for a faster, more frequent road freight facility to avoid the high costs of air freight and express vans. With a lead time of just six months, our aim was to upgrade the existing weekly service to a daily operation, achieve a depot-depot time in both directions of 18 hours and to grow pallet freight deliveries from 50 to 200 pallets input per night within three years.

To facilitate this, we joined Palletways – the largest overnight pallet network in the UK – and interfaced our new computer software with theirs to provide track-and-trace facilities for pallet delivery consignments distributed both on the company’s own vehicles and via the Palletways network. We selected our Swiss transport partner for their international track record and express mentality, and they invested in equipment, staffing and IT resources in Switzerland to fund the infrastructure there. Other contracts were also put in place to ensure 24-hour support services to deal with any mechanical breakdowns.

Faster customs clearance was expedited through preparing entries electronically in advance and clearing UK import shuttles at Dartford Inland Clearance Depot, en-route from the Channel Tunnel to our Birmingham hub in the West Midlands.

The final part of the jigsaw was to implement a door-to-door track-and-trace system, with each piece of freight barcoded and scanned at every stage of the transit. When either our Swiss affiliate or IFL driver effects the delivery, the proof of delivery (POD) is scanned and downloaded via satellite GPS to the office within minutes of delivery.

The first shuttle trucks in each direction were operated ahead of schedule, on Monday 23 February 2004, and every working day since.

‘Do it daily – and do it right’

Our Swiss express shuttle operation has grown to become one of our most popular and profitable activities. It is used by manufacturing and most of the forwarding industry in the West Midlands, but open to all UK-CH importers and exporters. Transit insurance is also available as part of the total package – another key selling point for many of our customers.

We remain one of the few UK freight forwarders to operate a daily road freight service to and from Switzerland. For added value, our service is driver-accompanied both to ensure the fastest possible transit time and secure, reliable delivery of all your consignments – you can be sure we will never leave trailers unattended at the port during the handover process. As International Forwarding MD Rob Pike succinctly put it, our aim is to: “Do it daily – and do it right.”

How can we help?

Get in touch today for a fast quote or to find out how you can take advantage of IFL’s reliable and cost-effective service to/from Switzerland daily. Some of the key service highlights are listed below:

  • Daily road freight departures.
  • Best rates, fast quotes and friendly service.
  • Low-cost groupage and full/part loads.
  • Export and import customs clearances carried out electronically.
  • A dedicated transport partner in Switzerland.
  • Total control, supplier to consignee.
  • Door to door in 48/72 hours.