IFL celebrates 30 years as an independent UK freight forwarder

Proud to be an independent UK freight forwarder: IFL directors (l-r): Nigel Parsons, Rob Pike (MD), Trisha Slater, Andy Grubb, Roy Baker.

Birmingham-based International Forwarding Ltd (IFL) turns 30 this month, remaining one of the few independent UK freight forwarding and logistics companies left in a market of multinationals and large operators.

In 30 years IFL has grown from just three members of staff and a single vehicle to a business with 60 staff, almost £10 million turnover and 20 trucks in its fleet. It has offices in Birmingham and Dover, and offers London freight forwarding services.

Commenting on the celebrating 30 years in the business, IFL Managing Director Rob Pike said: “We are enormously proud to be a leading independent freight forwarder competing with multinationals through our personal service, agility, and years of expertise in legal, customs and insurance issues.

Rob Pike, Managing Director, IFL
Rob Pike, Managing Director, IFL: “We are enormously proud to be a leading independent UK freight forwarder.”

“It’s been a strong year for business. We’ve doubled our warehousing facilities in the Midlands, expanded our European forwarding network coverage, and helped customers navigate Brexit and mitigate the risks.”

The company started trading in 1989 to fill a niche for an independent forwarder specifically serving the needs of Midlands companies – and this remains the core focus of the company today.

In 2002 it joined the Palletways network, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network. As one of 115 independent transport providers, IFL shares resources to deliver small consignments of palletised freight to the marketplace faster and more cost effectively. The Palletways Group is known 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.

IFL's board of directors in 2019 (l-r): Nigel Parsons, Rob Pike (MD), Trisha Slater, Andy Grubb, Roy Baker.
IFL directors gather at their Birmingham Coleshill hub to celebrate 30 years of trading (l-r): Nigel Parsons, Development Director; Rob Pike, Managing Director; Trisha Slater, Operations Director; Andy Grubb, Sales Director; Roy Baker, Director and original MD.

IFL is a Platinum member of the Palletways network. Together with its own freight customers, it handles around 100,000 consignments each year.

To mark 30 years as a Midlands forwarder, IFL interviewed Roy Baker, the original managing director who still works part-time for the company, about how the business has changed, key highlights and the challenges ahead.

Roy Baker, original Managing DIrector at IFL
Roy Baker, original Managing Director at IFL: “I felt that there was a niche for an independent forwarder specifically serving the needs of Midlands companies and this remains the core focus of the company today.”

He said: “There are immediate challenges over Brexit, as well as environmental concerns and technological changes to navigate. But ultimately we think the trend for multinational mergers, takeovers and buyouts will leave even more scope for a well established independent forwarder and transport company such as IFL to maintain and increase its market share.”

Read the full interview: 30th anniversary interview: Founding IFL Director Roy Baker

IFL at your service

For further information on IFL’s history, visit our About section or visit our range of services to find out more about freight forwarding, warehouse logistics, pallet delivery and customs clearance.

For customers who wish to get a fast, flexible quote on freight forwarding or warehousing needs, call +44 (0)1675 434690 or email enquiries@internationalforwarding.co.uk.


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