Saturday, July 14, 2012

Essex Freight Forwarder Achieves National League Listing

Improved Sales Gain Woodland Group Prestigious Placing
Shipping News Feature

UK – Staff at Essex based freight forwarder The Woodland Group have been preening themselves this week after the company entered the Sunday Times International Track 200 league table, placed at 162 above household names including Specsavers, Virgin Active and GHD. The feat is more remarkable considering the tough time logistics operations have seen recently and follows the company’s success earlier this year when it picked up the airfreight prize at the British International Freight Association’s Freight Services Awards after impressing judges with a dedicated management plan to grow the group’s air freight business.

The prestigious Sunday Times listing, which celebrates Britain’s most successful mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, was achieved following a rise in the group’s exports of English language books to China, India and Brazil. Woodland was founded by Kevin Stevens in 1988 and has grown from a single office in Essex to a truly international operation, with offices and appointed agents all around the world employing over 500 people. It operates a number of specialist divisions including Global, Media, Entertainment, Logistics and Excel and international sales grew more than 27% a year from £43.1m in 2009 to £70m in 2011. John Stubbings, group director and company secretary, commented:

“This fantastic achievement – in the context of an extremely challenging and competitive marketplace – would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment shown by the entire Woodland team. Recognition like this gives us the confidence to launch new services and target new markets around the world. There is clearly an opportunity for medium-sized logistics companies to thrive by offering value-added services and by going the extra mile for customers.”

To qualify for the Sunday Times listing companies must be registered in the UK and be independent, unquoted and ultimate holding companies. They were ranked on their compound annual growth rate in international sales over two years including their latest available accounts. Total sales had to be at least £25m and international sales at least £1m in the latest financial year.