Ose European – Ready to Carry the Load

UK-based OSE European, the provider of time-critical courier and transport services, is continuing to see growth both of its volumes and its customer base.

The Gateshead-based business has expanded rapidly from being a Newcastle courier-based service to offering a full range of logistical services solutions across the UK and Europe. The key geographical area is the North-East of England into Europe and Europe back into the North-East.

“OSE European Ltd is a transport and logistics company established 20 years ago, originally offering express document deliveries to the local area.  We rapidly expanded into a van courier service, and into heavy goods vehicles shortly after that,” says Operations Director Dominic Wintrip.

Offering temperature-controlled vehicles, hazardous goods options, and secure haulage transportation solutions in a fleet ranging from small vans to articulated trailers, the business is firmly set to grow, embracing the opportunities brought about by the two biggest challenges of recent years – Brexit and the global Covid pandemic.

Handling the challenge

“With Covid and Brexit hitting at the same time, we had to be agile to safeguard our people but also to keep delivering to our customers.  Most importantly, having followed government guidelines, we had no serious Covid incidents,” says Dominic Wintrip.

He explained that during the first ‘hard core’ lockdown, some 60% of the company’s clients were still trading, so the operation was continuing all through 2020, and delivered volumes increased rapidly.

With consumer buying habits shifting practically overnight, logistics businesses reported a significant increase in B2C volumes, and pallet deliveries to residential addresses doubled compared to pre-Covid times. The surge in demand has recently resulted in the increased fleet as well as staff numbers, says Mr Wintrip.

“In terms of Brexit, we were very well prepared; we have managed to seize the opportunity and established a new dedicated customs team to handle all the changes that Brexit brought about for our customers. We have had fantastic feedback on the service that we offer in terms of managing end-to-end customs procedures for our customers.”

“Our efforts aimed at being in a position to still move goods for all our customers as soon as we left the European Union. Apart from new staff located in our offices in Gateshead, we also established a network of customs agents throughout Europe to ensure we could manage the imports into each country that our customers needed to ship to. Even with all our pre-planning, 1st January was still a major change for us and all our customers, but we have ensured that their routes to their end customers have been maintained.”

Currently, the UK-EU split is 50:50 in terms of revenue, and in terms of volume, about 30% accounts for European shipment. The company recently brought in new customs software directly linked to HMRC’s systems, which allows OSE to offer an even slicker service to its customers.

Expanded offering

As OSE has expanded rapidly, the company made the conscious decision to offer full service to its customers, to be able to deliver express van loads, 7.5T loads, 18T loads and full load trailers to anywhere in the UK & Europe.

“The majority of this work is completed on our vehicles.  We are also shareholder members of two pallet networks, Pall-Ex and Fortec, so we can truly offer full service to our customer base no matter what their transport requirements are. The partnership with Pall-Ex, started as recently as May 2021, underpins both our commitment to outstanding service delivery and our plans to make the business grow over the coming years.”

Aside from the comprehensive spectrum of services that the company offers, OSE has a team of dedicated Account Managers with minimal portfolios to ensure the best customer care, which is also something that sets the company apart from its competitors.

The exceptional level of services is another differentiator. OSE has recently achieved Bronze FORS accreditation recognising the high quality of its fleet operation. This accreditation is awarded for best practice in safety, efficiency, as well as in environmental protection.

Growing in partnerships

“Working in transport, environmental protection is naturally at the forefront of everything the company does,” says Mr Wintrip. “We have recently renewed most of the fleet to ensure that the company has the most efficient vehicles it can, in order to still maintain its service.  We are also implementing a new planning software system which will further help to optimise the miles travelled for our vehicles.”

The post-pandemic market environment, with supply disruptions, has further highlighted the role of transport and logistics companies, as an integral part of value chains, both within and across international borders, and as key facilitators to trade and commerce. Facing surging demand and increasing customer expectations, OSE is well prepared.

“We have long-standing customers in the automotive, engineering, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and other sectors. I am exceptionally proud of the culture that we have at OSE where our market-leading Customer Service and Operations teams will always ensure that we offer on-time solutions to all our Customer requests,” says Mr Wintrip.

That, however, cannot be achieved in isolation, he affirms. “Our suppliers have been absolutely key to our success, even more crucial in the volatile environment through the pandemic and Brexit.  We have managed the frequent changes in demand through the flexibility of our people but also the flexibility of our supply.”

In line with expanding its customer base, OSE will increase its fleet, premises and workforce, as well as expand its operations in Europe, by further developing its partner network but also opening further offices in the major European countries.

“We will be building on our success of the last few years with further investment in the business and the area as we look to take on new local premises in 2021, leading to further vehicles and crucially further jobs for the local community,” concludes Mr Wintrip.

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