INTERVIEW: Chris May from Carry Cargo on freight forwarding
We spoke to Chris May, CEO of Carry Cargo, which handles cargoes around the world, and brokers transport solutions for importers and exporters.
Chris, tell us a bit about yourself, and what you were doing before Carry Cargo
I have been in the shipping industry all my career, for carriers, trailer operators, freight forwarding and liner agencies.
I was working for a small freight forwarder in Huddersfield, and decided to break away and form my own business – at the time just to provide me with a salary…. Now Carry Cargo provides 19 salaries!
When did you start Carry Cargo, and what does it do?
Carry Cargo International Ltd was formed in 1997, and is mainly concerned in handling cargoes around the world, import, export and cross trade. We act as the broker for exporters and importers, finding the optimum mode of transport/ solution for their cargo to get it to its destination on time, in good order and on budget.
Cargoes of widely varying weights and size are shipped by container, trailer, rail, break bulk, and airfreight. Carry Cargo will attend to all documentary requirements and offer advice at every opportunity.
Why is freight forwarding so complex, and where do your customers struggle the most?
Each customer will have their own individual requirements and their cargoes will vary widely in type and size, which can determine what method of shipment should be utilised.
The cargo may be urgently required, or fragile or valuable, thus airfreight would be a good option; the cargo may be abnormally large, not fitting into container or trailer; there may be hazardous or temperature sensitive cargo.
Each destination may have unique circumstances to be considered, and specific documentary requirements and procedures. Exporters and importers can struggle to understand such variances – and also may not know who to assist them. Similarly they may not know where to get the best freight rates and service. The freight forwarder’s role is to oversee all of these for their customers, to become, in essence their shipping department.
If you could give 3 tips to a new exporter looking to ship overseas, what would that be?
My biggest tip would be – Don’t be afraid of it and open your business out to the world. Your product WILL be wanted out there!”
Ask for help and don’t guess – you won’t be expected to know everything about shipping. There are so many outlets for help including the freight forwarder, Chambers of Commerce, Dept of Trade + Industry etc. Guessing will lead to trouble.
Make sure all involved know their responsibilities and terms of shipment clearly understood. This should also include payment terms.
What does the future of Carry Cargo look like?
Carry Cargo has an excellent outlook for the near future and still further ahead. The business is financially strong, and has been expanding year on year with an ever increasing customer base.
Growth is strong in all sectors.
What are the biggest opportunities for the freight forwarding industry in the next 5 years?
With Brexit right upon us, there has never been a better opportunity for international traders to look outside Europe to do business, whether for export or import. As these traders expand their sales, there are opportunities for the freight forwarder for each shipment made. Great Britain is widely regarded by the rest of the world as strong leaders in manufacturing and international trade, so the invitation for exporting and importing is there for all to be included.
The larger freight forwarders whom have been predominantly involved in Europe may have to open up trade lanes to wider markets, but it is expected that trade will remain strong in Europe once Brexit fall out dissipates.
The world markets are becoming more easily accessible and transportation from origin to destination becoming ever easier, quicker and cheaper which enhances opportunity for traders and freight forwarders alike.
One point to make – industry will always be changing and modifying, so the freight forwarder must always remain dynamic and change with the markets. Failure to pay attention to this will close opportunities for the forwarder.