NEW AGENCY AGREEMENT SET TO RAISE DAVIES TURNER'S PROFILE IN INDIA
Cargoplan International is a subsidiary of Freight Links International, one of Sri Lanka’s largest forwarders and logistics providers, with which Davies Turner has worked for many years in providing freight forwarding services between the UK and Sri Lanka.
For airfreight shipments between the UK and India, Davies Turner Air Cargo’s existing agency agreement with AFL remains unchanged.
Colombo-based Freight Links International set up Cargoplan International in May 2005 and the company has achieved rapid growth with offices in all major cities and ports, including its regional headquarters in Chennai, plus Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.
Cargoplan’s parent company is already a market leader in Sri Lanka’s tea exports, and Kolkata also handles a sizeable trade in this commodity. Cargoplan also offers a specialised service to the plastics industry in eastern India. Major customers include Hindustan Lever, South Asia Petrochemicals, Tata Tea, ITC Ltd and Philips Carbon Black. Davies Turner likewise has a growing automotive products business with South, Northern and West India.
Freight Links has currently invested around US$1 million in its Indian operation, starting with leading edge technology and infrastructure. Cargoplan International already provides a wide range of freight forwarding and logistics services, along with trucking, warehousing and distribution.
India is a major trade lane for Davies Turner. The company operates weekly container groupage services from the UK to Mumbai, Nhava Sheva, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Tuticorin, Cochin and Delhi, with collection available via Davies Turner’s network of depots around Britain and Ireland. Import services operate weekly ex-Mumbai.
Full load container services are available to and from all parts of India. The Indian railway system is extending its container network and routes are being upgraded to take longer and heavier trains, often in conjunction with the shipping lines.
In 2005, Davies Turner reconfigured its oceanfreight services, consolidating its operations nationwide and appointing route development managers for four major trade lanes, including India and South Asia.
Joint managing director Philip Stephenson said: “We see India as one of our key growth markets for the future, and it’s fitting that we should appoint such a substantial and professional agent as our partner for oceanfreight shipments. We have worked with Cargoplan’s parent, Freight Links International, for many years in Sri Lanka and we look forward to many years of fruitful co-operation with the company’s subsidiary in India where Colombo also serves as an additional hub.
“While China may have captured most of the headlines as far as manufacturing is concerned, many multinational firms are setting up major operations in India (with Indian investors returning the compliment in the U.K), making products ranging from textiles to kitchenware, and the country is also a major food exporter. India’s leading role in software development and membership of the World Trade Organisation has opened up new markets in Europe, while India itself imports a wide range of goods from the UK, including machinery, vehicles, spare parts and high tech goods.
“While India’s ports have lacked investment in the past, average vessel size has been increasing and sailing frequencies are on a par with the rest of Asia. Most of the world’s major shipping lines operate between Europe and India.
“However, while air cargo and ocean freight transport infrastructure is modernising rapidly, shipping to and from India still needs care and attention. Shippers can always benefit by using a multimodal forwarder like Davies Turner and from the local knowledge and infrastructure brought by a strong partner in India,” concluded Mr Stephenson.
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) represents UK companies engaged in the international movement of freight by all modes of transport. A not-for-profit organisation, BIFA is funded by subscription and run by its members for members. It operates with a full-time Secretariat, which administers and manages the Association’s affairs. BIFA provides an effective and proactive organisation dedicated to improving standards of professionalism within the logistics and supply chain industry.
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