Case Studies

Below, we’ve provided two case studies showing how we’ve helped importers to not only reduce their landed costs by between 25-50%, but how we’ve also improved service, taken away a lot of their workload and in one case, recovered almost £30,000 of overpaid import duty!

Staffordshire Hydraulics Services

Case Study 1

Our Customer: Staffordshire Hydraulics Services, Kidsgrove
Their Business: Supply of equipment to the oil and gas sector
Customer Type: SME
Our Contact: Steve Moulton, Purchasing Manager
SCL Services Used: Freight Review, Freight Management, Customs Compliance

Staffordshire Hydraulics have been importing hydraulic pumps and high-pressure fittings from the USA for over 30 years and their shipments are always sent by air freight to ensure they meet the needs of their customers in the oil and gas sector. They also import by air from Asia and by road from Italy. Prior to our approach, they had been loyal to a freight forwarder for over 10 years but didn’t feel they were getting the service or the support they once had.

We therefore offered to carry out an assessment to see if there were any opportunities to reduce cost or improve service levels. Their purchasing manager, Steve Moulton was very open to the idea as they had no real logistics expertise in-house. He was also concerned that their costs had increased over time, and that their urgent USA shipments from Cleveland and Los Angeles were taking too long to arrive.

We spent a morning reviewing 3 months of their import activity, studying freight invoices, delivery performance and Customs entries and came to the following conclusions:

  • Costs were high
  • No rate agreement in place
  • No communication on shipment status
  • Transit times were slow/inconsistent
  • Little or no contact from their freight forwarder

After we submitted our proposal for the Freight Review using our shared savings model, Staffordshire Hydraulics saw the potential benefits and that not only would the review result in significant cost savings, but that they would see many other benefits including a faster service, certainty of cost and that someone with logistics expertise would be managing and overseeing this area of their business every day.

As a result of the Freight Review, we delivered an annual saving of 50% on their import air freight costs and were also able to improve their transit times by 2-3 days. This really helped their production team who are always keen to receive the USA product swiftly so they can fulfil orders to their own customers.

As things stand today, Staffordshire Hydraulics have been a customer since 2010 and in that time, we have become an extension of their business, controlling costs, assisting with Customs entry preparation, monitoring individual shipments and guiding them through the ever-changing logistics landscape, especially during the disruption caused by Covid-19.


Middleby UK

Case Study 2

Our Customer: Middleby UK, Warrington
Their Business: Supply of commercial cooking and food processing equipment
Customer Type: SME
Our Contact: Mark Daintith, Purchasing Manager
SCL Services Used: Freight Review, Freight Management, Customs Compliance

Middleby UK is part of the US based MIddleby Corporation, headquartered in Elgin, Illinois. They have suppliers across the USA and need their inbound supply chain to be robust, flexible and competitive. They use both air and ocean freight to import their consignments and prior to our contact, they had been using two different freight providers for several years.

We spoke with Mark Daintith and offered to conduct an assessment to see if there were any opportunities to help them reduce their landed cost or to improve processes or service levels. At the time, Middleby were not unhappy with their service, but their lean structure meant they had not been able to conduct a proper review of their import air and ocean freight arrangements for a few years.

We spent a morning reviewing their activity over a 4-6 month period, studying freight invoices, bills of lading and Customs entries and came to the following conclusions:

  • Freight costs were 20-25% higher than necessary
  • Lack of communication on incoming shipments
  • Freight costs hard to verify as forwarders hadn’t kept rates updated
  • Little contact from their freight forwarder to review performance/service

Again, we offered to carry out the Freight Review using our shared savings model which Middleby liked, as they knew the review would be self-funded and would generate net cash to their bottom line as well as gaining access to a source of expertise and operational support.

As a result of the Freight Review, we delivered a 25% saving on their annual freight costs and just as importantly, we locked in the new freight rates for an extended period, giving Middleby confidence in their selling prices and margins. They also saw improved shipment visibility and better service in the new arrangements. In our second year, during our routine verification of import freight invoices we noticed repeated classification errors in their import Customs entries which drew our attention. We dug deeper and saw that these errors went back several years. As a result, we submitted a bulk repayment claim to HMRC for overpaid import Customs duty and were successful in achieving a refund of over £26,000. This finding led us to launch our Customs Compliance offering which is now a valuable part of our service to customers.

Middleby UK have now been a customer since 2011 and in that time, they have grown, expanding their supplier base and we have in turn adapted their logistics model to accommodate this growth, always ensuring that their logistics model remains agile and competitive.

If you would like to learn about our other success stories, please contact us.

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