Latest News and Views from Centurion Business Services
As a handler of international logistics, some of our customers are asking us whether Britain's possible Brexit will affect their ability to sell and fulfil orders internationally.
We are not a platform for advising people on how they may like to vote; that we will leave to the politicians. However, we can comment on what effect Brexit might have on international fulfilment.
From our experience, we find very little difference in carrying out logistics to countries whether they are in the EU or not. For example, in practicable terms there is not much difference or extra work in sending an item to, say, France compared to New Zealand.
Although it may be slightly easier to send items to another EU country, the real question is one of cost and profit rather than a matter of ease. Certainly, with the shipping that we have undertaken, there has been a marked decline in volume of sales by small businessess to continental Europe over the past few years which we have put down to the sluggish state of the Euro Zone economy. Not only have volumes fallen trough an apparent lack of consumer demand but margins have also clearly reduced as the Euro has declined in value compared to Sterling.
Maybe a fall in the Pound if Brexit did take place (as some Economists have predicted) might help to actually stimulate the amount that British small business sells to Europe, or more accurately, European consumers!
So the answer to the question that we pose is, "Very Little" in our opinion. As most business people will tell you, "As one door closes, another usually opens."
Obviously there are some parts of the world where fulfilment and delivery is always going to be difficult irrespective of our European Membership. Amongst these are war zones (and near-war zones) as well as some countries which may (from time-to-time) have tricky or unstable regimes.
To Brexit or Not To Brexit?
considereing why there is no front-rank UK parcel carrier.
UK Mail may be the largest British owned carrier but it is hardly front-rank (in terms of either size or quality of service) and it does not have its own international operation.
Most of the largest parcel carriers grew out of national postal services; DHL is part of Deutche Post, TNT was owned by the Dutch Post Office and DPD / Interlink by the French Post Office.
Yet in the UK, the effect of the Royal Mail being publicly owned for much longer than many in the industry believe it should have been, meant that Royal Mail was in no position to establish their own extensive international carrier operation.
Now the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has stated that a labour government under his leadership would re-nationalise Royal Mail. We would have to ask the question as to whether Corbyomics would be the answer to the UK's logistic needs? Probably not!
With the industry waiting to hear about the outcome of the take-over of Dutch-owned TNT by American-owned FedEx, it is worth
Demise of Carrier
Whilst passing no comment on or speculating about the demise of City Link, its collapse does perhaps cast some doubt on the wisdom of a Business using just one carrier for all their jobs especially when they are reliant upon couriers.
Let's put it this way; have you ever thought how many cars you would like to own or have access to for every eventuality. A small one for shopping; a smart one for work, a large one for family holidays, a pick-up for moving stuff, and a 4x4 for cross-country or taking the dogs out somewhere for a walk.
It is rather the same with carriers. Some of them provide better Express (next day) services than others; some are better at international work than others whilst others specialise in certain parts of the world. And exactly the same can be said about their charges too.
Effectively the difficulty for any Business is that, in general, carriers are usually more proficient and/or more economic on some types of work than others yet most Businesses use just one courier largely because the pricing structure offered by couriers is based upon volume.
As a Distribution Company, Centurion is able to overcome this problem. By using a variety of different carriers, Centurion is able to provide for its customers the right carrier for the right job at the right price.
I expect that very few amongst us are devotees of company's terms and conditions. To be honest, if you spent all your working week reading in great deal the T&Cs of all the firms that you do business with, you would have very little time for anything else.
When it comes to long and detailed T&Cs, couriers, shippers and carriers arguably come close to having the longest, most detailed and possibly the most boring.
So don't be surprised if you discover that they have a clause in their T&Cs to cover just about every eventuality. So when your precious parcels arrives at its destination in a totally wrecked state, don't expect the carrier to be sending you a cheque any time soon to cover the full cost of your valuable shipment. For a start there is almost bound to be at clause saying there is at least a £50 excess on any claim you make for damage.
In our experience, glass is the most common breakage so it is always worth taking a little extra time to pack it carefully and securely.
For an example of a carrier's typical T&Cs go to Courier-Networks at:
The Wind Wouldn't Blow
Amongst couriers, the expression "Express" usually indicates delivery the next day, certainly when it is within the same country like the UK.
They invariably also offer a "By 9am" or a "Before 12 noon" service.
However is there any come-back if the courier fails to deliver the item by the time agreed?
Well, whilst they will probably be prepared to offer the return of the premium charged on top of their basic rate for the early delivery, they will be reluctant to give a full refund and they certainly won't accept any claim for consequential loss as a result of their poor performance.
The reason for this is largely based in a long-held principle of international law that relates to the days of the sailing ship when they would arrive in port weeks, even months, late as a consequence (genuinely or otherwise) of a lack of wind during some part of their passage.
Hence, in the eyes of the law, the issue is not whether the consignment arrives on time rather whether it arrives at all.