Developing Business Abroad
Spatial Global’s collaborative spirit, award-winning service, and dynamic use of technology indicate a future of exceptional growth across Europe.
Spatial Global began in 1980 out of East Midland’s Airport in the UK as a simple freight business offering aircraft brokerage, leasing, and chartering aircraft. Since then, Spatial has continued to add new services – including international mailing and courier, logistics, pick-and-pack, and e-commerce.
Spatial Global eagerly embraced WiseTech Global’s logistics solution in 2007 to meet the increased demand from a broadening customer base. “We needed to maintain a differential for Spatial in an ever increasingly competitive market,” says Rachel Morley, Freight Manager at Spatial Global. “WiseTech Global gave us a solution that easily tackled electronic advances in the global trade, transparency and reporting to customers, improvements to our infrastructure, and improved internal processes. Spatial has gone on to earn multiple BIFA (British International Freight Association) awards,” she adds, referring to the company’s wins in 2010 and 2013.
“When we went shopping for a system,” Rachel explains, “we looked at a lot of different products. Our business needed management information reporting and controls for financial data: job costing, profits, and the list went on. We wanted real data that we could easily share with customers, automated and scheduled to run exactly to fit their own operational requirements. The e-docs facility allowed electronic storage of vital customs data and documentation. Previously, when customers had their own audits, it would literally be a paper exercise through the archived files.
“We found the solution to all of these with WiseTech Global’s integrated product. With CargoWise One it’s just a single shipment entry linking shipment documentation, customs brokerage, job costing and billing, milestone tracking, and event management. For audits, we can just call it straight up in the system, or direct consignees to it through the Web Tracker. When we look at the different parts of the system,” Rachel adds, “there’s so much more of it to explore in terms of business efficiencies. Warehousing, transport, client relationship tools, and all the other modules.”
In 2006, Spatial was acquired by The Keswick Enterprises Group Limited, which further accelerated the company’s already rapid pace of expansion. Keswick owns and manages businesses specializing in logistics and supply chain related services, and leverages synergies between them.
As Keswick Enterprises began making inroads into central Europe, having a system that was easy for a startup to implement and was capable of handling complex logistics was essential. “An example is member company Tibbett Logistics in Romania, which also has a local freight forwarding joint venture with Allport Cargo Services,” says Mike Wallis, Executive Chairman Spatial Global Limited. “They’re a contract logistics business, providing warehousing, distribution for big retailers, fast-moving consumer goods, and intermodal transport. They’re handling freight, putting it on the train, bringing it to Bucharest, delivering the goods, and all those processes are seamless on CargoWise One.”
The system’s ease of use isn’t the only advantage startup ventures should consider, as Mike further explains. “For a new company to have an IT system of CargoWise One’s quality, all on its first-year budget, WiseTech Global’s pay-as-you-go model is totally fantastic.”
According to Mike Wallis, Spatial Global will play a major role on behalf of Keswick’s next big venture in Europe. “We’re starting an automotive alliance of small to medium-sized businesses based in Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic to provide solutions to the automotive market, which is normally dominated top-down by a handful of companies. With the right technology platform, we can offer services across the whole region. We can share information and improve our skills, data quality, and market intelligence, and ultimately expand even further.”
Fully utilizing CargoWise One’s integrated Customs functionality is among Spatial Global’s top priorities as well. Rachel explains that any company serious about staying compliant should prepare now if they don’t want to fall on the wrong side of regulations later. “2016 is going to be a big year for Customs brokerage,” she says. “The Union Customs Code has gone into effect throughout the EU, and the gross-mass container weight verification is coming in July. We already have access to all that we need to stay fully compliant. And with EDI and visible financial transactions via the carriers, we can easily communicate the weight verification right when it comes through. When all these changes happen, we know that we’ve got the software that’s ready to handle it.
“So much moves internationally,” remarks Rachel. “So much of it needs that level of control, time sensitivity, and quality that really only companies like Spatial can provide. We have just fifty-nine staff here, and for us it’s about relationships, transparency, and integrity.
“We’re a small-sized forwarder, but we compete on a global scale with all of the bigger names that people are familiar with, so you know we have to look for that differentiator. Having all the information at your fingertips is a major benefit. CargoWise One makes all the difference.”