Ask any haulier about the prospect of changing their Transport Management System (TMS) – and they will probably go very pale. It is an enormous undertaking and, if not managed well, can wreak havoc with your logistics operation. So much is at risk given the platform controls nearly all aspects of business; resource planning, routing of vehicles, order creation, invoicing, pallet tracking, proof of delivery, customer communication … the list goes on. When we were selecting our platform provider, we knew we had to bring all these variables together in beautiful harmony to ensure the system was fit for purpose for our team, whilst also providing best-in-class functionality for our customers.

We only went and did it!

When we signed on the dotted line with Qargo, we didn’t just sign up for an ‘off-the-shelf’ package. Instead, we joined an exciting partnership with an exceptional team of developers. Together, we have designed, tested, created and rolled out an IT platform that is, without doubt, sector-leading. In the run up to ‘Going-Live’, we collectively spent over 2,500 hours within the Qargo-Verse in a sandbox test environment, where we experimented with over 5000 non-live consignments.

Thanks to all the hard work that went into the 10-month development phase – the ‘Go-Live’ experience was, dare we say it, painless! We knew what to expect and when. The preparation enabled us to deploy the plan precisely. When we entered what Qargo refer to as the “Critical Care Phase” during the ‘Go-Live’ transition, the Qargo team were on site with us, and a team of platform developers were working 24/7 behind the scenes to set our systems up as we needed.

The Go Live experience – Seamless Deployment

Within less than 24 hours of ‘Going-Live’, we had over 1000 consignments booked on the new Qargo TMS, with API integrations flowing with customers and partners as well as full cross dock functionality and driver application. Everything just works! Our teams within the office, the yard and our drivers really love the intuitive way the software delivers solutions.

A few years ago, AI-supported job entry and full fleet route optimisation was a dream. Now it’s our reality and we love it.

Thank you Qargo!

Anglia Freight is a truly agile logistics provider. We have won many awards based on our excellent reputation of listening to customers and providing them with the solutions they need to impress their customers.

The consignments we move are so much greater than the sum of the individual pallets

We are dedicated to ensuring that consignments are treated on an individual basis and not just put into a network, or on a fleet. To fulfil our customers’ requirements, we have various channels to hand which provide not only a comprehensive service but are incredibly reliable, delivering award-winning levels of service every time.

IT investment helps deliver excellent service

Our investment in cutting edge IT technology ensures our customers do not have to double key their orders, freight is not double handled, paperwork flows electronically, and customers are kept up to date on consignment statuses and delivery ETAs. Real-time signatures at delivery and customers own ‘Proof of Delivery’ paperwork adds to the reassurance that their shipment is delivered on time and in full.

Preferred delivery slots to Amazon through Palletline

Our unique, shareholder relationship with the UK’s first and only full member-owned pallet network, Palletline, ensures that we can reach the four corners of the UK and Europe quickly, accurately and at very competitive rates. Palletline is a preferred supplier to Amazon. As a member of their preferred inbound carrier programme, we get access to selected delivery slots, helping to eliminate delivery fines and ensuring freight is seamlessly transitioned from anywhere in the UK into any of the Amazon Fulfilment Centres at extremely competitive rates.

Maximising our own fleet

Maximising traffic on our own fleet allows us to control vehicle locations and movements, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our versatile fleet can deliver any sized consignment to all the UK and Europe, ensuring our customers’ freight is delivered on time and in full. From small vans with tail lifts, that suit home delivery, to large articulated vehicles for RDC deliveries, we’ve got it covered, in the most efficient way, maximising vehicle fill, reducing empty running miles and minimising the environmental impact.

Trailer swap services

We also work with UK partners to provide trailer swap services, where freight is not needlessly double-handled, and damages are virtually non-existent. We are proud of these partnerships with our trusted regional hauliers, which have spanned over 25 years and who have continually excelled in their field.

All consignments are treated individually

All our customers are individuals, and as their consignments present different challenges, they are treated individually too. We believe all our customers deserve the very best logistics provider to coordinate the mass movement of freight, and we are here to do just that.

It is that time of year again when we reflect on the previous year, take stock of the current situation and project forward at what the New Year may bring. You may already have an idea where I’m going with this from the title?!

Usually the budgeting and forecasting at Anglia Freight is a fairly simple process of using historic results and nailing our flag to the mast for what we want to achieve for the next year. The slight snag this year is that we do not have the foggiest idea what the lay of the land will be for 2019.

Business leaders are having to make up to three or four strategy plans to cover the most likely eventualities of what life looks like once the BREXIT outcome is decided. It is not unusual for Companies to have multiple plans, but the problem we all face here is not just the whole uncertainty of criteria, but the sheer scale and magnitude of differences between the outcomes of one path to another.

One of Anglia Freight’s values and intentions is to always offer Peace of Mind to our Customers. I’ve mentioned before, it is a big deal for Customers to put their trust in us to deliver and look after their products which are in effect their livelihoods. We aim to be a key step in the sequence of steps to get product to market, where our Customers have complete faith and confidence in us to do our part effectively. Thus freeing up more time to focus on growing their own Business or in the next few months, potentially weathering whatever storm may arise.

So you could say that part of our Business model and plan for 2019 is ensure that we are the Calm amongst the Storm for our Customers, Suppliers and Staff. There will be a lot of valued work behind the scenes to do this and we will continue to thrive. Living by our values; Exceptional Service, Innovation, Peace of Mind and Loyalty, which will all help ensure we are a stand out, robust certainty in a sea of uncertainty that we find ourselves in today.

From all of us at Anglia Freight, regardless of the fun times ahead, we wish you a successful 2019 and look forward to continue working with you and growing from strength to strength.

Douglas Shawcross – Managing Director

As a proud sponsor of GoGoHares 2018, we can’t wait to see our hare on the GoGoHares sculpture trail which starts on June 24th. Before the launch, we decided to have some fun and ran a competition for one lucky person to win an IPad. All they had to do was find 25 images, corresponding to parts of our hare, hidden on our website and put them together to expose his identity. We used Twitter to promote the links where the images could be found, as well as revealing a bit about our hare in each tweet.

We have picked the lucky winner, but before we reveal all, here is the story of our hare.


Born in Jamaica with Norfolk ancestry

Our hare was born in Jamaica into a family of pirates. Although originally from the Caribbean, he had generations of family heralding from Norfolk. They were smugglers, plundering the coast and burying their treasure in barrels hidden in the marshes. In fact, our hare quickly became famous for stowing away in ships’ cargo, setting traps and making the crew walk the plank before capturing the vessel.

Introducing the formidable … the invincible … Captain Jack Rabbit

Captain Jack Rabbit is his name and he’s a very cool character indeed. He’s cheeky and fearless with a thirst for ‘hare-raising’ adventures, but at the same time, is rather distinguished and well known for his excellent manners. With an fl-hare for fashion, Captain Jack loves polka dots and stripes, but he is most famous for the patch over his right eye.

Some say he has a treasure map written on parchment hidden under his eye patch, but no one has ever been brave enough to take a look. He even sleeps with his other eye open, so that he can keep an eye on you! If he likes you, he’ll wink with his left eye and twitch his nose! If he doesn’t, he’ll stare deep into your soul and you will shudder!

How did our hare get his eye patch I hear you ask? He fought his mad Irish cousin, Jack O’Hare in a fierce battle to seize his ships the ‘Black Paw’ and the ‘Golden Carrot’. He won the battle and the vessels became his. On capturing the ‘Black Paw’, our hero removed the traditional skull and crossbones pirate flag and replaced it with a sinister black paw which has become our Captain’s feared trademark ever since.

Trinkets, jewels and 18 ‘carrot’ gold treasure

‘Hare today, gone tomorrow’ is our Captain’s mantra. He’s a very happy hare – in fact, some say he’s a true ‘hop-timist’, living to plunder ships, stealing gold and jewels, whatever the weather! Fast on his feet; he can leap more than ten feet in the air which is perfect for jumping up into the rigging when in battle.

His famous battle cry of ‘Hop to it’ is legendary. It can be heard echoing for over 100 miles when the moon is full and when the mist rolls in from the East. Known for his love of coins made from 18 ‘carrot’ gold, Captain Jack Rabbit is one of the wealthiest pirates in the land. Could some of the treasure be buried in Norfolk?

His most valuable haul of treasure? That’s easy; his loot of sapphires and black pearls from his arch-enemy, ‘Black John’ Jack Rabbit. Some say the jewels are hidden in Norfolk and that he’s back to claim what is rightfully his. Strangely enough, he only plunders ships when ‘Lepus’ or the ‘Hare’ constellation is seen at night in the southern hemisphere. A true sea robber at heart, he waits until he sees the brightest star before he attacks!

All pirates have a day off!

After an exhausting day plundering the high seas, Captain Jack Rabbit reclines in his straw bunk with a selection of carrot sticks for some well-earned rest and relaxation. With over 25 different varieties of carrot, ‘Nelson’ is his favourite as it reminds him of his much-loved sea fairing hero. He also loves music, tuning in to ‘The Bonny Black Hare’ by Steeleye Span in the crow’s nest. For a bit of fun, our Captain loves playing hopscotch and battleships! His favourite dance style? Hip-hop, of course, and his favourite film is ‘My F-Hare Lady.’

How did Captain Jack Rabbit arrive in Norfolk?

Some say that he hopped onto a British ‘Hare-ways’ flight and upon arriving in the UK, stowed away in one of our Anglia Freight lorries. So far, he’s been seen heading for Hare Clump in North Norfolk, seeking long-lost relatives and digging in Hare Wood near King’s Lynn, looking for ‘Black John’ Jack Rabbits lost gold. Rumour has it, he’s already sniffed out his next ‘hare’ raising adventure and vows to plunder the countryside, so watch out! He even has his own map to navigate the Norfolk waterways.

Our iPad winner

We hope you enjoyed the tale of Captain Jack Rabbit – we had great fun writing it! Thank you to everyone who followed our clues on Twitter and entered our competition.

We’re delighted to announce that the lucky winner of our iPad is Sam Fairman from Peterborough. Sam loves puzzles and it was his wife who spotted this one. However, unlike Sam, she prefers competitions, so asked Sam to do it instead. He said it wasn’t the easiest competition he’s entered as it took him a while to get all the pictures together and he was not expecting to win!

Asked how he felt about winning, Sam said, ‘No way! I couldn’t believe it! But I’m thrilled. I went along to Anglia Freight, last Tuesday, 5th June to receive my prize. I want to thank Anglia Freight for running the competition and honouring the prize. They are a lovely team, very hospitable and made me feel very welcome.’ Sam added, ‘Timing is perfect as I have an old tablet, but it’s getting worn out now and running slow. And as it’s an iPad Pro, I’ve bought an Apple pencil to do some drawing and writing on it. It’ll get lots of use, so thank you Anglia Freight!’

GoGoHare Spotting yourself!

Keep a lookout for Captain Jack Rabbit as part of the GoGoHares trail. Take a photo of yourself with our hare and tweet it tagging @AngliaFreight #GGH18 #AngliaFreight.

Doug Shawcross, MD of Anglia Freight shares his thoughts on 2017 and what he thinks 2018 has in store for Anglia Freight and the logistics industry.

Was 2017 a good year for Anglia Freight?
Anglia Freight enjoyed another year of impressive growth with company turnover up 22% for the third year running. We have welcomed on board several significant new customers and have enjoyed seeing our existing customers grow from strength to strength. With this we have also welcomed seven new positions into the company, ranging from additional drivers to strengthening our Customer Service and Transport teams.

What were the highs?
One of the highs would have to be winning the Palletline ‘Service Award’ as part of Palletline’s 25th Anniversary celebrations earlier in the year. We’ve also successfully rolled out our Anglia Freight Vision and Values, which have been positively embraced and integrated by the team. You can find out more by visiting our ‘About Us‘ page on our website.

What were the lows?
We’d been itching to get our Vision and Values presented to staff and it was frustrating that this took a while to get right. However, we’re glad we did it in the end, it just meant we had to sit on our hands for a bit!

Any challenges?
Like many other hauliers we’ve spoken to, there are some industry challenges around fuel price increases, skilled staff shortages and uncertain economic times. On the whole, we’ve dealt with these quite well by improving efficiencies and working as a team to ensure ‘it’s business as usual’ for our customers. We did find the beginning of 2017 sluggish, which seemed to reflect the nervous ‘wait and see’ mood of the country at the time. Luckily, this didn’t last long and as soon as things started hotting up and got going, we’ve not looked back since.

What top 3 things did you learn as a business?

1. We exist to realise and inspire potential to enrich people’s lives. This sentiment is now part of our Vision and Values.
2. We know that we deliver exceptional customer service, but it was great to have this validated by winning the Palletline ‘Service Award’. We must be doing something right!
3. We have outstanding people working for us that have thrived under the challenging conditions presented by our growth. I would like to thank the staff who showed enormous dedication when there quite literally seemed to be not enough hours in the day but somehow made it happen.

What are you going to do better?
We have some big plans to ensure our customers continue to get the best customer service and highest service levels in our industry. All we can say is…watch this space!

In 3 words, sum up what 2017 meant for Anglia Freight
1. Growth
2. Determination
3. Teamwork

What are the top 3 big things happening for Anglia Freight in 2018?
1. It’s our 25th Anniversary! We are sure to be celebrating in style!
2. We are currently working on some very exciting IT improvements with our Palletline network and other providers that will enhance efficiencies and ensure peace of mind for our customers.
3. With buoyant volumes expected to continue, we will carry on resourcing and enhancing our processes to keep continuity and service levels high.

What do you think will be the challenges for Anglia Freight in 2018?
There is still uncertainty over the BREXIT negotiations, so we’ll see where these go. However, the biggest challenge is going to be recruiting the right skilled staff and ensuring we can help them progress their careers for the future.

What are the big things to look out for within the freight industry?
With Innovation at the forefront of our mind, we are always keen to look out for new technology that could help improve our processes as well as where progress within the industry is headed.

Give me 3 words that illustrate what we will see from Anglia Freight in 2018
1. Celebrations
2. Loyalty
3. (Exceptional) Service!

December’s blog is from our very own Pete Holden who has given us an insight into what it’s like being Depot Principal for both Palletline and Hazchem. He shares his thoughts on what its like to be on the inside of both organisations as well as being the Network Director for Anglia Freight.

You are Depot Principal for both Palletline and Hazchem, but what does this mean? It means taking overall responsibility for my teams’ actions in terms of service delivery, making sure we can deliver on what we say we will. It is also a more customer-facing role, regularly contacting customers as well as members of the Hazchem and Palletline networks.

Why did you get involved? I am incredibly passionate about collaborative logistics and that’s why I got involved. Being able to assist and action the passing of freight between partners, overnight, to achieve an overarching goal, while playing the part of customer and supplier, excites me hugely. My background means that I’m well versed in various network freight roles. Following on from Anglia Freight’s recent succession planning exercise, where we shaped the ‘next generation’ Board of Directors, this naturally lead to me taking on the mantle from our founder, Geoff Moulton.

Describe your role as Depot Principal and what’s the best thing about it? Ultimately, I deal with matters that are escalated directly to me for resolution, but as the team we’ve created is so strong, this means that this is a rare occurrence. We work well together and are united towards a common goal as well as building relationships with other depots. It’s also our aim to allow our teams complete autonomy for decision making on a day to day basis. The best thing about it? That would have to be working with like-minded, regional, family run logistics businesses within the UK and Europe which includes all staff at Anglia Freight and key customers and staff at Palletline and Hazchem.

What sort of things do you get involved in? I usually get involved when my team needs support to navigate through challenging issues and situations. I also get involved when we have to quote and move unusual sized freight, or freight that needs to be transported to tricky locations such as boats, to the top of tower blocks, or high-security sites. In particular, we were involved in transporting bottled water to the Olympic stadiums during the London 2012 Olympics. This came with its own challenges including high levels of security authorisation and we delivered a lot of freight in and around London at night to avoid congestion.

What do you think will be the big news and challenges for Palletline & Hazchem in 2018 and how will this affect Anglia Freight? We have a new Palletline regional hub opening in Q2 of 2018 and we’ll have a new central Hazchem hub opening in Hinckley in 2019. This will add capacity and operational efficiencies to our business by allowing more freight to be handled in a shorter period of time. It effectively gives Anglia Freight more flexibility and headroom. The main challenges will relate to increasing fuel costs and staffing as we may see UK foreign workers returning to their countries of origin as a result of Brexit. This will affect our customers because we pass on fuel variations via a price linked mechanism and we rely on both UK and European drivers to pilot our fleet.

Haulage, logistics, transport, call it what you will, it’s a competitive market place.   Couple this with the geography of being just a stone’s throw from Felixstowe, one of Europe’s busiest container ports, it’s therefore no surprise that competition is fierce.

However, we’re also extremely fortunate to work in partnership with some of the best haulage companies in the business and in direct competition with a few rather accomplished outfits as well!  Given the doggedness of the industry, the opportunities to come together for the greater good are few and far between but on Sunday 27th August that’s what we’ll be doing.

Anglia Freight is proud to be supporting the East Coast Truckers Charity Convoy again in this year’s bank holiday weekend event on Sunday 27th August.

Who are East Coast Truckers?

The East Coast Truckers is a registered charity, providing memorable days out for disabled and disadvantaged children aged between 5 and 16, living in East Anglia. The charity provides much-needed equipment, therapy and special days out as well as free holidays for all the family.

What happens on the 27th August?

Every year, the charity takes a group of children on a special road trip.  Starting at County Hall in Norwich at around 10 am, the children’s transport for the day consists of approximately 80 trucks of assorted sizes and colours.   Each cab takes one child and their carer to Pleasurewood Hills for the children to enjoy a day out and have hours of fun and entertainment to a chorus of cheers and honking horns.  Afterwards, they begin their homeward journey reaching Great Yarmouth seafront at about 6 pm where crowds gather to wave the children and trucks on.

So, if you’re free over the bank holiday and fancy a trip to Great Yarmouth on Sunday 27th August, please pop along and support this wonderful charity and hello to all the volunteers.  It is quite a spectacle!

How do I get involved?