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Charles Kendall: making global freight transportation as easy as A, B, (and don’t forget) C

By Dan Teuton
1 June 2017

Every month Charles Kendall Freight successfully moves thousands of product shipments around the world from A to B, with complete C – Compliance, a potentially challenging post-Brexit area, writes John Burbedge

Will future UK traders face custom-checks at every EU national border? Could computerised clearances be replaced by bureaucratic paperwork? And what about world-trading compliance?

Family-owned Charles Kendall was founded in 1945 and has a third generation Kendall as its chairman. It’s another important C – Continuity, underpinned by a wealth of compliant trading experience and international knowledge.

Peter Sunderland, MD of Feltham-based Charles Kendall Freight, highlighted that many UK businesses formed after 1973 may have only ever done business within the EU, and now face a post-Brexit Europe on different terms, plus the unknown opportunities of global free-trading.

Unknown that is to them.  Charles Kendall – now with 220 staff, offices in Europe, Far East, Middle East and the USA, plus business network links throughout the commercial world – has been experiencing that exciting environment for its entire lifespan.    

From his own career experience, Sunderland understands the necessary but valuable nature of trading compliance. He worked for HMRC at Southampton docks and progressed through corporate management levels before joining Charles Kendall in 1999.

“Compliance identifies commercial risks, but can also highlight supply-chain process improvements, cost-savings, business opportunities and new markets,” he states.

Sunderland instilled that positive view of compliance within Charles Kendall as it began the new millennium, setting up companies in Hong Kong and Shanghai, while broadening international networks and the overall scope of the company.

Today, Charles Kendall delivers ‘the world’ to the world – whether digital devices or dinosaur exhibits, international aid or iconic cars, engineering equipment or electoral materials, high fashion or huge construction cranes.

It’s a true end-to-end supply chain management group providing solutions consulting, procurement, co-packing & fulfillment, freight, event logistics, export packing and customs & compliance assistance.


The appliance of compliance

Charles Kendall’s familiarity and adherence to international trading customs and compliance has made the company a popular supply chain consultant and provider of compliance ‘health-checks’ for other organisations.

“Compliance is an umbrella sitting over everything that a business does, not just import-export customs clearance. If you don’t adhere to international rationales, you can quickly be out of business.”

Compliance is also vitally necessary, says Sunderland, because the world’s consumers have become more discerning – seeking good value, assured provenance, and high standards.

In turn, the suppliers seek distribution efficiency, cost-effectiveness and worldwide trading confidence.

Why does Charles Kendall Freight have an unbroken 70-year link with Oman, including an exclusive aerospace sector licence? Why do blue-chips such as Amazon rely on Charles Kendall? 

“Because we are proven respected operators and they trust us,” states Sunderland proudly highlighting the company’s ISO and full Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accreditations, plus adherence and understanding of the European Union Customs Code.

Sunderland sees compliance as a key competitive differentiator for Charles Kendall – along with its full-service speciality activities.

“There are lots of opportunities to legitimately save money, make commercial improvements, through different processes and procedures, but these need to be controlled correctly. We do that, while meeting the rightly enforced regulations.”

Over the years, Charles Kendall has adroitly made compliant improvements so that today it not only delivers client products, but also desirable added-value customer services.

In fact, respect for proven British business quality standards and compliance, the ‘Made in Britain’ branding, might very well open global trading doors for British companies post-Brexit, Sunderland suggests.

Brexit: glass half-full or half-empty?   

“Having made the Brexit decision, we should stop the in-fighting and make the most of it. We haven’t always been in the EU, and Europe will still want mutual trade.”

“I see more opportunities than risks,” states Sunderland, who advocates greater government support for UK businesses trading internationally.

“UK companies are still rightly respected and trusted around the world.” Businesses should embrace post-Brexit trading freedoms, he adds.

Sunderland’s post-Brexit business advice? Possibly to learn another ABC – be Ambitious, British and Compliant.


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