Question: How did you get into the temperature controlled distribution sector and what is your role within Certa Logistics?
Answer: Having working in the transport industry since 1992 working my way up from a ‘van boy’ at 17 years old to Transport Manager by the time I was 22 years old, then working for transport and freight forwarders I found myself working for a company called STI back in 2013 which is the freight forwarder for McDonalds which gave me a very strong insight in to the temperature controlled transport world.
I moved on from that business and decided to set up my own temperature controlled transport company in 2014 under the name of Frozen Pallet Distribution, for the first 9 months of running that business I was the driver of our only vehicle a Ford Transit Dual Compartment Fridge.
I started by working for our local Gist Ltd depot in Hemel Hempstead and steadily took on more customers until it became clear I couldn’t run the business from behind a steering wheel. So I made the decision to sell the fridge van and then set up Certa Logistics which I did in 2015, this now meant I was based from home and it gave me much more scope to increase our customer base using the preferred partners that I was working with.
Moving on to today where we find ourselves in superb offices in the centre of Aylesbury with 10 full time staff made up of our operations team, Rick, Mark & Kristina and accounts and general admin.
I am now the Managing Director of Certa Logistics.
Question: Could you tell the readers of TCS&D, what services Certa Logistics offers please?
Answer: We are a temperature controlled haulier / freight forwarder that also has an office in the Czech Republic that is able to offer temperature controlled international freight forwarding and also able to offer end to end Customs Documentation.
Question: Can you tell us what temperature controlled vehicles that Certa Logistics operates?
Answer: We currently run a fleet comprising of owned kit which is all 44ton Artics made up of DAF & MAN units with Schmitz Cargobull & Krone fridge trailers, but also with the fact we are a freight forwarder we are able to offer our customers Sprinter fridge vans, 7.5t & 18t fridge vehicles through our preferred partners.
Question: What has been the most important technical development in your temperature controlled bodies and refrigeration systems in recent years and how has it impacted on your operations within Certa Logistics?
Answer: Remote management technology via the Schmitz telematics systems on our fridge trailers which allows us full visibility and full control of each unit even down to being able to geofence our trailers so that doors remain looked at all times unless at loading or unloading points, this is an essential tool when we are carrying high value pharmaceutical loads.
Question: Are you using telematics across your fleet currently? If so, what advantages do you see this gives your clients?
Answer: As above
Question: Customer needs are constantly changing, so what are you finding is now the biggest request from your customers?
Answer: We have always been able to adapt at very short notice to a customers request and its been one of our best selling points as we aren’t tied in to contracts it gives us great flexibility which with our customer base has always been appreciated as we always say ‘yes’ to a request and then find a way to make it happen. This means we always answer the phone 24/7 365 days a year and as its always been the biggest request we have is to support our valued customers with short notice shipments.
Question: What environmental measures does Certa Logistics incorporate to ensure best practice?
Answer: We monitor driver behaviour and actively invest in there training and development with a particular focus on improving driving efficiency and MPG. Similarly we make use of the latest planning technology to ensure that we plan our vehicles in the most effective way possible to minimise our stem mileage.
Question: Now that the UK has left the European Union and Brexit has finally happened, have you noticed any changes with your business?
Answer: We have noticed lots of changes, we have been the busiest we have ever been since the inception of the business since January of this year and it was the main reason I decided to open an office in the Czech Republic as I could see what direction things were going and I felt having an office based in the EU would be a great advantage that we could sell to our customers with being to offer them the same services that we had always been able to offer without the stresses of being no longer in the EU.
Question: The last 18 months has thrown us all a curve ball, how has business been for you since the pandemic started?
Answer: Things for us have been to use my favourite word, surreal … we have gained more customers and on the back of that have had to increase our owned kit tripling our fleet in the last 8 months alone. Plus we have had customers commit to working with Certa Logistics 7 days a week since last October and this currently runs until February 2022.
Question: Lastly, would you like to share any news about your company that you feel would benefit the TCS&D readers?
Answer: Like every temperature controlled transport company we have been affected by the HGV driver shortage, so we are actively looking for HGV Class 1 drivers …