FET Logistics

Name: Harry Hughes

Title: Managing Director

Company: FET Logistics

Question: How did you get into the temperature-controlled distribution sector and what is your role within FET Logistics?

Answer: I am the Managing Director; I am also responsible for quality and security. The temperature-controlled environment has always been a focus of ours, however our attention shifted when we were asked to work with a client on a project that was challenging to complete, with certain travel restrictions due to the nature of the goods. Through that job, we developed a unique relationship with that client and assisted them in their growth as they moved into the pharmaceutical sector. Our business now consists of 99% pharmaceuticals, including APIs, medical devices, clinical trials, or finished products.

Question:  Can you firstly tell us what temperature-controlled vehicles that FET Logistics operates?

Answer:  Our fleet consists of forty vehicles, ranging from Sprinter vans to articulated trucks, with most of them being specially equipped vans that have beds for long distance trips.

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 FET Logistics?

Answer:  The latest technology from fridge manufacturers allows us to maintain optimal conditions for products carried, such as narrowing the temperature range inside the refrigerators.

Question: Are you using telematics across your fleet currently? If so, what advantages do you see this gives your clients?

Our preferred platform is Verilocation from Add Secure.  A driver ID log in is available, as well as panic buttons and front and rear live cameras. The alarm system onboard coordinates with the Transcan recorders and ensures that all shipments are carefully monitored by the monitoring system. Our Maple locks are also installed and we’re hoping Verilocation will be able to integrate the Maple locking system into one system so it’s easier for us to validate the system!

Question: Customer needs are constantly changing, so what are you finding is now the biggest request from your customers?

Many customers are now looking for environmentally friendly solutions that can help them reduce their carbon footprint and comply with more stringent environmental regulations that will eventually affect us all. As a result, we are implementing policies that will allow us to reach sustainability goals and help our customers reach theirs as well.

Question: What environmental measures does FET Logistics incorporate to ensure best practice?

Currently, we are working towards ISO 1400 Environmental certification, which we hope to attain by the end of the year. As part of our ongoing partnership with Marshall Fleet Services, they are developing and installing Titan solar units on our new vans that will operate in accordance with Pharma-specific requirements. Our current focus is on route optimization, vehicle maintenance, and eco training, with all drivers completing a fuel efficiency course earlier this year.

There is no doubt that electric vehicles are at the forefront of our minds, and we are constantly looking for ways to move toward them. We still face the greatest challenge with distance, since electric is not yet practical for dedicated lifesaving shipments. We are exploring alternative fuels such as biodiesel & HVO.

Question:  The last 36 months has thrown us all a curve ball, how has business been for FET Logistics since the pandemic started?

It’s been extremely busy! Our team distributed vaccines at different temperature ranges. As the pandemic unfolded, we worked tirelessly to move shipments at minus 80°C, which proved difficult due to dry ice supply issues at some points.  My thanks go out to the logistics industry for continuing to work throughout the pandemic, as it has grown significantly since the start of the pandemic. It wasn’t the same for everyone.

Question: If you could give one piece of advice to a newcomer to our industry, what would it be?  

The best advice I can give a newcomer to the industry is to focus on continuous learning and skill development. Regulatory changes, new technologies, and best practices are constantly emerging in temperature-controlled distribution.

Staying current with the latest trends and developments in the industry, along with continuously improving your skills and knowledge, will better prepare you to handle challenges and opportunities. It can involve attending industry conferences and events like the TC&DS Show, taking courses and training programs, and networking with other professionals.

Furthermore, it is important to cultivate a strong work ethic and a commitment to quality and safety. It involves adhering to all relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines, and maintaining and operating all equipment and systems in a safe and efficient manner.

Keeping informed, learning continuously, and maintaining a strong focus on quality and safety will help you build a successful and rewarding career.

Question: Lastly, would you like to share any news about your company that you feel would benefit the TCS&D readers?

It is our pleasure to assist anyone in need through FET Logistics, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

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