Exports drive growth at Boldon firm TF Shipping

A FREIGHT forwarding business which started just five years ago has almost hit a £5m annual turnover, as it benefits from a wave of British exports to developing countries.

Paul Wilson, TEDCO marketing manager Alex Wiley and TF Shipping founder, Tim Finley

A FREIGHT forwarding business which started just five years ago has almost hit a £5m annual turnover, as it benefits from a wave of British exports to developing countries.

Boldon-based TF Shipping has quadrupled in size since being set up by Tim Finley in 2007 and is run by a team of just four staff, although that number is expected to grow.

Finley, who had almost two decades’ experience in freight forwarding before taking the plunge and starting his own business, said: “As a travel agent for cargo, we manage the door-to-door service of freight forwarding and we have plans in place to expand ever further into new markets across the world.

“Through hard work and determination, we have built the business up from nothing to achieve a £5m turnover last year, which considering the economic situation since we first started trading has been a particularly major achievement.”

TF Shipping is currently working to meet demand for British goods in developing countries and is organising the shipment of trucks and plant equipment as well as scrap metal to China and India, plus general cargo handling.

Finley said that around 75% of the work is exporting from the UK, organising shipments from clients nationwide.

“People say there’s a recession on but I don’t see that,” he said. “Things are absolutely booming in the exports and it has been for a good period.

“Some forwarders may be struggling and the manufacturing is a bit tougher, but we have a niche market.

“Our offices are worldwide. We have English-speaking people and I have been out to see all of them. They are partner offices in 15 to 20 different countries.

“We don’t just ship things and leave it to the business to look after it.”

The business also handles imports via the Port of Tyne, including clothing shipped destined for some of the big chains. Finley said: “We bring stuff in for one customer in Gateshead which supplies Asda.

“We arrange that from Bangladesh and China on their behalf.”

TF Shipping has recently moved from its original incubator office at The Quadrus Centre into bigger premises at the Tedco-run building to accommodate its growth.

Finley said the business aims to continue its upward trajectory by “just keep going the way we are going”.

“A lot of the business we get is recommendations. It’s down to the service our staff give,” he said.

“I’m technically responsible for the sales, but I don’t have to do that much. We also do special advertising into the African market, so we are getting African customers coming direct to us.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer