North Essex businesses receive Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for 2018

Kestrel Liner Agencies is a leading agent for shipping and logistic services

Kestrel Liner Agencies is a leading agent for shipping and logistic services - Credit: Archant

Two companies from north Essex have been named as recipients of this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, which recognises outstanding business achievements.

They are Airline Component Services from Braintree and Stansted-based Kestrel Liner Agencies who both received the award in the international trade category.

Kestrel Liner Agencies is the UK’s biggest shipping agent and provides logistic and shipping services for companies across the globe.

According to Kestrel’s project consultant Nicki Thorne, the business started in the mid-1990s as an agent to container shipping lines in the Caribbean.

“But since then we have expanded geographically and now have offices in Ireland, Cape Town, Trinidad, Guyana, St Vincent, Warrington, Heathrow and Hull,” she said.

Kestrel’s services have also broadened to include the provision of refrigerated freight, roll-on, roll-off cargo, air freight and the transportation of giant infrastructures such as wind turbines.

The company’s sales, all of which are from overseas, have grown from £33 million to £42 million per annum in the three years to April 2017, an overall growth rate of 24%.

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The company said it attributes this growth to their service quality, which has helped with customer retention.

Over in Braintree, Airline Component Services specialises in repairing and sourcing aircraft parts, specifically parts on the exterior of planes that move such as flaps and spoilers.

According to operations manager Mike Field the company has built its business overseas by visiting airlines in Europe and finding out which parts they are having difficulty sourcing.

He said: “We visit them and see where we can support their fleet. We will stock the items they require and if they get damaged we can ship it out to them straightaway as we have offer a 24/7 service”.

Mr Field said the company was working with airlines in France, Brussels, Spain and Lithuania.

On receiving the Queen’s Award, Mr Field added: “It’s a great award to win.

“It shows we are going the right way and that we are experiencing good growth. We are hopeful the award will enable us to bring in new business.”