Essex: Logistics company Velta International is on the move

ESSEX freight forwarding company Velta International has relocated to larger premises as it steps up its warehousing and distribution activities.

The company, which was founded by managing director Doug Reynolds in 1999, has expanded rapidly. It now employs nearly 30 people and is expecting to take on at least 10 additional employees by the end of the year.

“We had outgrown our premises at Great Braxted far more quickly than we expected – we moved there two and half years ago and had expected to stay for five to six years,” said Mr Reynolds.

“At the start of this year we decided we also wanted to get a distribution centre going. We found the ideal site available at Witham; it has doubled our office space and provides ample space for warehousing, logistics, distribution and e-commerce.

“We bring containers direct from the Port of Felixstowe to Witham, unpack the containers in our warehouses and store products for our clients for distribution from there – whether internet purchase or retail. We also do reworking, labelling and quality control, especially for e-commerce fulfilment.”

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Velta’s new location is on the Eastways industrial estate in Witham, right next to the A12, offering easy access towards Felixstowe, the Midlands and London. The secure site provides a total of 47,000 sq ft of buildings, so there is room to expand.

The company started out as an international freight forwarder ‘moving anything to and from anywhere’, said Mr Reynolds. “We were able to grow the company organically for six to seven years based on our ethos of absolute quality, with the focus on consolidated and full containers from China and Asia – more recently we have got involved in the US as well.”

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Two years ago Velta opened its own customs department. Its clients are able to take advantage of its CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures) status, which allows for accelerated removal or release of most third country imports, and the company is also AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) approved. A new company has been created, Velta Logistics, to handle warehousing, distribution and value-added activities, and the move to Witham had included a major investment in a new IT system.

Customers include the US-based Peavey Electronics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of musical instruments and professional audio equipment. Velta is responsible for handling Peavey’s shipping from Asia and the US into Europe, running bonded warehousing for the company.

Other clients include Fresh Footwear, for which Velta provides value-added services, collecting the products in China, sorting, quality control and labelling in the UK, internet sales and distribution throughout Europe,; and Roca, the Spanish bathroom group.

Velta International will continue to focus on freight forwarding. The company specialises in both sea freight and air freight.

Variety remains key. “We often have ten or 15 different companies’ products within one container and we have about 80 freight forwarding clients that use us regularly,” said Mr Reynolds. “We have come from incredible small origins and we are proud of what we have done.”

Further expansion is the definite plan; Velta has five dedicated business development managers. “Over the next two to three years we will grow organically,” he said.

Adding value is essential in today’s competitive world, he added. “I believe anybody can move a container. You can get by and earn a living by doing a certain niche but if you want to expand and build a business that is going to grow, you have to offer more than just moving A to B.”

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