Free on Board. Delivered at Place. Ex Works. Terms that strike fear into the heart of even the most experienced businessperson. When it comes to freight, small businesses often feel they are on their own when it comes to organising shipments, and it can be a highly stressful and time-consuming experience where outcomes feel anything but certain. One New Zealand-owned boutique freight forwarder, customs broker and logistics company is looking to change all of that.
Vertical Logistics is a relative newcomer, but Brian Broom and Donna Yarrall, who founded the company almost four years ago, have more than 50 years’ experience between them, so there’s not much they haven’t seen – and made easier for clients! Unlike large industry players who have their attention firmly fixed on big businesses, Vertical Logistics offers the same competitive pricing for all businesses and one-to-one personalised service that’s a godsend to small and medium companies who no longer need to feel that they’re doing it on their own.
This unique approach means clients can phone the office and speak directly to the business owners, who freely share a wealth of knowledge accumulated over many years in the business. As a qualified customs broker, Donna can smooth the way for importers and exporters, whether they are regularly moving stock or needing one-off shipments. On one memorable occasion, Vertical Logistics relocated an entire sparkling wine plant from Italy to San Francisco – by way of part charter and then trucking the plant to Napa Valley. But they are equally adept at organising high-volume, small-order deliveries for online retailers. Within New Zealand, Vertical Logistics is a NZ Post reseller in the domestic courier space, processing 11,000 shipments per week and offering free rural delivery.
Brian and Donna head a small team of experienced staff and this enables them to take each job personally. ‘If the freight company is not invested, they can miss the finer points,’ says Donna. In the complex world of international shipping, it’s easy for things to go wrong, with consequences that cost time and money. Different goods require different documentation and it’s not just a matter of what paperwork is required, but when. Lodging entry to get fi nal clearance with MPI, for instance, is complicated by the fact that at peak times the Ministry is dealing with thousands of lodgements and shipments can take from multiple weeks to just a few days, so timing is critical. If clearance is not obtained in time, costs soon add up with fees for having a container sitting in port and for returning it late.
‘Customers need solutions, not just a transaction,’ explains Brian, so Vertical Logistics partners with customers, effectively becoming an extension of their business as they seek ways to save them money and streamline their procedures. They liaise directly with suppliers to iron out potential delays and make the process as seamless as possible, and they provide a landed costing report at no extra charge so customers can get stock straight onto shelves. While some companies take the view ‘it’s only a day’ when goods are delayed, Vertical Logistics understands that a day is a big deal if you haven’t got stock to sell.
Although based in Auckland, both Brian and Donna are originally from Christchurch and travel down regularly to meet with customers. Earlier this year, they formalised this connection by employing a Christchurch-based sales representative. Passionate and committed to going the extra mile, Grace Thompson provides a full-time local presence for Vertical Logistics, meeting new and existing customers in person to work through their needs, discuss the options and answer questions. This is backed by the expertise of Donna and Brian to ensure a tailor-made solution, whether that’s Free on Board, Delivered at Place or Ex Works!
For more information, visit verticallogistics.co.nz
WORDS Michelle Berridge