We would not have developed to where we are today without our people. And we have good people, who care about what they do. Their work ethic and dedication, particular evident in times of global crises, is without question, inspiring. Simply put, without them we would not exist.
They connect everything together. They interact with our customers, partners and suppliers as though we were all one. After all, when customers contract suppliers, for the relationship to be successful, a partnership is created. No matter how good technology can be, you can never replace the human freight forwarder.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Helen Keller. July 1888.
Managing Director, DGSA
“Co-founder of the Company in August 2000, my background since leaving school in 1978 has been a combination of various jobs within the freight industry, plus organist/keyboard player in many clubs and pubs around Manchester. Between 1978 and 1983 I worked for several companies in the Ocean Freight sector dealing with Canada & Malta, plus general forwarding anywhere & everywhere. After a short spell as full time musician between 1983 & 1986, in 1989, the company I was working for at that time started an Italian service which I was to control. This was the start of my development in the Italian market which eventually led to the foundation of Ital Logistics.”
“Whilst no longer playing music as a profession, I still enjoy playing and recording music at home. And when the weather allows, I occasionally humiliate myself playing golf.”
Director, UK Purchase Ledger
My wife, Dianne, became involved in the Company fairly soon after inception, beforehand working within both the NHS and the education sector. Initially handling all of the accounts, as we have increased our business, the need to increase the size of the accounts department has since segmented the work.
Dianne now takes charge of the UK Purchase Ledger and prides herself on ensuring that all our suppliers are paid in a timely manner, thereby gaining trust and respect from our suppliers. Dianne is a Director and 50% shareholder of the Company.
Outside of the office, and managing our home, she also volunteers at the local RSPCA as a home visitor. A lot of people, me included, would be lost without her.
General Manager, DGSA
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Derek joined our Italian export team in October 2005, and shortly afterwards took the lead export role for Italy. Having focused on Italy with his previous employer, the transition to Ital Logistics was relatively easy. As our niche specialisation on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods grew, the need for a second DGSA (Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor) arose so that we always had at least one DGSA on site. Derek’s attention to detail was affirmation that he would be the man for this, and in 2008 he qualified as DGSA.
On the run up to our move to new premises in December 2014, Derek became responsible for the Health & Safety aspects of the Company, the management of the warehouse, and the overall security of our location. His contribution has provided great assistance, and he has earned his new role of General Manager.
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Commencing his career within the freight industry in 1987, Mike joined us in September 2007 as Sales Manager. Much of his experience in the twenty years before he joined Ital Logistics was within the Eastern Bloc countries, but his wealth of experience, across all aspects of forwarding enables him to adapt the same principals to any geographical location.
Completely dedicated to his work, Mike takes great pride in all that he does. His energy and enthusiasm is both overwhelming and contagious, and he is never deterred, no matter how hard the going gets.
His knowledge, in particular of some of the more difficult Eastern European markets is exceptional, has enabled us to handle many movements we would otherwise have been unable to do so. An asset to the company, and a great person.
Iberian & French Route Manager
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James joined Ital Logistics in October 2005 to work in the General Forwarding department. As time progressed, his interest in the Spanish market gathered momentum, and in early 2008 he was encouraged to devote more time to this line. From what was part of the General forwarding business, over the years this has steadily become one of our fastest growing markets, and is now contributing around 30% of the Company’s turnover. James’ enthusiasm and hunger for the Company’s development has been instrumental in enabling the growth of a market fraught with economic difficulties.
In the BIFA awards of 2015 we promoted James, in his last year of eligibility, to enter the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year award. Although he did not win the award, he was one of four finalists, which in itself an exceptional achievement. In some ways, not winning was a more motivational result in that it fuelled his desire to improve on his capabilities. James’ character is to aspire and to be successful. Certainly one of the future generation of directors to take over the reins of Ital Logistics.
Italian Import Manager
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One of our longest serving colleagues and one of the most important, Kurtis joined the company in February 2003, and then took a fortnight off! Well, he was getting married, so I suppose we can let that one go! Kurtis heads off the Italian Import department with support from Steve and Peter. Between them they manage close on 20-30 trailers per week inbound. Kurtis has great ability in bringing everything together, and from nothing can make something. In addition, he takes overall responsibility for the Italian routes having earned his position within the Company due to his irrepressible commitment, even under the most strenuous of circumstances.
Having grown and developed with the Company, there is little doubt that he will take at some stage over the reins alongside others as future owners of the Company.
Italian Export Manager, DGSA
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On the 5th May 2009 Dean joined the company to work alongside Derek Heap on the Italian Export department following the closure of the previous company where he worked for some seven years. Ital Logistics has a very specific methodology, and attention to detail is fore-front to this. It was soon very clear that Dean met this exacting criterion, and some time before the move to our new facility in 2014, he took over from Derek as Italian Export manager. Supplementing the Company’s specialisation in the carriage of dangerous goods, he also became our 4th DGSA in 2019.
Dean is meticulous in every way, and everything has to be done to perfection. It is this aspect of Dean’s character that sets him apart from many. His dedication is without question, and no matter how much pressure he is under, he will always offer assistance to others. Mindful of the plethora and complexities of administration in managing a company, his qualities will set him in good stead as the Company moves towards the next phase of ownership.
Ocean Development Manager
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Prior to March 2013, any Ocean Freight (and Air) movements were pretty much ad hoc. But with increasing demand from many of our existing clientele, the need for expert knowledge was clearly evident. So, March 2013, enter Andrew Knowles. Andrew had been involved in the industry for some 27 years at that time, initially as consolidator, and in the prior decade as Ocean freight forwarder in the Midlands. His valued experience in this sector has added a further dimension to the Company’s portfolio.
Following the gradual growth of sea and air movements, we were able to bring on board a second person to work alongside Andrew in January 2019. This extra capacity enabled us to double our sea export movements, and as recent as March 2020, the Company enjoyed its best sea freight result. If 2020 continues in the same vein, 2019 will be bettered by at least 50%. Plans to continue expanding on this mode are high on the agenda, especially in view of Brexit. Furthermore, Andrews extensive knowledge in custom procedures will place us in a good position post-Brexit.
Sea & Air Department
Rebecca joined us at the start of 2019 to add support to Andrew Knowles so that we could take our sea freight business to the next level. We have certainly seen rewards as her input has enabled growth in this mode with job numbers for 2019 doubling those of 2018, and current year numbers look like adding a further 50%. Given Brexit, we propose to further enhance our sea freight department moving forward.
Rebecca confesses to ‘falling into the industry’, wanting to get out of the company she was working for at the time. Over the years she has realised that this is her chosen career path. With her father as inspiration (yes, the name ‘Heap’ should give that away), this has certainly pushed her to become a better forwarder and gain personal recognition. Aspirational in nature, and wanting to learn all aspects of the forwarding industry, we consider her a key person in the future of the Company, as has already been, so far, statistically proven.
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John has been in the industry since 1995, the lion’s share of these years being in the road freight sector. John joined us in 2015 and openly admits that the thought of joining a smaller company, after working for some of the biggest players globally, was a step into the unknown. But after meeting us a couple of times he knew we would work well together and hands were shook. John’s efforts have had a considerable effect on the Company in the few years he has been here, with consistent measures of year on year growth.
John would highlight that the immediate difference working at Ital Logistics over previous much larger forwarders, is he is allowed to ‘get on’ with it. “We don’t have sales meetings here – unless we need to. We target and bring the right types of business on board, we manage it well and move it as we say we can – on own services, were we manage the movement of every kilo, every kilometre.” John is also proud of the high retention of clients here, we lose very few clients, this is huge to us and a large contributor to the organic growth on which we continue to build upon year after year.
John is a stickler for not letting a good business opportunity get away particularly when well suited to our core markets & specialist industry sectors, this is reflected on the business he continues to target and bring on board.
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What can we say about Steve? When he arrives into the office, he plugs himself in. And if somebody didn’t unplug him, he’d still be here. He eats files for fun and is often referred to as ‘The Machine’. Never ruffled, Steve joined us in September 2005 to add to our Italian Import department and has been here ever since.
Steve is a key member of the Italian Import team adding resolute stability to the import conveyor belt.
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Having been involved in the freight industry, since around 2000, Peter joined our Italian import team in July 2011. His previous role was handling European Imports, so he stepped in quite nicely and has been plugging away ever since. A bit like Steve Bossons, very little phases him and he just quietly ‘get’s on with it’.
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Mark joined the company in August 2014, previously having done a 7 year stint with the NHS. So this is his first job within the freight industry. His role at Ital Logistics is in our Italian export department which accounts for 20% of our total business. He has handled the change of career very well, especially considering that Dean is a hard taskmaster with his constant aspiration to dot every ‘i’ possible.
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Jonathan joined us at the start of the last quarter of 2016 with no real experience of the industry. His only link to the industry was his brother David who manages our Greek service. At the time we had little choice but to throw him in at the deep end hoping he was a good swimmer. As a result, he has bobbed in and out of the water a few times! In his own words, he didn’t realise how involved this industry is and what goes on behind the scenes to which outsiders are often oblivious.
Having spent a year on Central and Southern Spanish exports, he now resides in the Italian export department. He is always eager to get involved and will lend a hand on any department as and when required. A great team player.
Italian & Malta Exports
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From her grandparents background of warehousing and distribution, Laura joined us mid 2017 as a dual role; booking in goods, checking weights/measurements, coupled with some accounts administrative tasks. She adapted to her role extremely well and soon after, at the turn of the year in January 2018, she took over the control of all of our storage contracts.
As time progressed, and as our Greek service needed another pair of hands, we decided to move Laura away from the administrative part of her role to gain some experience assisting David on the Greek imports, as well as keeping tight control of our storage contracts. Laura made a further move halfway through 2019 to work alongside Dean on Italian exports and this is where she currently resides.
Conscious of the environment, she took it upon herself to investigate our waste management company and did site visits to find out exactly how our waste is managed. She is eager to learn, and do new things, and to further her knowledge.
Greek Line Manager
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David is one of our great characters. He is always first to the phone, has a great enthusiasm for anything and everything, and simply one of the most likeable people you could ever know. It only seems 5 minutes, but it was in July 2010 when David joined the Italian Export team. Following a change of Greek partner in 2012, he side-shifted slightly and took Greece as his primary role, whilst also offering continued support on the Italian Exports.
Following our move to new premises at the end of 2014, the Greek service started to pick up steam and it wasn’t long before David needed to focus solely on Greece. And in doing so, he has taken the line from 1-3 export trailers per week to upwards of 4-5, plus full loads, as well as handling between 2 and 4 import trailers.
Greek Imports & Exports
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Sean is our newest recruit, joining us at the start of 2020, only to be forced to spend a couple of months on furlough due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Wanting of something to do, he asked if he could take the ADR and IMDG books home to read! One could think of more palatable reads, but his eagerness to learn cannot be understated.
Naturally now back, he handles Greek imports and assists David on the Greek exports as well as, during the pandemic, offering assistance on Italian imports and wherever someone needs a hand.
In his spare time, he also helps his father with a specific business importing beer from specific regions in Germany, Bavaria to be precise. Here is some free advertising for him !
Spanish Exports, DGSA
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Before joining the Company in October 2013, Simon worked as Technical Assistant at a Performing Arts School in Rochdale, Lancashire, having graduated in Sound and Technology at Glamorgan University in 2006. Being son of the Managing Director, he had gained an insight into the business as a result of various rants at home during the prior 20 odd years or so!
Simon joined the Company to work within what was our growing Spanish department at the time and he has become knowledgeable in most aspects of freight forwarding, including customs involvements with the likes of Gibraltar and Andorra. Since 2018 his focus has been on Barcelona exports which is our busiest Spanish export line.
In 2019 Simon also became a DGSA and now has the role of the Company DGSA, as well as being involved in some aspects of Health and Safety in support of Derek when required. Add to this, outside of the office, Simon is a Magistrate, and a scout leader; where does he find the time!?
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Greg started his freight forwarding career in 1993, starting as a junior freight clerk at what was then a relatively small niche Scandinavian operator. Ironically, the office was less that 200 metres away from our site in Heywood! Acquisitions within the business took Greg on a journey through various different roles, controlling export and import departments, and more recently onto internal sales. However, after 24 years service, Greg felt that the time was right to look for a fresh challenge, and in December 2017 Greg joined our Iberian team.
We are pleased to have Greg on board; his seniority within the business and his attention to detail is a great help to balance the younger entrepreneurial skills of his colleagues. His focus in Ital Logistics is working with Simon on the Barcelona export route, but like everyone in the Company, lends a hand anywhere and everywhere when necessary.
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Amongst several different jobs before coming to Ital Logistics, his last was working for an alarm company. The bells must have been ringing in his ears when James asked if he wanted to give freight forwarding a go. With a keen eye for detail, and an appetite for learning, we felt that he would be a good fit into our Iberian team.
After the initial couple of months, being satisfied with his quick grasp, we assigned him to look after our central Spanish exports which includes Madrid down to the Southern coast. These routes encapsulate many customs formalities as we serve Tenerife from Madrid and Gibraltar from the South, and so the attention to detail is essential.
Spanish & Portuguese Imports
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Chris joined Ital Logistics on the 2nd October 2012, having spent some time working for a local Benelux forwarder who, now defunct, used to support our services on the Italian market. As soon as he arrived he was surprised at how busy we really are.
Chris handles our Spanish imports and contributes to other Iberian services as and when required.
Chris is held in high regard by our partners, in particular Barcelona, who consider him a great person to work with, always welcoming new ideas for the development of the service.
French Exports & Portuguese Exports/Imports
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Prior to joining Ital Logistics, Corey worked for one of our Benelux suppliers. Aware that he was about to relocate to Lancashire, and looking to take alternative employment, we were pleased to take Corey on board, even though at the time we didn’t truly ‘need’ another person. Sometimes you have to act.
Corey started in our Italian department providing support to both our export and import teams as we continued to increase our market share. As this role was more of a ‘mark time’ role, as soon as we saw the opportunity to enter the French market, Corey was moved to the Iberian department with a focus on France. Why is France associated with Iberia one may ask? Well, geographically it is en route and was how we were able to develop French services on the back of northern Spanish services.
Thanks to Corey’s approach to learning and developing the French market, aided and directed by James, we now operate to all of France, growing year on year since 2018 by 10% and 20% respectively for the first halves of each year to date (2020). The latter also during a period of global pandemic. Corey also handles our Portuguese traffic.
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Daniel joined us in May 2013, having spent his previous 5 years in a combination of operational and sales within the freight industry covering both road, sea and air modes of transport. His role was initially to support our general forwarding road freight services and to lend assistance to our new sea and air services at the time.
He now focuses solely on road freight, including express freight and cross trades across the whole European continent.
Daniel holds a wide spectrum of knowledge, quietly and confidently performing his role to aplomb.
UK Sales Ledger, Credit Control
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Ashleigh joined the Company in October 2009 straight from college where she gained BTEC diplomas in Fashion & Clothing, and Art & Design. One may ask what on earth she is doing in freight forwarding, but whatever the reason, we’re definitely not complaining!
Focusing on the our UK Sales Ledger, she also monitors the status of our clients and suppliers, granting credit as appropriate, whilst also monitoring supplier compliance. She quietly gets on with her role with immeasurable efficiency, and is eager to accept new challenges, soaking them up with consummate ease.
Always there to help others, no matter how busy she is, Ashleigh has firmly established herself in the Company as a very important cog in our machinery.
UK Sales & Foreign Ledgers
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In June 2008, Nicola joined the Company as a junior in our operations department. As we gathered pace, Nicola expressed an interest in the accounts aspect of the Company. Pressure was already building on Dianne as the Company continued to grow, so Nicola moved across to the Accounts department and she has continued to flourish year on year.
Amongst other things, Nicola is now solely responsible for the Euro Ledger, sales and purchase, which has become a large part of our accounts. Some 70% of our operational purchases are now in Euro’s. She is also involved in the sales ledger, the daily banking and a variety of other important duties associated with account and administration.
A valuable team member who is always there, dependable and committed to keep the wheels running smoothly.
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I have known John since 2004. He was one of the first warehousemen at our previous premises at Sharston and was my obvious choice to join us at Heywood. After all, he knows our freight well, and he has a tremendous (and often vocal!) enthusiasm for the job.
Like in a game of chess, when freight keeps coming in, and the operations team keep swapping loads around, he is already several steps ahead of the game. A great person to have controlling our warehouse, and no matter what he may say at times, he loves the job!
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One of the warehousemen at our previous location, Chris joined us in 2014 when we moved to our new premises. But for a variety of reasons, in particular location, he left early in 2017. Realising that a few extra miles for a job he preferred, and in his own words “to a Company who truly cares about its people”, he returned in February 2018. And we are glad he did.
When he joined us initially he had hair – now he doesn’t. That’s freight forwarding for you!
He is a Manchester United fan and a keen golfer. So the four day week shift we operate gives him every Monday to get out on the course. Married and devoted to his son, Taylor, he is a great team member and, despite the odd moan and groan (that’s life!), he does a great job.
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Paul used to work for one of our main local hauliers and used to work the odd shift for us on a part time basis. When our haulier decided to sell the warehousing side of its business on, Paul moved with it, whilst still continuing to ad hoc for Ital Logistics.
As time went on, he eventually decided to come to us full time and we are very pleased that he did. His work ethic is ‘get on with it’, and he certainly does, quietly and confidently.
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Wanting a different challenge, Dean joined us in September 2017, having spent some 15 years at the same company whilst it changed hands part way through. He has slotted in to our team well, no doubt aided by the fact that he had worked with John and Chris at a previous company.
He is a family man with two girls and a mad Manchester City fan, something which caused him no end of grief in his earlier years as all of his friends were United fans. But he came through it!
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Whilst Darren may be the elder of our band of merry warehousemen, his childhood love of model railway keeps him young at heart! His attic is full of the stuff!
He also enjoys walking in the countryside, visiting new places and dining out.
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Liam joined us as a trainee warehouseman in July 2018, sitting his forklift training within a few months and passed accordingly. Learning from our more experienced warehouse chaps, he is gaining confidence and will be a valuable team member in time.
Straying from football, he is a Rugby fan instead, supporting Leigh, which is his home town. He also enjoys video gaming; as long as he doesn’t start doing Gran Turismo with his fork lift truck we’ll be OK!