Working in conjunction with the owners of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Infratil Airports, the Prestwick division of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has been building on its success in the handling of horses imported into the UK. In fact, Hellmann Prestwick has developed such a 'hassle free' and thriving service for importers that it is now looking set to be rolled out across Hellmann Worldwide Logistics UK.
The international equestrian industry is big business, especially when it comes to importing and exporting animals for trade, pleasure and major sporting events such as racing, dressage, show jumping and eventing. With the UK being a major influence in this industry, imports into the country are high. However with only four Equine Border Inspection Posts (BIP's) equipped to handle the arrival of horses into the UK, the market is highly competitive.
The equine BIP at Prestwick is also the only one based in the north of the UK. As a result, it is seeing a rise in horses being imported, in particular from the USA.
Branch Manager of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Prestwick, David Yeamans explained: “We have found that many of our customers use Prestwick as an alternative to other equine BIP locations such as Stansted, as it is less congested, both in the air and on the ground. This means there are rarely any delays, which in turn makes Glasgow Prestwick a more cost effective solution for customers.”
Over the years, Hellmann has gained a high level of expertise and experience in dealing with equine imports and now manages approximately 90 percent of imports that come through the Glasgow Prestwick equine BIP. This has enabled the logistics firm to create strong working relationships with the US exporters, with shippers, and most importantly, with the UK importers. The overriding benefit is that Hellmann can handle all Customs and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) regulations from the Prestwick office which reduces any additional expense for the importer. Furthermore, Hellmann has introduced added value services to the product as David Yeamans continued: “We make contact with the shipper and keep the UK importer fully updated on flight times, costs and other important information that they may require. This means that the customer doesn't have to worry about paper work or calling airlines for updates. We can also organise horse transportation for customers unable to collect animals from the airport. We have found that importers really appreciate this trouble free experience.”
Now Hellmann, alongside Infratil Airports, is looking to build on this success with plans on the table to develop an equine BIP facility at Kent International Airport, which is also owned by Infratil.
Nico Le Roux, Group Manager of Freight Development for Infratil Airports, explained: “We have approached Hellmann Prestwick to manage the proposed equine BIP at Kent International due to the expertise it has shown in handling the Prestwick operations and due to the exceptional relationships it has within the equine industry. It means that Hellmann Prestwick would have 100 percent control of the Kent equine BIP and provide the same high standards of service that it currently provides in Prestwick.”
Martin Meyer, Managing Director of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics UK concluded: “The fact that Hellmann Prestwick has been offered such a great opportunity is testament to the hard work and dedication we bring to any project, in particular the specialist products we provide such as fashion and automotive. The equine product has the potential to be another string to our bow and we are very excited by what could unfold as a result of Prestwick's dedication to this service.”