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Bibby Financial Services – case study Charterlink

An Ipswich-based freight and logistics firm is targeting a record turnover of close to £3million this year, after receiving 80,000 of funding from Bibby Financial Services.

Charterlink, an established freight-forwarding and logistics company, offers UK distribution and 25,000 square feet of warehousing at its depot in Ipswich. Working with customers including a major luggage manufacturer in Asia, the business organises import, handles customs paperwork, unloads containers and arranges the picking, packing and delivery to retailers and wholesalers around the UK.

Led by Managing Director Stephen Carr, Charterlink has seen steady growth of almost 20 per cent over the past three years, increasing its team from 13 to 16 permanent employees.

Despite the recession placing a strain on some industry players, Charterlink has been able to increase the scale of its operation in recent years but the business needed funding to achieve this.

Stephen said: “There is a lot of competition for freight and logistics in East Anglia but we have been able to differentiate ourselves through the service we offer to our customers. We have worked hard to ensure on-time collections, and where there have been delays, we’ve learned the value of keeping customers completely updated along the way.”

In order to maintain the firm’s steady growth, Charterlink turned to Bibby Financial Services’ innovative Flexidraft facility. The working capital provided was used to invest in new trucks and warehouse equipment. It has also allowed them to scale-up their operation, taking on new contracts to maintain its steady growth.

“What we’ve really appreciated from Bibby Financial Services is the flexibility that it offers as our business needs have changed. The service has been very good and being able to manage it online has also helped give us more control.”

Charterlink uses Bibby Financial Services’ Flexidraft, which is similar to an overdraft, without the tie-in and no fixed monthly fees. Flexidraft allows the business to maintain a steady flow of working capital, but they are only charged when they use the facility. Last year, the business increased its funding line from £50,000 to £80,000, in line with its higher turnover and growth aspirations.

Sharon Wiltshire, Managing Director for Bibby Financial Services in East Anglia, said: “Stephen and the team have achieved solid growth over the past few years and its position in Felixstowe, one of the UK’s top container ports, is a strong one.

“Charterlink is a great example of how determination, combined with a quality offering, can lead to business success. Stephen and the team have used Flexidraft to their advantage and we’re looking forward to seeing them drive their business forward even further.”