IFL Celebrates 30 Years As An Independent UK Freight Forwarder


Birmingham-based International Forwarding Ltd (IFL) turns 30 this month, remaining one of the few independent UK freight forwarding and logistics companies left in a market of multinationals and large operators.

In 30 years IFL has grown from just three members of staff and a single vehicle to a business with 60 staff, almost £10 million turnover and 20 trucks in its fleet. It has offices in Birmingham and Dover, and offers London freight forwarding services.

IFL Managing Director Rob Pike said:

“We are enormously proud to be a leading independent freight forwarder competing with multinationals through our personal service, agility, and years of expertise in legal, customs and insurance issues.

“It’s been a strong year for business. We’ve doubled our warehousing facilities in the Midlands, expanded our European forwarding network coverage, and helped customers navigate Brexit and mitigate the risks.”

The company started trading in 1989 to fill a niche for an independent forwarder specifically serving the needs of Midlands companies, and this remains the company’s core focus today.

In 2002 it joined the Palletways network, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network. As one of 115 independent transport providers, IFL shares resources to deliver small consignments of palletised freight to the marketplace faster and more cost effectively. The Palletways Group comprises 450+ depots and 20 hub operations, through which it provides collection and distribution services across 24 European countries, including the UK. IFL is a Platinum Palletways member and together with its own freight customers, it handles around 100,000 consignments each year.

To mark 30 years as a Midlands forwarder, IFL interviewed Roy Baker, the original MD who still works part-time for the company, about how the business has changed, key highlights and the challenges ahead.

He said:

“There are immediate challenges over Brexit, as well as environmental concerns and technological changes to navigate. But ultimately we think the trend for multinational mergers, takeovers and buyouts will leave even more scope for a well established independent forwarder and transport company such as IFL to maintain and increase its market share.”

Read the full interview: 30th anniversary interview: Founding IFL Director Roy Baker