Companies seeking to trade with Russia and the CIS countries that are currently deterred by the complexities involved can rely on a new trade and logistics consultancy service that has been introduced by an Anglo-Russian freight business that has had specialist expertise in these markets for many years.
Whilst UK-based FSM Logistics Ltd offers a portfolio of freight forwarding and logistics services globally, it has a deep understanding of the markets of the former Soviet Union (FSU) as a result of being one of the first international logistics providers to establish itself in the Russian market following the unravelling of the USSR in the 1990s.
Alfred Stienen, director of FSM Logistics recognises that for some businesses, Brexit has made trading with traditional markets in the EU much more complicated, and many are looking at markets further afield.
“Russia and the CIS countries have a large middle class; and GDP across the region has been rising for many years, increasing the spending power of the nations’ populations, for the potential benefit of UK traders.
“But, many businesses are dissuaded from considering trade with these markets as they are portrayed as impenetrable – ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’, according to Winston Churchill, which is an impression that we want to correct, and encourage UK traders to think again.”
Stienen accepts that whilst trading with Russia and countries of the CIS can look complicated for the outsider, the fact that the former is the UK’s 21st largest trading partner, with total trade in goods and services between the UK and Russia having a current value of over £150bn per annum, speaks volumes.
“FSM Logistics has had a successful trading relationship with Russia and the CIS markets for over 30 years and has a well-established network of our own logistics centres in seven locations across Russia, as well as additional freight hubs in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In the early 1990s, I was involved in setting up offices in Moscow as one of the first UK forwarding companies to explore this market.
“Our new trade and logistics consultancy service for Anglo-Russian freight is a full value-added support operation, including advice on fiscal, tax, insurance, credit and Customs; multilingual staff in all offices; documentation, such as letters of credit, and Certificates of Origin, and even armed-escorts for highly valuable cargoes.
“It complements our full range of overland trailer, oceanfreight and airfreight services between the UK and continental Europe with Russia and the FSU countries.
“To fellow freight forwarders and logistics companies, we say that if you are getting shipping enquiries for these markets from existing customers, but turning them down due to lack of knowledge, experience or confidence to handle the business, we will guarantee that we can help you with a service partnership that is truly neutral.
“To importers and exporters that are concerned about the potential complexities of trading with these markets, we urge you to get in touch to discuss the support that we can offer.
“Whilst regulations, administrative procedures and requirements in this region are very different from those in Europe, through our local experts we have the right knowledge, network of contacts and know-how to meet all the local requirements.”
Having delivered successful logistics services in these markets for long-standing reputable international companies in the retail industry FSM Logistics concludes that it can do the same for other businesses and provide additional trading support services and advice that will help capitalise on the untapped opportunities in these markets.