Jag UFS sets the industry benchmark for tailored logistics solutions 

With a global presence spanning the UK, US, and China, Jag UFS Ltd is a logistics specialist that offers an extensive range of services. From air freight and ocean freight to rail services, road freight and warehousing, Jag UFS provides comprehensive solutions tailored to meet its clients’ diverse needs. The company’s expertise extends across various sectors, including aerospace and aviation, medical, food and drink, automotive, pet products, mining, and retail. Working in collaboration with a trusted network of partners in over 220 countries, Jag UFS ensures seamless operations and reliable service delivery. Gary Wilcox, Group CEO, delves into the company’s history.

“Colin Wilcox, my father, and James Gourlay established the company in 1981. James’ son, Julian, currently serves as CFO. Jag UFS originated from humble beginnings in James’ front room. Colin brought his experience in operations and accounting, having previously served as a director, while James, with a background in sales and marketing for major American companies, contributed entrepreneurial flair. Despite their contrasting personalities, their respective experiences made them the perfect match; they complemented each other. Since its inception, the company has remained steadfast in its core belief of prioritizing service excellence. In 1986, Julian and I joined the company, initially reluctant but eventually embracing the challenges of working in a family business. A significant milestone for us has been the establishment of multiple offices: four in the UK, four in China and Hong Kong, and two in the US. Another important achievement was navigating through the pandemic, where we not only survived but thrived, expanding our team by approximately ten percent and emerging stronger than before. Our customer service philosophy remained strong, and our existing large client base in the medical industry gave us an advantage. Despite the uncertainty, we realized our US and China offices positioned us well to adapt swiftly to pandemic regulations,” he informs.

Service commitment
Gary elaborates on the breadth of Jag UFS’ services across its extensive geographical footprint. “Brexit presented us with opportunities because European trucking, which was not our forte before Brexit, became a less competitive and saturated market. So, as a primarily domestic transport company, we sought to expand our reach when Brexit emerged. We successfully partnered with Amazon and an Amazon-approved accountancy firm, devising a solution to facilitate the transportation of goods from UK-based Amazon sellers into Europe. Our initiative proved highly effective, allowing us to establish a foothold ahead of larger competitors, contrary to our initial expectations. Today, we continue to handle the shipment of goods to Amazon France and Germany, servicing two trailers per week. Furthermore, as a medium-sized company, our agility in adapting quickly allowed us to enter the road freight services market in Europe. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has had a widespread impact on everyone due to the cost of living, fuel prices, and other aspects and it seems that this situation will persist for a considerable time. Conversely, during the pandemic and now amid the Ukraine conflict, I have noticed a general acceptance among our customers when prices rise. This acceptance stems from the trust our clients have in us, knowing that we do not seek to profit unjustly. They understand that there are certain costs that we must pass on, as we cannot shoulder the burden alone. People’s acceptance of these price adjustments mirrors their response during the pandemic, when ocean freight rates skyrocketed and air freight rates from China reached nearly $20 per kilo. The understanding was that these changes affected everyone, and we were not simply imposing additional fees for our own benefit, as that is not our way of doing business.

“The pandemic levelled the playing field, nullifying existing contracts with shipping lines and airlines. It was during this time that our commitment to exceptional service shone through. It was incredibly refreshing to compete with larger competitors and demonstrate our capabilities. Moreover, we took advantage of the opportunity to highlight that our service not only matched that of industry giants and competitors and even exceeded. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with clients expressing that they had never encountered such a level of service before. Knowing that we can deliver on our promises and provide a remarkable customer experience fills me with a great sense of pride,” he adds.

Brand awareness
Having emerged stronger than before from those challenging times, Jag UFS is now headed towards more developments and investments. “We have recently established a partnership with a transport company based in Southampton, which has resulted in our livery being displayed on their trucks. Indeed, when our clients see our livery on the vehicles instead of just a generic transport company, it leaves a lasting impression. While I don’t anticipate an immediate surge in business from this collaboration, it undoubtedly contributes to the overall visibility and awareness of our brand. Nonetheless, our primary focus is on ensuring we set up our new warehouse correctly. We have also been actively exploring the advancements in technology within our industry. The pace of innovation, particularly with AI and other emerging technologies, is remarkably fast and I am intrigued by the possibilities they offer and would like to explore their potential. Nevertheless, as someone who values personal service, I am cautious about losing the human touch and becoming faceless to our clients through automated responses. It is crucial to strike a balance between staying up to date with technology and maintaining that personal connection. The ongoing development I am pursuing aims to harness the speed of technology in areas such as the back office while still preserving that personal touch that sets us apart,” he enlightens.

Expansion plans
Gary details his vision for the future of Jag UFS. “I would like to expand our presence in the US. While we already have locations in Los Angeles and Atlanta, we could extend our operations to the East Coast, potentially in the vicinity of New York, to ensure coverage across different time zones. Additionally, I have always been intrigued by the idea of establishing a presence in the Manchester area or further north in the UK. Currently, our operations are centered around Southampton, Heathrow, Southend, and Felixstowe, but we lack a physical presence in the northern regions, despite servicing them. Therefore, venturing into that area would be of interest, potentially involving the expansion of our warehouse facilities and the establishment of our own trucking department for domestic containers within Europe. In other words, our approach is to seize opportunities as they arise all while maintaining our focus on meeting client expectations and preserving the ethos that has brought us to where we are today,”
he ends.

Jag UFS’ agility and dedication to its core values have positioned it well for sustained success. These attributes not only enable the company to navigate through present challenges but also equip it to tackle any future obstacles.