Customs Agency Services Awards

SA freight company Customs Agency Services keeps on forward path

by: BELINDA WILLIS
From: The Advertiser
December 02, 2014

Customs Agency Services Award

Customs Agency Services directors Louise Rigoni and her brother Mark Callus at Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal at Outer Harbour SA. Picture Dylan Coker. Source: News Corp Australia


AN Adelaide freight forwarding company has posted more than a 10 per cent increase in business over 18 months as its larger competitors contract services in the state.

Customs Agency Services‘ tenacity in increasing its market share along with its commitment to keeping work based in Australia has seen it win the prestigious Australian International Freight Forwarder of the Year award.

Company joint owner Mark Callus described it as a “David and Goliath” win as Customs Agency Services competed against about 1000 forwarders around Australia including multinationals.

Mr Callus, along with joint owner and sibling Louise Rigoni, was in Sydney recently to collect the Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Award he believed recognised the locally owned company‘s agility in an economy that remained sluggish after the global financial crisis.

The two said multinational and national customs agencies that had flocked to the state in the 1980s were now pulling out, but Customs Agency Services had instead worked on building a more hands on business model.

“In the SA market in the past 18 months there has been a really big shift where big forwarders are dumbing down their service offerings in smaller centres such as Adelaide,” Mr Callus said.

“Our services are all in-house, the operational side of the business, sales and marketing, customs brokerage, accounting and administration is all done within these four walls, it’s probably setting us apart at the moment.”

The company was also bucking the trend to outsource service offerings to interstate and overseas providers.

Ms Rigoni said the company that specialised in moving freight by air and sea along with customs and quarantine clearance, had taken on more customers in the past 18 months than it had “for the past five years”.

They included those in the defence, aerospace, communications, construction and hardware, and “burgeoning e-commerce logistics” industries.

“We’ve had 10 to 15 per cent growth in the past 18 months in client numbers,” Ms Rigoni said.

Customs Agency Services had about 80 competitors in Adelaide and was the largest locally owned company still in business.

Ms Rigoni said the company was increasingly improving its logistics and tracking services as it recognised the importance of organising movements to ensure clients avoided oversupply of stock or gaps in receiving vital shipments.

“The integrity of the supply chain is more important than ever,” she said.

The company had partnerships in more than 700 locations internationally and was expanding its 27-strong workforce.

It had a client list of about 100 regular customers ranging from those with shipments of a couple of times a year to 1000 a year.

Ms Rigoni said work predominantly focused on China but the company also had a strong connection with the United States and Europe through its defence and aerospace contracts.

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