Freight firm opens in Sheffield as region’s exports grow

Sonia Wilkinson
Sonia Wilkinson
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A freight forwarding firm has opened an office in Sheffield due to the strength of its exporting companies and the “vibe”.

Quality Freight Services has invested £150,000 in an office at the Blades Enterprise Centre on John Street and hired Sonia Wilkinson as manager.

The company plan to spend another £200,000 later in the year and employ another five, according to founder and managing director Martin Johnson MBE.

He started the company in Shipley in 1995 and now employs 24 at offices in Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and Birmingham.

Mr Johnson said he had been in freight in Yorkshire for 30 years and seen many changes on his trips to Sheffield.

He added: “Driving into the city before Meadowhall, it was a bit grimy. We’d be doing large consignments for big steel companies.

“Now you drive in past Meadowhall and a Porsche garage and we do small shipments of bespoke items for steel and metals firms, there’s a totally different vibe. That, and the strength of the companies we deal with, has led to us opening an office there.”

QFS acts as a broker and handles the red tape for firms sending “everything from documents to a 40ft shipping container anywhere in the world,” he added.

The company’s “steady progress” was due to its long standing relationships with overseas agents and partners. Clients include Diageo and Toyota.

Sonia Wilkinson said: “We will always go the extra mile, or more, to ensure that every shipment the Sheffield office handles moves seamlessly from start to finish.”

In the first quarter of 2016, more than 50 per cent of Sheffield City Region businesses in the service and manufacturing sectors increased their exporting activities, according to a Chambers’ survey.