15 January, 2006 – Frans Maas
Frans Maas, which boasts one of Europe's most extensive infrastructures in the Freight Forwarding & Logistics industry, was first established in the UK back in 1971.
Since then, factors including excellent transport links and a substantial human resource pool have resulted in Greater Manchester being a key investment area for the firm, a fact exemplified by the impressive multi-modal site currently based in Wythenshawe and plans for its imminent expansion.
Gary Cooper, General Manager at Frans Maas Manchester, feels the site more than deserves its current status as one of the company’s flagship bases in the UK. Here he discusses the site’s history in Greater Manchester and plans for the future.
"Manchester has always been an important base for Frans Maas and continues to be so, largely due to the city’s ability to grow with the companies that locate there. For example, as a provider of total supply chain solutions, we have to make sure all avenues of transport are explored and developed to their full potential.
"We already have an impressive reputation in terms of European road haulage but other areas such as ocean & airfreight continue to be an important part of our growth – in fact it now accounts for 20% of our business.
"We are not alone as a company in our increasing emphasis on air-freight and the authorities behind Manchester Airport have been quick to recognise this by developing the facilities there accordingly, further enhancing its status as a leading international air-freight base and increasing the region’s appeal."
According to Neil Fountain, CEO at Manchester’s Investment & Development Agency (MIDAS), further investment in the area’s logistics facilities are likely. He comments: "Nationally, the logistics industry is undergoing a period of significant change. Where once it was common for companies to have one major logistics base within the UK, the trend is increasingly for such firms to regionalise their distribution bases with an increasing number opening up in Greater Manchester to take advantage of lower business costs."
Frans Maas has certainly benefited from factors such as this, and has flourished in its Greater Manchester location. Plans to expand the site in 2006 demonstrate this success. Currently the site occupies14,393 sq ft but fuelled by a further four million pound investment, this will more than double to around 32,808 sq ft.
Gary continues: "We opened phase one of the current site in February 2004 and since then things have really gone from strength to strength – in fact business has increased by about 30%. Our facilities here are fully bonded, we have the latest RFID technology in place and we have easy access to road, rail, air and sea connections, all of which has enabled us to truly provide a one-stop-shop services when it comes to supply chain solutions.
With phase two of our development taking place in 2006, I believe the Greater Manchester site will continue to be a hugely important base for Frans Maas UK."
Source: Frans Maas