Dr. Ibeh Ezekiel Ifeyi is the Group Chairman of BestLine Shipping Company. Here, he barred his mind on Groupage, freight forwarding and how Best Line Shipping Company has been a huge solution channel for large, medium and small scale importers home and abroad. Excerpts:
WHAT ACTUALLY PROMPTED YOUR ENTRY INTO CLEARING AND FORWARDING BUSINESS?
Before we ventured into Groupage logistics shipping and freight forwarding, we visited a lot of countries including China, where we noticed the challenges faced by the importers from having excessive CBM for a container load, having lesser CBM unable to fill up a container, to experiencing excess stress at the verge of clearing hence the pre-birth of our bonded terminal. However, it has always been a dream come through that we have become a solution provider for all in this industry. This is the major reason we pay ahead the freight and clearing charges for Groupage upon arrival before these clients pay and pick up.
WHEN DID YOU GO INTO THE BUSINESS?
We started partially in 2007 but commenced operation fully as a company in 2012. We have strong Chinese partners who are very consistent and are attending to things over there. Soonest, we will be celebrating our ten years as a success story in the industry.
WHAT IS YOUR STRONGEST POINT IN THE INDUSTRY?
Our Strongest point has been God, our capital base and the bank’s collaboration since the inception of the Brand. Moreover, our Chinese partners brought in a lot of expertise into the business that even the travel restrictions during the COVID – 19 pandemic had minimal or no effect on us.
WHAT KIND OF GOODS DO YOU CLEAR?
We clear general goods except contrabands.
ASIDE LAGOS, WHERE ELSE DO HAVE OFFICES IN THE COUNTRY?
We have plans of expanding to Onitsha or Nnewi. But you know, whatever we do in our company, we give it our best and currently, we are still working towards getting the right team to run with the new mandate.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO PEOPLE’S GOODS WHEN THEY ENTRUST IT TO YOUR CARE?
Goods entrusted in our care are as safe as we are a very reputable and reliable brand. To the glory of God we have never had challenges with any of our consignments over the years.
WHAT ABOUT THE LOGISTICS ASPECT, HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT IN SUCH A WAY THAT SOMEONE CAN CLEAR HIS GOODS AND HAVE IT DELIVERED TO HIS DOOR STEP?
For sure, we have a lot of customers in Onitsha and Nnewi. What we do is that we liaise with other logistics company which gets in touch with these customers and they make a good arrangement so once their goods are cleared, it will be taken to the destination of the customers. For those that are around the trade fair complex where we have our office, we are running a promo now so if the destination is within trade fair, we have about three trucks that will deliver the goods free of charge if the goods are up to 10 CBM.
HOW DO YOU OFTEN GET MOST OF YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Advert is fine but in most cases, it is through referral. We strongly believe that one good turn deserves another and we are into services so whoever you serve well will no doubt refer you to others. If you don’t serve them well, they will equally de-market you so we believe in quality services which will in turn make them to speak well of us.
HOW BIG IS THE COMPANY?
The company’s capacity is big and for the nature of our business I would say, we have done so well for ourselves as a brand. By his grace we are not doing badly in the industry.