August/September 2018

Global software firm makes Stockport its UK home

Sydney-based shipping software provider SmartFreight has opened its first UK office, choosing Stockport as its base of operations throughout the UK and Ireland. GM Business Connect caught up with SmartFreight’s National Partnership Manager Jeff Francis, who is heading up the expansion.

Jeff Francis, SmartFreight

Jeff has lived in Stockport for more than 35 years and is keen to sing the town’s praises as the perfect choice for locating the new European headquarters. Jeff commented: “We’re very excited to be opening our first UK office in Stockport, which will act as our European headquarters as we expand to meet growing customer demand. Stockport is my home and I am delighted to be able to help bring a globally respected and leading software brand to the UK. SmartFreight provides innovative software solutions to some 3,000 companies around the world, helping cut their distribution costs and enhancing their supply chain operations. We have already received acclaim in Ireland where we have quickly helped around 400 customers we’re now setting our sights on the UK.

“Stockport stood out as the perfect location to base our European headquarters and we’ve initially taken 300 sq ft of office space at Cheadle Place, Stockport. This is likely to increase soon as we’re intending to rapidly grow to meet customer demand. We’re already recruiting staff to build up our team, where seven immediate roles are available in administration, IT and technical support, as well as national and regional sales and marketing. Few people working outside of the supply chain sector will have heard of us and that’s very exciting as we start to get our story out there. SmartFreight is the leading provider of its kind in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland and has now firmly set our sights on the UK market. To make that ambition a reality, we’re investing heavily into growing our presence here and it’s just the start of the journey.”

Jeff then outlined the history of the brand: “Interactive Freight Systems (IFS) began operating in 1997 and specialised in multi-carrier shipping solutions, with SmartFreight as its core product. Its global headquarters are based in Rhodes, Sydney with local distributors in New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and the UK.

“An early believer in using disruptive technology to improve customer experience, it created one of Australia’s first generic multi-carrier shipping systems and quickly became a market leader, by putting the customer first, and helping them take back control, with a system that offered versatility, transparency, accountability and efficiency. SmartFreight works by using the client’s own shipping rates with their own chosen transport providers, loaded into the system by the SmartFreight team. This means customers are still in control of the commercial relationship with their transport providers, not a third party that may have a vested interest promoting certain transport providers.

“As an award-winning pioneer of SaaS (Software as a Service) shipping software, SmartFreight has one of the best levels of functionality of any product and is extremely competitive with a quick return on investment. SmartFreight is part of the IFS Group and also has offices in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland. For more than 20 years it has provided transport management software to some of the world’s leading organisations and currently processes more than £325m each year of freight spend across its 16,000+ software users.

Jeff Francis
0845 094 9477