By Daniel Hunter

Exporting the best of British to overseas customers is not just good for business, it is fun.

So says Nick Baird, the Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, who is urging British and Irish businesses to get on board the export bandwagon and explore potentially huge new markets throughout the world.

“It is a simple message that we need to get across... exporting is fun,” said Nick, when he visited TNT Express’ Liverpool depot to see how the UK’s leading express delivery company is helping British companies tap into new international markets.

“British brands are very strong internationally. The issue is not a lack of demand. It is how we actually supply that demand. At UKTI, we are very grateful that we can work with companies, such as TNT Express, keep driving global trade.”

TNT Express works in close partnership with UKTI to support to small and medium sized businesses who are trying to reach potentially lucrative overseas markets.

TNT Express delivers more than 4 million items around the world every week. The logistics and transport specialist’s extensive international road and air network — which spans 200 countries — combines global reach with local expertise.

Customers benefit from a range of flexible, timely and efficient services for day-definite, time-critical deliveries of documents, parcels or palletised freight. There are also Special Services capabilities for shipments that are out of the ordinary.

As a logistics partner to companies keen to explore international markets, TNT Express can offer guidance and support to customers to take the complications out of exporting, making it easier to do business overseas. TNT Express’ Authorised Economic Operator status, means it is recognised by HMRC as meeting consistent quality, security and safety standards in the international supply chain, so customers benefit from speedier processing of shipments through customs.

A series of taster sessions co-hosted by TNT Express and UKTI are offering expertise to SMEs, helping them overcome the perceived barriers to international trade.

Alistair Cochrane, Managing Director TNT Express Services UK & Ireland, said: “The partnership with UKTI is going from strength to strength which means we are able to offer provide guidance and solutions to many more companies who are considering overseas markets.

“TNT Express/UKTI regional taster events are being held across the UK at which our experts are able to demonstrate that the perceived barriers to international trade can be overcome.”

During his tour of the Liverpool depot, Nick Baird got to see at first-hand how TNT Express’ international capability is bringing overseas markets within reach of British business.

“The number of companies coming to us for help has grown by 25%,” he says.. “There are compelling reasons for exporting. It is a massive opportunity.

“Exporting can be a challenge but it is very satisfying and it can help to improve innovation and productivity within SMEs which improves business domestically too.”

UKTI, through initiatives such as its Passport to Export programme, offers new and inexperienced exporters:

- free capability assessments
- support in visiting potential markets
- mentoring from a local export professional
- free action plans
- customised and subsidised training
- ongoing support
- financial support through a voucher scheme

UKTI has helped a huge variety of small businesses gain a global footprint.

Nick added: “The beauty is there is no up-front cost. We are able to open the door to 100 countries for nothing and there is no particular sector.

“We helped one Northumberland company that makes beds for ferrets. After setting up a website the company has discovered there are more than 9 million ferret owners across the United States.

“Other examples of popular great British products include portable potties, Cambridge satchels and a Devon Sausage company which is exporting sausages to a new Japanese theme park who only want British bangers!”

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