Team ACE: Working together to win the Deloitte Best Managed Company Award, for the 13th year in a ro
The ‘Perfect Storm’ of COVID and BREXIT has made this a year like no other for the team at Ace Express Freight, a family owned freight and logistics company based at Blakes Cross, Lusk, North County Dublin.
Ace Express Freight have grown from humble beginnings back in 1989 to become one of the leading independent freight and logistics companies in Ireland, with a team of 160 staff and contractors, 235,000 square feet of owned warehouse space, a nationwide distribution network in Ireland and the UK, and a global partner network spanning 173 countries. They are one of the biggest employers in the Lusk area, and both the company and the team are actively involved in supporting the local community.
The past 18 months have seen the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the arrival of BREXIT, both of which have brought many serious challenges to all businesses in Ireland, with the Freight and Logistics sector at the coalface of the sudden and radical changes.
“COVID-19 has been an unprecedented challenge to what is very much a people business, with new ways of working having to be implemented very quickly to keep up with the rapidly changing situation” remarks Philip Tracey, CEO of Ace Express Freight.
“The pandemic has had a major impact on all our staff and customers; with many significant changes to how we operate. At the start of the pandemic we had to take immediate action to ensure the safety of our people, while adapting our processes and systems to ensure we could keep our customers’ shipments moving and the country’s supply chains open.
Some of the key initiatives in our COVID response strategy has been the introduction of onsite antigen testing, reconfigured working spaces and office pods to ensure social distancing, extensive investments in hardware and software which has allowed the majority of staff to work efficiently and effectively from home; and new rotas with separate teams to ensure continuity in the event of an outbreak.
Most importantly, the COVID-19 pandemic created a renewed focus on team work and culture development to keep all staff connected and included in the Ace Express Freight family”.
“Just when we were starting to get to grips with COVID, along came BREXIT! The UKs departure from the EU on 1st January 2021 necessitated significant strategic planning, preparation and investment in order to maintain our strong position as a leader in UK – Ireland freight and logistics services. We had to invest heavily in our people, processes and systems to deal with the new reality of customers clearance between the EU & the UK.
Our focus was to develop our inhouse Customs Clearance capabilities and create a best in class service for our customers. To achieve this we trebled the size of our customer clearance team, secured Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status in both Ireland and the UK, and invested heavily in attaining a UK HMRC Badge, expanding bonded warehousing facilities, and arranging significant bank guarantees. We did all of this so that we could clear goods directly through customs inhouse, and deliver a seamless service for all our customers.”
“This has been a year that none of the team at Ace Express Freight will ever forget; and that’s why we feel so very proud and so deeply humbled to have been awarded the Deloitte Best Managed Company accolade for the 13th year.
Only 139 companies in the whole of Ireland won the award this year, and we are one of only a handful that remain in the prestigious Platinum Club, an impressive achievement when you consider what every business in Ireland has gone through these past 18 months”.
“This award is a testament to our people, how they went above and beyond for the team, how they innovated and adapted to deliver to our customers, how they supported and inspired each other, each and every day.
I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate all my colleagues and friends in Ace Express Freight, this award is for everyone on Team ACE!.” said Philip Tracey, CEO, Ace Express Freight.