Horizon International Holdings ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Horizon International Holdings ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Horizon International Holdings ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Nigel Davies, chairman of
Horizon International Cargo
Horizon’s logistics facility
in Aylesford, Kent
Since its foundation in 1991, Horizon International Cargo
has grown from being a specialist air freight forwarding
business into one of the UK’s most innovative supply chain
solution providers. Global solutions are provided through a
combination of Horizon’s own international offices, its sister
companies in Hong Kong and China as well as membership
of the WCA (World Cargo Alliance) and Atlas networks of
independent forwarders. Founder and company chairman
Nigel Davies discusses Horizon’s commitment to exceeding
customer expectations through the excellence of staff training
programmes and their investment in the latest technology. He
also considers the future of freight services, especially in light of
the impact that ecommerce and the EU referendum bring.
The beginning
The company started in just one unit of the London Heathrow Cargo Agents Building
but quickly expanded to six units before moving to a much larger facility in 1997 to
cope with increased volumes of air freight. In 2003, it opened its first dedicated sea
freight office in Aylesford, Kent. In 1995, Horizon formed a partnership with what
is now its sister company, Sea Air Logistics (SAL). Over the last 20 years, SAL has
flourished in China and Hong Kong, and is widely recognised as one of the leading
independent logistics providers in the Far East. Our common values are upheld through
our very close working relationship with SAL, one that has enabled us to operate a
seamless channel between our customers in the West and their suppliers in the East.
»Chairman: Nigel Davies
»Established in 1991
»Based in London Heathrow,
with a dedicated sea freight
office in Aylesford, Kent
»Services: International
innovative supply chain
»No. of employees: 180+
Horizon International
Cargo Ltd
Highlighting best practice
Global expansion
Between 2006 and 2012, Horizon
spread its wings, establishing offices
in Spain, Japan, Holland, Los Angeles,
Miami, Chicago, Salt Lake City and
New York. Our presence at both
ends of our major trade lanes was
largely driven by customer demand.
It facilitated the fine-tuning of our
services, offering much greater control
for our operations staff along with
improved visibility for our customers
throughout their whole supply chain.
Our ability to expand as we did in this
period, much of which was during the
global recession, demonstrated the
depth of our financial stability and our
ability to adapt to a crisis.
As with any successful business,
Horizon has demonstrated a consistent
policy of reinvestment, reliably offering
innovative supply chain solutions to its
clients who need to adapt to ever-
changing environments of their own.
One advantage of private ownership is
the flexibility to invest capital without
the need for justification to expectant
shareholders. We have consistently
capitalised on this, recognising what is
needed to remain at the forefront of
the industry and investing accordingly,
whether that be in infrastructure, IT
systems or people. Most recently, this
has taken the form of a brand new,
state-of-the-art logistics facility inKent.
Technological advancement
When placed alongside other
industries, the “freight game” is
comparatively archaic in many of
its processes. Original paperwork
is still widely prevalent despite
numerous indications of an impending
“paperless” revolution. In an age
where one can conduct more and
more transactions with the swipe of
a finger, most freight operations are
still paper dependent and, regrettably,
the online platforms which currently
exist remain a long way from being
integrated across the complex web
of moving parts that transport freight
across the globe.
At Horizon, as much as we have
embraced and invested in advanced IT
systems and new software, we have
also invested heavily in staff training.
For all the benefits new technologies
bring us, it is our staff who find the
solutions and keep the clients happy.
Horizon’s new facility at
For all the
benefits new
bring us, it is
our staff who
find the
solutions and
keep the
clients happy
Service diversification
As Horizon’s client base has grown, it
has diversified its expertise beyond that
of a specialist air freight forwarder.
Having started with air we soon
branched into ocean freight, then
road transportation, warehousing and
recently ecommerce.
The impact of ecommerce cannot
be overstated. In an age where even
next-day delivery is falling short of
consumer expectations, the online
revolution has set the precedent for
a new era for freight. Speed and
efficiency are emphasised more every
day as the world becomes a smaller
and smaller place. By incorporating
e-fulfilment into our service
capabilities, our clients are able to
outsource their entire supply chain to
us, from the moment a purchase order
is generated to the final delivery at
their customer’s door.
For an industry that is entirely
dependent on the presence and
strength of global trade, the outcome
of the 2016 referendum on leaving the
European Union will have considerable
While we are confident of our ability
to adapt to any outcome, we have
a positive vision of the UK’s post-
Brexit prospects. Early indications for
exports have been encouraging; the
three months leading up to November
2017 saw a £2.1 billion reduction
to the trade deficit, largely due to a
5.3 per cent rise in non-EU exports.
While this is in no small part aided
by the deflated pound increasing
the affordability of our products in
foreign markets, it also demonstrates
that we are an attractive nation to do
While it is fundamental to the health of
our economy that we maintain a close
and competitive trade relationship
with the single market, freedom from
it will allow us to strike trade deals
elsewhere, expanding our focus as the
outward-facing nation that has been
so successful throughout history.
Heathrow expansion
Unsurprisingly, we fully endorse the
decision to expand Heathrow for
the incorporation of a third runway,
particularly in the light of the Brexit
vote. A new runway alone, however,
will not be enough. Cargo facilities
at Heathrow are not fit for purpose.
Vehicles regularly have to queue
up for hours on end to deliver or
collect consignments. Additionally,
congestion in and around the cargo
terminal, especially in peak periods,
is so acute that it regularly results
in gridlock. This is a huge waste of
time and resources. For the benefit
of the UK economy as a whole,
we desperately need significant
investment in Heathrow’s air cargo
infrastructure if our businesses are
to fully capitalise on the new trade
opportunities that lieahead.
Cargo facilities
at Heathrow
are not fit for
Horizon’s Schiphol


This article was sponsored by Horizon International Holdings ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy