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Our companies that are doing well over there...

worcester based container manufacturer egbert taylor

For those of us who have been working in the waste management industry for some time, it is great to see the subject of waste and plastics gaining increasing interest among the public. The UK has a very effective waste collection system, but there is always room for improvement. A consultation being run by the Government will look at this subject and how we can improve our performance.

For those of us who have been working in the waste management industry for some time, it is great to see the subject of waste and plastics gaining increasing interest among the public. The UK has a very effective waste collection system, but there is always room for improvement. A consultation being run by the Government will look at this subject and how we can improve our performance.

Not all countries have advanced waste col­lection systems, and often waste disposal is to dumpsites. This is often why so much waste finds its way into the ocean. In order to have an effective waste collection service, substantial resources are needed, from basic equipment such as gloves, brooms, carts to vehicles, balers and more.

‘Made in Britain’ message resonates in overseas markets

Worcester-based container manufacturer Egbert Taylor has secured a number of contracts in Saudi Arabia for its iconic Continental 1,100-litre steel bins worth more than £1m.

The company has also received high-value orders from India and Malaysia, while local governments in Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan have rolled out Taylor Continental bins. In addition, purchases have been made from afar afield as Bermuda, South Korea and Peru.

Since Egbert Taylor launched its export programme in 2012, the company has regularly secured orders in Africa, south-east Asia and the Middle East. Egbert Taylor Middle East, the firm’s Dubai-based sister company, has seen exponential growth after launching a 6,000sq ft warehouse in 2018, servicing the local Middle East and North Africa region.

Brendan Murphy, chief executive at Egbert Taylor, said: “As many UK contractors continue to import low-cost, lower quality containers from countries such as China, Egbert Taylor appears to be bucking the trend by exporting to customers that appreciate British build quality and understand the durability and performance of Egbert Taylor’s products.

“Having been proud of our ‘Made in Britain’ credentials for many years in the UK, it seems the message is now resonating overseas, which is fantastic news for the business and great for the local economy.”

Egbert Taylor’s established UK supply chain provides the raw materials, including the steel used to produce its four-wheeled bins, before manufacturing every unit on its 20-acre Oak Park site.

Matthew Young, group export manager, adds: “While the UK remains and always will be our key market, there are countless others on the global stage that now want to benefit from what our UK customers have profited from for decades. We are really excited about the potential offered by growing our global customer base and all signs, including our order pipeline, point towards continued growth in the next 12 months.”

Sufficient funding is also needed to ensure collection takes place reliably and comprehen­sively. This needs to be underpinned by support from the businesses and households that gen­erate the waste.

Although the mechanisms for collecting waste vary between countries, there is usually a role for the public sector to ensure that it happens. This requires laws and policies to be in place, based on evidence and drafted to resonate with the population who will need to find value in the system.

British companies have significant expertise in this sector. They understand how an effective system can work and how to create a sustainable waste management system fit for the long term. UK firms are also good at data analysis and devising systems for managing waste that suit each local context.

Sometimes new laws and regulations are needed and, by working with colleagues in Brit­ish embassies around the world, there are opportunities to gain the support of ministers and officials to make the case to address such issues. The Department for International Trade (DIT) has representatives across the world who can advise UK companies on local systems and regulations and, in turn, how to engage with decision-makers in different markets.

Manufacturer sets sights on 50% of business from exports

Reading-based Vehicle Weighing Solutions (VWS), which specialises in the design, manufacture, installation and service of onboard weighing, bin weighing and axle load protection systems, opened an office in Sweden earlier this year.

vws

vws

Julian Glasspole, managing director, explains that the company was getting an increasing number of enquiries from Scandinavia, so opening a local office allows it to give better support to customers.

Its initial entry into the Scandinavian market was through its multinational UK customers. VWS has since sought to find out exactly what the market wants and to isolate the region’s specific requirements to better tailor its offering. Glasspole says there is some “good competition” from domestic players: “We have different niches that we developed in the UK market that we can apply to Scandinavia.”

VWS also exports a lot of equipment to India and the Middle East, Glasspole adds: “Being a UK manufacturer is considered to be really important. People where possible want to buy, if they can, UK-manufactured products.”

The company employs 120 people, and everything is made in the UK. “It puts us in a strong position when we are exporting: we can deliver from stock, we have got the right number of engineers and, hopefully, we can give our customers that extra bit of service.”

Currently, about 65% of the product VWS manufactures goes to the UK market. Glasspole would like to see a 50/50 split by 2022 of product sold to the UK and export markets. This gives the business more stability, he says, because if one market is down, another is up.

The company has recently won a contract to supply 90 refuse vehicles in Paris with its RFID systems and it has similar projects in Ireland. It has additional offices in France and Poland.

“All of the rock that has built Dubai and most of the rock that has built Abu Dhabi has been weighed on our axle weighbridges.”

Glasspole says the Middle East market offers opportunities for further growth. He explains that VWS has been doing business in the Middle East for about a decade, originally through its axle weighbridge systems.

“We have sold probably 150-200 axle weighbridge systems in the region. All of the rock that has built Dubai and most of the rock that has built Abu Dhabi has been weighed on our axle weighbridges.”

He is not too worried about Brexit affecting business, adding that there has been no slow-down. He would rather there was a deal but is pragmatic: “If you have got a good product, whether you are buying it or selling it, people will find a way to do business.”

Each country presents unique challenges to do business in, so it is always beneficial for potential UK partners to familiarise themselves with the local requirements, systems and ways of delivering contracts, as well as understand­ing that public sector decision-making also varies in each market.

British companies are warmly welcomed overseas because they have experience in pro­ject funding and can use a mix of private and public sector approaches. Particularly interest­ing markets at present include Indonesia and Brazil, which have large and diverse economies with an increasing recognition of the impor­tance of good waste management for health and the environment.

These countries are continuing to cultivate their tourism sectors and are aware of the eco­nomic benefits of good waste management. These are markets that have funding available, as well as many interested and capable local companies to partner with.

Deborah Sacks is a waste and resources spe­cialist at the DIT. She is happy to give advice. There is also a network of international trade advisers around the country who can be con­tacted to find out more.

Anticipation of 25% growth

Liverpool-born Vincent Ferguson founded Inciner8 in 2004 after spotting a gap in the market for an innovative and transparent incineration business.

The company, which designs and builds bespoke incinerators, now exports to more than 180 countries. Its products have played a leading role in supporting numerous humanitarian crises, including the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The company launched a range of energy-from-waste solutions that convert the heat produced from burning waste into electricity. This is an area of the business that is set to grow exponentially during the next 12 months. Inciner8 also developed the world’s first mobile crematorium in 2017, which is fully portable and can be relocated rapidly to any location around the globe.

It holds Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade and Innovation, and in January Ferguson received an OBE.

Inciner8 employs 35 people, including apprentices. It grew 20% during 2018, and turnover forecasts for the next financial year are on target to reach £12m, up 25%.

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