Carrier Partner

What you need to look for in a carrier partner

  • 05/01/2019
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Transport

Supply chains require efficient and effective carries to ensure cargo get from A to B safely, securely and efficiently…


As the saying goes, ‘if you want something done properly, do it yourself’.

It’s excellent advice for those polymaths that have the ability, resources, time and talent to be able to understand and execute any task they’re faced with.

Unfortunately, most of us are lacking in at least one, if not more, of those attributes.

You might have the ability and talent, but without the resources and time you’re going to struggle.

That’s why you bring in other people – whether it’s a plumber for your house, a lawyer for your business, or a haulier for your cargo.

If you want something done properly, get the experts in. That’s as true in transportation as it is in any other sector or industry.

A chain as strong as its weakest link
When it comes to logistics, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Even if your supply chain is wholly focused in one country (which would be a rarity), it’s unlikely that it won’t involve a number of parties, hence the chain.

From storage to haulage, customs to carriers, any logistics set up is effectively a complex series of events. To borrow another well-worn phrase, your supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

That’s why it’s recommended to use what’s known as a carrier. A carrier provides transportation services, often involving the ownership and operation of relevant equipment (i.e. trucks, warehouses, trailers).

Trust in others
When you’re choosing a carrier partner, trust is one of the key elements you need to consider.

Whoever you choose needs to be reliable, both in terms of being able to deliver when you need cargo, but also able to provide you with guidance and highlight things you need to be aware off.

You ultimately need to be able to trust them to look after that part of your business as carefully as you would yourself.

Transporting any sort of cargo requires a deep knowledge of licences, regulations and customs requirements.

You want your carrier to be able to move your cargo quickly and safely; that means physically fast, yes, but it also means being fully licensed and regulated so that their trucks and warehouses aren’t being blocked by industry regulators.

Knowing that a carrier is trusted by others and has a reputation for performing well in the areas you’re looking for is also important.

This is certainly the case if you’re looking to use groupage services; you’ll feel better knowing that others also back your carrier to support their business.

It may seem counter intuitive but bringing an expert in can save you money.

From not having to invest in your own warehousing or haulage, to only using the expertise when you need it, a carrier will help you manage your costs effectively.

Seamless managing of multiple parts
Third party logistics carriers exist to take the pain out of supply chains.

By using someone like Middlegate Europe, businesses can hand over the intricacies of their transportation needs safe in the knowledge that they have a team of experts focused on getting their cargo from A to B.

It’s a seamless approach to managing a machine of multiple moving parts; by using a carrier, supply chains become simpler and smoother, allowing customers to focus on their core business activities.

At Middlegate we support businesses importing and exporting between the UK and mainland Europe, with our state-of-the-art warehousing in Hull, Zeebrugge and Bierset.


To find out why we should be your carrier of choice, get in touch.


What's a bonded warehouse and do you need one?

  • 10/12/2018
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Warehousing

Bonded warehouses can save significant costs when it comes to customs duties and VAT. Here’s what you need to know…


A bonded warehouse plays a key role in modern logistics.

It is, in effect, a duty-free zone – it holds imported goods intended for exports without entering the local market, thereby ensuring that customs duties and taxes are not payable.

To put it another way, your imported fridge freezers can come from China and be held in Hull, until such a time that you export them to a buyer in the Nordics without having to pay for them to enter the UK market.

They’re also known as customs warehouses.

To quote Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), ‘A customs warehouse allows traders to store goods with duty or import VAT payments suspended. Once goods leave the warehouse, duty must be paid unless they’re re-exported or moved to another customs procedure.’

Bonded warehouses aren’t for everyone – if you’ve got perishable cargo, for instance, you’re unlikely to be wanting to use one either as a location stop on the way to its final destination, or as a storage facility into the local market. Yet for others, they can hold significant appeal.

For instance, if you’ve imported goods but don’t yet have a buyer, either in the UK or abroad, a bonded warehouse allows you to safely store items without having to pay relevant duties or taxes.

From a cash-flow perspective this is ideal – rather than risk losing not only your initial investment but also the duties and taxes, you can insulate yourself until you you have a buyer. If they’re overseas, and therefore you’re now exporting, you won’t have to pay any duties at all.

Bonded warehouses are primarily for storage, but you are able to handle the goods to a certain extent. HMRC’s guidelines state that you can enter the warehouse for the following reasons:

  • make sure goods are preserved

  • improve the presentation or marketable quality of goods

  • prepare goods for distribution or resale

Again, this makes it ideal for any businesses involved in the importing and exporting of goods from one location to another, particularly those with a heritage in their local market.

It’s also useful for the handling of restricted items, which may require additional legal paperwork before they officially ‘enter’ the country.

Another reason might be if you’re bringing in multiple products which need to be combined – being able to store items in a bonded warehouse means you won’t have to pay duty until all your cargo has arrived and you are ready to move it into your own storage.

When choosing a bonded warehouse, it’s worth considering one managed by a carrier that can offer a complete transportation package. These all-in-one solutions take some of the complexity out of your supply chain, while still giving you full control over your cargo.

At Middlegate we support businesses importing and exporting between the UK and mainland Europe, with our state-of-the-art warehousing in Hull, Zeebrugge and Bierset.


To find out how we can help you with your bonded warehousing and wider logistics needs, get in touch.


What Brexit means for groupage

  • 20/11/2018
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Groupage

Brexit is casting a great deal of uncertainty over logistics and haulage, but one thing is certain – having your paper work in order will be key


Brexit may have dominated conversations for the past couple of years, but when it comes to transportation, many people are acutely aware that there remains a degree of uncertainty.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in what the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) means for groupage.

Groupage has always been a popular service amongst Middlegate Europe customers.

It’s an ideal way to move goods when you might not have a full truck or container load, as your cargo is included with another customers’ stock to fully utilise the trailer space.

It means you get the transportation you need, without having to pay for a full load. Where things might get complicated is in the post-Brexit customs environment.

We’ve all seen the stories of worst-case scenario planning, with the M20 turned into a HGV park as customs clearance creates significant delays.

Currently, based on a Port of Dover exercise, a groupage shipment involving eight consignments from outside the EU might take an hour and fifteen minutes to process 

This was a shipment that had originated from Turkey and had already gone through a number of checks when it entered the EU originally.

When the UK leaves the EU, Dover will become a non-EU origin port.

So now (and based on those worst-case scenarios), not only have we got the non-EU shipments to clear customs, but all the previous EU shipments will need to go through a similar process.

Of course, we don’t know for certain if that will be the process that consignments have to go through when entering and exiting the UK. 

One thing is for certain, though, regardless of what happens with Brexit the key to successful groupage transportation will come down to having the necessary paperwork in place. 

In doing to, this will rapidly speed up the process of clearing customs. 

We recently wrote a piece about customs clearance – even while we’re part of the EU, clearing customs for the likes of Switzerland, Norway and Eastern Europe means our team is well versed in the procedures and processes we’re all likely to have to follow once the UK has left the EU. 

While some of what is covered would seem like common sense – ensuring the driver has all necessary paperwork, correctly abbreviating the EU and using an original signature – you’d be surprised by the number of times documentation is included in the shipment itself.

Imagine if that happens to a groupage of eight consignments.

Other things to consider are ensuring you fill out commercial invoices with the correct information, whether you can reduce duties with an invoice statement, the importance of a CMR note and why packing lists, while not always obligatory, can be useful to have.

The key message is straight forward – whatever happens with Brexit, it’s likely that there’s going to be some form of customs clearance for goods entering and leaving the UK.

For groupage, that could become more complex, so it’s critical that your paperwork is in order.

If you do use groupage, regardless of what happens with Brexit, your logistics partner should still be able to transport your goods quickly and safely. That means in line with regulations as much as it does physically.

At Middlegate we support businesses importing and exporting between the UK and mainland Europe, with our state-of-the-art warehousing in Hull, Zeebrugge and Bierset.

To find out how we can help you with groupage, customs clearance and wider logistics support, get in touch.

Carbon Emmisions

Lower your CO2 emissions with double deck trailers

  • 29/10/2018
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Environment,News,Transport

The American Economist Milton Friedman may have stated in 1970 that the social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits, but nowadays corporate social responsibility influences the decisions of organisations of all sizes.

With consumers increasingly happy to exercise their rights to use other providers if they are not happy with a brand’s values, and tell the world about it, being a good corporate citizen is something all businesses grapple with.

As part of that, the impact a business has on the environment is increasingly in focus. Many will trumpet their savings, reducing their footprints, highlighting their sustainable practices – all to be lauded, but are they driven by a sense of morality, or because it makes good business sense?

Regulations certainly play a part, with businesses making sure they comply with increasingly stringent laws governing emissions and environmental impact to avoid significant financial penalties.

Yet if you were to look at the sustainability programmes of many global businesses, particularly those with a large carbon footprint, you would find that actually, cutting back on emissions and reducing their environmental impact as much as possible also means cutting costs and being more efficient – two major focuses for businesses in the post-global recession world.

Is that the case for all sectors, even logistics? In a word, yes. The logistics and distribution industry is a major contributor to CO2 emissions – in the EU alone, transportation (both freight and transportation) accounts for 20% of all green house gas emissions.

At the same time, falling prices has left an asset heavy sector looking for savings wherever it can find them.

What’s the answer? People, and goods, need to get from A to B – without logistics, the world would simply stop. Even if we all reduced our consumption, no single place produces everything it needs, whether it’s food, clothing or building materials.

Everywhere needs to bring goods and services from elsewhere. The only way to bring down emissions, and drive savings, is to become as efficient as possible. Being able to carry more at once. In ocean freight, that means bigger vessels. On the road, that means double deck trailers.

By being able to load more cargo, double deck trailers can help customers lower CO2 emission by 50%, while bringing costs down by 30%.

That’s money saved on distributions, reduced cost per unit, less spent on trucks (as fewer are required), less on ferries and less on fuel.

Double deck trailers better utilise trailer space – how often have you seen a fully loaded trailer floor, with significant horizontal space available?

They even offer significant groupage options – taking a third of a single deck trailer may cost you X but put that same load into a double deck and suddenly your cargo is only a sixth of the space.

Lowering carbon emissions makes good business sense. By considering all the options, and fully utilising the range of trailer types available, businesses requiring logistics and transport can not only achieve their corporate citizenship goals, but also make significant cost efficiencies in the process.

Health and Safety

Why health and safety is critical for fast loading

  • 12/10/2018
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Health & Safety,News,Transport

Health and safety might have a reputation for adding layers of bureaucracy to processes that have worked for years, but it’s a critical part of keeping any business working smoothly.

Even if there weren’t laws and regulations covering workplace health and safety, it would still be best practice for any organisation to follow.

That might seem a bit counter-intuitive – how can additional administration make a business work faster? Yet consider what happens when something goes wrong, and people get hurt.

It completely disrupts operations and can have ramifications at all levels, not least for the people involved in the incident.

It’s as true for those of us operating in logistics as any other sector. As the Road Haulage Association states, ‘every year there are over 5000 incidents involving transport in the workplace with approximately 50 of these incidents resulting in people losing their lives.’

When it comes to haulage, every part of it relates to health and safety. Ultimately, our job is to transport goods safely and securely from one location to another.

Customers are depending on receiving their goods on time – if there’s a safety incident, that’s only going to delay their deliveries.

One area of haulage that needs particularly care when it comes to operating in a safe manner is loading. People use HGVs to transport large items – quite often, these can be bulky, unwieldly or incredibly heavy, if not all three.

Having the proper equipment to load, and unload, all manner of goods is vital. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a forklift, a pallet or a reach truck and whether it is at the customer site, in a loading bay or on a residential street – the equipment used to load and unload a truck needs to be as rigorously tested and maintained as the vehicle’s tires and engine.

Having proper plans and processes in place for all eventualities can be the difference between a safe and an unsafe environment. In loading yards, strict rules should govern how trucks are loaded and how HGVs should approach bays.

While speed of movement and turnaround are key performance indicators for many haulage businesses, nothing should ever compromise the safety of anyone involved in the loading of trucks.

A tragic incident a few years ago highlighted what can happen when the proper steps are not taken, with a lack of procedures for vehicle movements in the transport yard identified as a contributor to the accident.

As well as causing the person in the accident life changing injuries, the two companies involved were fined £250,000, with the Health and Safety Executive saying, ‘the incident was caused by the “shared failure” of both companies to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at the yard.’

For some, Health and Safety may conjure images of reams of paperwork, yet for anyone operating in busy workplaces, following the rules and having clear guidelines in place are absolutely critical.

Keeping employees safe is the legal responsibility of all businesses – that an incident-free workplace is also an efficient, operationally effective one is simply a bonus.


Here at Middlegate, we prioritise health and safety above all else. Not only does this ensure our trailers are loaded and unloaded in a fully safe manner, but that we can deliver our customers products to them on time and without incident.

DAF XF 106

Calling all Drivers: Time to grab a bargain!

  • 27/04/2015
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Vehicles,Offers

As part of our continuous vehicle maintenance and update programme, we currently have available two Volvo FH12 6X2 Tractor units and two DAF 4x2 tractor units for sale.

Fully serviced and maintained further details are available via the following links. We have two vehicles available in Belgium:

DAF XF 105 and DAF XF 105.

For further information about our UK based vehicles, please contact our Hull Operations on +44 1482 226460.

We are a strong team

New employment opportunities at Middlegate Zeebrugge

  • 10/02/2015
  • Zeebrugge, Belgium
  • News,Belgium,Employment,Careers,Team

We are currently seeking applications for the following positions:

Groupage Planner Download
Continental Dispatcher
Forklift Drivers (x2)

For full details, please call +32 50 55 70 70

Full Truck Loads are being handled for leading pharmaceuticals giant

Leading Global Pharmaceuticals Company Chooses Middlegate

  • 09/06/2014
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Distribution,Full Truck Loads,UK,National,Success

A major Blue Chip, Hull based pharmaceuticals company have signed a X year contract with us to provide domestic full load transportation services for their wound management products.
We are also in discussion with the same company to store specific product lines in our food grade warehousing.

Vanessa and Wes attend the Expo 2014 event in Hull

Hull Chambers Expo 2014 Very Positive

  • 02/06/2014
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Marketing,Event,Networking,Social,Local

Our first visit to this local event really was a refreshing change from some of the major trade fairs that we usually attend.
This annual event is part of the Humber Business Week and was hosted by Hull Chambers of Commerce .
The warm and friendly atmosphere at the expo, held at the Hull Sports Arena, gave us the opportunity to network with local business owners and their representatives. These included local service providers such as Kingston Communications who will be installing their Lightstream fibre optic at our Marfleet site as a direct result of the Expo.

CEO Kim Notman during his keynote speech

UK Distribution Model Launched at 25th Anniversary Event

  • 24/04/2014
  • Zeebrugge
  • Distribution,Events,UK,Anniversary,Launch,Strategy

A new distribution model has been launched which aims to alleviate some of the costs of UK distribution for European exporters.

Guests and staff were introduced to our new fleet of double deck trailers

Double Deckers Delivered

  • 24/04/2014
  • Zeebrugge
  • Distribution,Events,UK,Launch,Strategy

The first of our new fleet of double deck trailers have arrived to enhance our UK Distribution model.

Offering an additional 10 loading meters per trailer they are ideal for mixed loads and non-stackable items where weights normally mean multiple trailers would be used. This translates also to a greener solution, as we are able to reduce the number of journeys required to move your goods.

Guests and members of staff attending our 25th Anniversary celebrations,CEO Kim Notman during his keynote speech,Brazilian dancers were just part of the live entertainment

25th Anniversary Celebrations

  • 24/04/2014
  • Zeebrugge
  • Events,Anniversary,Networking,Celebration,Guests

In what has been an emotional year for the family and owners of Middlegate Europe, the decision to not postpone the 25th Anniversary celebrations was made. The football themed event was invitation only for existing customers and local dignitaries, and was as much a celebration of the continued success of Middlegate Europe in the year of Brazil 2014, and also as a tribute to Charlie Notman, ex-professional footballer and founder of Middlegate Europe in Zeebrugge, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Honored guests were entertained with street football and exotic Samba dancers, and enjoyed a variety of foods symbolic of the regions of Belgium and the UK where the company is based. Guests were also asked to sign a football. The party was organised by Belgian events organisers The Media House .

The festivities provided an opportunity to put names to faces, further helping nurture the on-going and valued relationships we have developed over the last quarter of a century.

During his speech to thank and honour the guests, Kim Notman (CEO) announced the launch of a new UK import & distribution model that will initially be based in Hull. Two additional UK distribution hubs were also introduced, which shall provide essential trade routes to the south of the UK and the Midlands. Guests were also witness to the launch of our new double deck fleet of trailers, which allow up to 30% cost saving for customers, whilst reducing CO2 emissions by up to 67%.

View our new corporate video on Vimeo

Latest Corporate Video Launched

  • 23/04/2014
  • UK & Belgium
  • Marketing,Corporate,Anniversary

Belgian videographers Chic worked diligently to ensure our new corporate video was ready for the 25th Anniversary celebrations of May of this year. The video has now been placed online for all to see. The video demonstrates how much we have grown over the past 25 years since our inception in 1989.

The staff are pleased to help the guys from Chic

Exit Stage Left...

  • 08/04/2014
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Marketing,Video,Corporate,Double Deck

Our staff seem to have taken to the prospect of stardom. Individual trailers and lists of strange demands including M&Ms and fake flamingos abound. When Chic visited recently to film our new corporate videos, staff were pleased to be able to help.

Now, where is my equity card...?

Aranud Baillieux, newly appointed Chief Commercial Officer

New CCO Appointed

  • 15/10/2013
  • Clemency, Luxembourg
  • News,Luxembourg,Corporate,International,Strategy

With a wealth of experience in logistics purchasing at Exxon Mobil, Arnaud has been appointed as group Chief Commercial Officer.

With the aim of raising our profile in the Luxembourg and German markets in particular, Arnaud will be heading up operations from our new office in Luxembourg.


Joining Green Network to Help Companies Find Their Place in The Sun

  • 16/01/2013
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • UK,Marketing,Local,News

A newspaper article from the Hull Daily Mail. Read the article here

New premises are officially opened in Hull.

Middlegate Europe and Perpetum Sun open new Premises in Hull

  • 19/12/2012
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • News,UK

More than 75 specially invited guests, from across the UK and Europe, enjoyed a surprising afternoon filled with great musical entertainment, culinary experiences, networking and fun.

To view images from the event visit our special page .

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