03 June 20

Covid-19: Howard Tenens Customer Communication

Dear Customer,

I hope that this finds you and your family well under the current circumstances.

Last month we provided you with a summary indicating numerous measures we have taken to ensure business continuity during these challenging times with a particular focus towards general trading and specific contract activities.  I feel it prudent to issue a further more general update reflecting on our actions and achievements as a reputable and sustainable third party logistics provider that includes an overview from our international division.

Business Update

In summary, our business remains in a strong position with specific areas negatively impacted due to the implications of COVID-19 underpinned thanks to the actions, performance and support of our colleagues, customer base and suppliers.  In what has been a challenging time for us all we have remained agile and dynamic, whilst ensuring our stakeholders remain fully engaged.

We are focused in our approach towards health, safety and compliance in the workplace by strictly adhering to Government guidelines, regularly reviewing our internal processes and procedures, ensuring we listen to any concerns or recommendations from our colleagues and customer base to assess and practically apply whilst constantly reviewing/developing increased risk assessments and ‘tool box talks’ to ensure best practice. These measures, for example, include furlough/de-furlough, home working, social distancing and the mental health of everyone we are connected to.  This is of course in addition to constantly assessing all future implications relating to COVID-19 whilst progressing towards a ‘new-world’ which we are beginning to witness across a number of sites.

Following our last communication, we have embarked upon a number of initiatives to further support our employees, their families and our community.

Colleague Engagement

Working From Home and Winning Employee Survey

During the past two weeks we have launched an internal survey to all of our colleagues who have been able to carry out their role whilst at home.

Given the extent of such positive and constructive feedback we now intend to assess and apply key aspects in an aim to ensure we continue to promote a positive culture for all Howard Tenens colleagues, which will undoubtedly form the basis of an improved and continually evolving people strategy enabling Howard Tenens to emerge from this pandemic in a stronger and more robust position than ever.

Family Engagement

As part of our employee engagement, wellbeing communications and continued show of appreciation towards the NHS and Key Workers, we launched an “Over the Rainbow” artwork competition for the children of our colleagues.  We received an overwhelming response and have been incredibly impressed by each and every entry. We will be publishing a short video to include all master pieces shortly so please continue to monitor our LinkedIn and other social media platforms to view their efforts.  In addition to the competition, celebration and video, we are looking at more ways to utilise these great works of art across Howard Tenens…so watch this space!

Community Involvement

I am also proud to see the continued support of our local communities.  This has been more recently demonstrated by the incredible efforts of our Tilbury team who, to date, have raised nearly £2,000 by not embarking upon COVID-19 haircuts and/or shaves until lockdown measures have passed.  Funds raised from this campaign will be donated to the Thurrock based foodbank.  In addition, and in partnership with two local supermarkets, food parcels are being donated from our colleagues to support the foodbank.

Following a reference during a Microsoft Teams meeting comparing the new hair styles to that of ‘The Smurfs’, the team have further agreed to dye their newly grown beards BLUE to bolster the contribution from all Howard Tenens colleagues which will further support Basildon Hospital.  Updates will be published via LinkedIn of which I encourage you to monitor!

If you would like to support our hairy crew at Tilbury please CLICK HERE TO DONATE via their Just Giving page.  Your support is very much appreciated!

International Operations

UK & European Road Transport

UK core fleet and key 4PL partners remain fully operational with key resources remaining in place.  This means collecting and delivering cargo has seen minimal disruption.  European groupage movements are now fully operational that includes Italy. European express/timed distribution has also returned to near normal operating standards.

Ocean Freight Services

The Howard Tenens International team continue to request that all bookings are placed as early as possible to secure next available sailing times, however, sea freight capacity remains fully available for exports.


Airfreight continues to be the most significant challenge regarding exports, specifically to Australia and America. This is owing to the current lack of freight capacity resulting in increased rates from a few carriers that remain operational.  We continue to address this challenge on a daily basis by obtaining spot market rates, ensuring the most cost-effective movement of goods for our customer base.  We are still able to offer our courier services as/when required and can advise customers on an ad-hoc basis.

Our Senior/Divisional Management team(s) will continue to work closely with each site and customer base to monitor daily change in demand(s) in an aim to continue our support in delivering a seamless, phased approach towards volume increasing as trading in many areas return to the ‘new world’ forecasts in the coming weeks and months ahead.

I would like to once again thank you all for your continued engagement and support, we wish you all the very best and will continue to issue regular updates relating to our business and core services.

Karl Hodgkinson – Managing Director