Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
When we set up our first manufacturing facility in Holmewood, North-East Derbyshire in 1994, all our shop floor staff were ex-miners who had lost their jobs through the recent closure of the collieries. In 2001, we moved into our present purpose-built, state-of-the-art plant on Holmewood Industrial Park. We now have a loyal workforce of 45, most of whom have clocked up over 10 years' service.
Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Container Components Europe Limited is uniquely focused on the supply of plastic lids to the global waste market. We have designed and produce lids for all types of waste container, from a household 240 litre wheelie bin up to a 30 cu. m rolonoffs container, as well as supplying the associated hardware items required. Our company, Container Components Europe Limited, pioneered the introduction of rotomoulded, double-walled plastic lids for metal waste containers in the 1980's. Since the metal lids they replaced were a significant cause of serious injuries and even fatalities, we have played a major role in making the waste industry a safer working environment.
How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
We have dealt with emita from the outset. Our export and marketing staff consider emita's workshops and seminars invaluable, in view of the wide spectrum of topics covered. The hands-on advice about how to do business abroad we have received unquestionably enhances our performance. Opportunities for networking and sharing exporting experiences with other members is a huge benefit to us and the support provided by emita on all levels is greatly appreciated!
How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
Even before we started manufacturing in Holmewood, one of our key objectives was to capitalise on the export potential of DuraFlex® lids. During the 1990's,an intensive programme of exhibiting at or attending waste events in countries from Finland to Greece took place. Followed by personal visits to the leading container builders and waste contractors identified through our research, this process helped to install us in virtually all European markets. Over the intervening 20 years, we have produced close to 4 million lids, 60% of which have been exported. We now sell on all 5 continents, and Australia is our fourth biggest export market, after Germany, France and Denmark.
What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
Exporting is embedded in Container Components Europe Limited’s DNA! As the manufacturer of a niche product, it was always clear to us that we could not sustain our existence through sales on the UK home market.
What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
The volatility of export markets is an ongoing challenge, having to replace the business we lost from the sudden collapse of Southern European markets as a result of the economic crisis from 2008 onwards is a prime example of this phenomenon. Fortunately, we supply an extensive range of models to a diverse customer base located in most corners of the globe. More recently, we had to be creative in order to retain our dominant position in the Australian market following the implosion of the AUS$ dollar.
What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
Make it easy for customers to deal with you. Wherever possible, we liaise and correspond in their native language, such that it is the same for them as doing business with a domestic supplier. The setting up of a Euro bank account overcomes a further potential barrier to trade, and has significantly boosted our turnover.
What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
We anticipate further turbulence in the market, as evidenced by the decline in our business with the Eurozone since August. However, we are launching exciting new products, reflecting the company's ethos of combining best value with best practice. We expect the range of lids and accessories to facilitate the repair and re-use of damaged plastic bins to strike a chord, especially in economically straitened countries. We are already achieving encouraging growth in the Gulf and Maghreb regions, as well as extending our presence in South-East Asia and Latin America. In short, we are optimistic of a bright future for Container Components Europe Limited!