Toolport is the market leader and wholesaler for tents, garden gazebos and anything you need for events, parties and structures you can use in your own garden. Toolport have incredible relationships with their partners all over the world and believe in long-term partnerships founded on trust and a shared vision.
They strive to provide the best products in the market by providing products that last a lifetime with a guarantee of replacement parts and long ten year guarantees. They are looking to become the biggest wholesaler for tents in the world, and in 2024 they are looking to break into the US market.
“Hemisphere has impacted our business in a really positive way, we were able to serve the UK market again, and operationally Hemisphere makes our life easier, as they are taking care of the entire supply chain. They take care of the whole service end to end. From containers and transportation to the distribution to customers.”
Chief Logistics Officer, Toolport
New Beginnings & Overcoming the Impact of Brexit
Toolport were looking for a partner in the UK to handle their warehousing and fulfilment, however, Hemisphere has been able to offer an end to end solution utilising their whole suite of services to enable a more streamlined approach for Toolport to their logistics. They have built up a lot of trust and respect with Toolport, with the core objective to take the headache of logistics away from them.
Hemisphere’s relationship with Toolport began 5 years ago with a requirement to improve their lead times to the UK market. All goods at that stage were being dispatched from Germany with an approximate 7-8 day lead time for delivery to their UK clients.
Roughly 3 years ago, with the onset of Brexit, Toolport decided to move their UK distribution in its entirety to Hemisphere Freight Services. Brexit regulatory shifts meant that Toolport could no longer service the UK market as efficiently from their hub in Germany, and their UK profit took a 12% hit, so they needed to work quickly with Hemisphere to find a way to honour fast delivery times to the UK from suppliers from across the globe.
Hemisphere, as a UK logistical provider, was able to offer a UK warehousing solution, support on importation of goods from origin, manage their customs clearance and distribute to Toolport’s customers within the UK utilising next-day delivery services.
Complexities and Opportunities
Toolport’s cargo is anything but ordinary; it exhibits significant variations in both shape and size, ranging from small items weighing less than 1 kilogram to cartons exceeding 300 cm in length and weighing up to 70 kilograms. Handling such diverse items demands a broad scope and adaptability, with the use of specialised Material Handling Equipment (MHE) to ensure the safe and efficient management of these goods.
One of the notable challenges the industry encountered in 2023 was Tuffnells’ administration, as they were the primary carrier for out-of-gauge goods in the UK market. This posed a substantial logistical challenge. However, it also highlighted Hemisphere Freight Services (HFS) as a reliable logistics provider. Hemisphere managed to swiftly implement a viable solution within two working days for Toolport, ensuring minimal disruption during their peak season.
In addition to their logistics services, Hemisphere offers a comprehensive returns solution. This includes collecting items from Toolport’s clients, processing them at Hemispheres warehouse facilities, which involves repackaging and preparing them for resale.
Meeting a Shift in Demand
Hemisphere helped to facilitate Toolport’s growth by offering that next day UK delivery service which was historically challenging. This facility has become increasingly important to their UK client base.
In the UK, and in fact across the globe, the pandemic and additional pressure it put on the efficiency of e-commerce changed the face of Toolport’s market. Customer demand changed and consumers expected next day delivery along with an elevated customer experience.
Toolport needed to follow that trend, enabling them to grow with this increasing demand and stay competitive. Their goal was in fact to surpass customer expectation in terms of quality and experience, putting them ahead of their competitors. They coupled high quality products with an unmatched customer experience to solidify their position as market leaders in the UK and Europe.
A Total End-to-End Solution
Currently, Hemisphere provides the full logistics package for Toolport and manages their whole supply chain, dealing with their manufacturers across the world, whether that’s transporting goods via sea, air or road transportation. Hemisphere liaises directly with their suppliers, easing Toolport’s workload, streamlining the supply chain and satisfying the end user.
“Hemisphere has impacted our business in a really positive way, we were able to serve the UK market again, and operationally Hemisphere makes our life easier, as they are taking care of the entire supply chain. They take care of the whole service end to end. From containers and transportation to the distribution to customers.” Says Eric Schumann, Chief Logistics Officer at Toolport.
All shipments with Hemisphere are accessible through their online portal, Compass. This platform allows Toolport to monitor the status of their shipments, including vessel positions during ocean transport. Our Warehouse Management System is fully integrated with Toolports ERP system which allows the automation of processes such as order processing, and stock reconciliation, as well as providing Toolport with end-to-end visibility of their products as they travel across the supply chain. Our Carrier Management System (CMS) is also essential in determining the most cost-effective delivery solutions. Given the wide range of carton sizes, no single carrier can meet the diverse delivery requirements. Which is why Hemisphere’s WMS and CMS play a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient and effective processing of orders, and selecting the distribution carrier best suited for Toolport, providing a significant advantage.
“Ultimately we take that headache away from them and work as an extension to their business striving towards delivering a service exceeding their and their clients expectations.” – Craig Perrin, Director at Hemisphere
The partnership between Hemisphere and Toolport has driven mutual growth, fuelled by ambition and a shared vision to offer exceptional customer experience with 23,000 orders processed and 77,000 cartons dispatched to date.
Eric said, “It is very important to have a partner who is investing in its own future, as Hemisphere is, like their new warehouse system. They have ambition that reflects ours, and we are looking for long term partners who are also growing.”
Working together to address challenges and continue to pursue customer excellence, both businesses have seen a positive impact from the partnership.
“It’s important for us to partner with ambitious clients like Toolport, because we are ambitious ourselves. Having ambitious partners enables you to push yourselves further to meet their requirements. We are always looking for ways to advance our services, whether that is in physical capacity with new infrastructure, or systematically advancing what we are doing. This gives Toolport peace of mind that we are looking to grow and develop to give them a strong platform to work from. If they want to ramp up their business, we are able to support them.“ – Craig Perrin
With lofty growth plans and their sights on global expansion, Toolport, along with other like minded customers will benefit from the Hemisphere’s new warehouse facility, set to go live in 2024.
The new warehouse has approximately 35,000 racked pallet spaces for customer storage, and 75,000 ft of mezzanine storage. The new warehouse will be semi automated, with a custom built system that has been tailored to meet the needs and demands of clients like Toolport for efficiency, ease of use and the best possible experience for their customers.
The introduction of the new warehouse will allow Hemisphere’s partnership with Toolport to grow with improved efficiencies and productivity, offering the best customer package on the market. It will offer a seamless process from shipping to delivery for Toolport and similar customers looking for a complete logistics package and exceptional customer experience.
A Final Word From Toolport
“It is so important to have partnerships you can trust and rely on.
Working with Hemisphere changed so much for our business. Previously we ran our own warehouse, but since working with Hemisphere we have changed our mindset about trusting others to do our job so well. It enables us to expand our business across the world.” – Eric Schumann, Chief Logistics Officer – Toolport
If you want to find out more about how Hemisphere could transform the management and fulfilment of your supply chain, please get in touch with a member of our team.
“Ultimately we take that headache away from them and work as an extension to their business striving towards delivering a service exceeding their and their clients expectations.”
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