Geoff Tomlinson, with the assistance of Andrea O’Neil, started FSEW in Cardiff in July 2002, having identified that there was a gap in the market for a customer oriented freight forwarding company. Initially concentrating on forwarding freight for their customers, the business has developed and now owns a fleet of its own trailers and tractor units. In common with most start up businesses, the main challenge was getting the confidence of both suppliers and customers. Any business, regardless of its sector, consists of people dealing with people, and building up the confidence of the people that you deal with is of paramount importance. Without this confidence, you cannot negotiate credit from your suppliers, or get business from customers. Geoff and Andrea spent a lot of time in the first year of operation building these relationships, and creating the platform for FSEW to move forward. Given the customer orientation that Geoff wanted to ingrain into the company, as the company grew, the next major challenge was finding local sub contractors who would ‘sign on’ to that same ethos. Another major challenge in these first few years was finding foreign partners who would also commit to this ethos of customer care. With many contacts throughout Europe, Geoff spent many days in discussions, negotiations and travelling before signing contracts. This studied approach to employment and partnerships has paid dividends, as FSEW is held in high regard by every one of our customers, and we are proud of the reputation that we have built up for customer care and keeping promises.