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Tom Jenkins and Andrew Baxter stand side by side in a Europa Warehouse.

Building Resilience from the Centre

Europa Worldwide Group has made significant investment in growing its Central Services Team – which has almost doubled in size in the past 12 months – reflecting its global expansion.

Despite forecasts of a wider economic downturn, Europa remains cautiously optimistic that its lean organisational structure and strategic approach will stand it in good stead.

A robust core operational infrastructure

Europa is tackling this head on by embedding a robust core operational infrastructure, under the leadership of Central Services Director Tom Jenkins, who’s been at the helm of the corporate functions of the firm for just over a year.

Tom’s portfolio of responsibility spans HR, payroll, learning and development, recruitment, property, procurement, facilities, health and safety, claims and insurance. These internal services are in huge demand, as Europa’s increasing footprint has seen new offices open in Shanghai, South Africa and Dubai this year as well as five new sites across the UK.

The ambitious logistics operator continues to experience growth – as reflected in its recent record turnover of £316m[1] – but it is not complacent. It wants to build on its achievements and consolidate its position as one of the most trusted providers in the sector today.

Tom Jenkins explains

“For a growing business, the opportunity is to ensure the support infrastructure keeps up with expansion. We’ve dealt with many of these including recruitment, but also in terms of securing leases and all the necessary paperwork to function in new jurisdictions.

“Our central teams play a pivotal role in delivering the support for expansion providing support to embed functions across our domestic and international locations and to then maintain them. This means the teams on the ground can focus on prioritising business development, and ensuring the right people are in place to deliver on our ambitions.”

A people-centred approach

Driving forwards a people-centred approach across the business has also been one of Tom’s strategic priorities, which is why the Human Resources (HR) team has expanded by 78 per cent. This growth was initially triggered by the need to bring people back post-Covid and better connect with their changing needs. More recently, it has been about tackling the tightening labour market, with dedicated resources to nurture new and existing talent.

Research shows firms still plan to increase their workforce during the latter stages of 2022, with employment intentions remaining positive, despite a 4 per cent drop in the estimated number of vacancies available across the UK labour market during the last quarter.[2] Around 60 per cent of transport and storage companies report having hard-to-fill vacancies, due to the wider skills shortages facing the logistics sector.

Generation Logistics

To tackle this, Europa has signed up to a major national campaign, Generation Logistics, to help change the perception of the industry and showcase the jobs available as part of the drive to tackle the 400,000 worker shortage by 2026.

Relaunching EuropaCom

It has also relaunched its values across the business, and delivered EuropaCom – the firm’s biggest and most successful team conference yet – to ensure its three divisions, Air & Sea, Road, and Warehouse, are in the best possible shape to respond to workforce and marketplace changes.

Tom – who has been with the business for over nine years – added: “Our teams are our most valuable asset, and as a learning organisation, we want to give everyone the chance to upskill and progress on the career ladder.

“If our people feel empowered by our vision, and our customers believe in our approach, then we’re better placed to build a community around our unified purpose to set the pace in the market and ensure more productive, resilient future prospects are secured.”

[1] For its last year, up to the end of August 2022

[2] August to October 2022

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