Distinctive Group

Freight and logistics specialist EBISS offers a unique moving experience, as business development manager Rhonda Dearsley explains.

At the start of our chat, Rhonda mentions there’s nothing very exciting to say about her line of work.

As it turns out, she is way too modest because – although logistics basically means moving goods from one place to another- it’s something that EBISS does exceptionally well.

EBISS, of Haywards Heath, operates three divisions: specialist freight and logistics; events and exhibitions; and art services.

These all draw on the expertise of founder Wayne Forster – and his 30 years in the industry – plus the skills of his small but extremely versatile team.

In fact, Wayne met Rhonda through her work in the arts, where their professional partnership began. She says, “Wayne used to do all the packing, shipping and storing for our textiles exhibition company between events. He was extremely good at this kind of work, it’s very specialist and completely different to other types of freight.

“Gradually he also got more involved in the exhibition and events side of business for other logistics clients. So, what started out as a standard freight shipping business has diversified into these three very different elements, all linked by an underlying principle.

“Yes, our basic role is moving things from A to B, but we pride ourselves on a very high level of customer service. We may not always be the cheapest, but as Wayne likes to say, ‘You can have good, fast and cheap, but only ever two at the same time!”

EBISS’s versatility ensures that no two jobs are ever the same, whether it’s flying cargo to Malawi, delivering artwork to an international client, or setting up a stand at a prestige event in the UK or overseas.

Rhonda adds, “The freight side is all about commodity so it’s crazy busy and very fast-paced. One day, we might be transporting wine from a local vineyard to a London restaurant. The next we could be flying oncology equipment to Japan, a media server over to Germany, a desperately needed aircraft part off to Italy, or even a much-loved pet to its new home in the USA.

“For us, shipping isn’t a homogenous event. Our mission is all about making clients’ lives easier.

“It doesn’t matter whether we are transporting a tiny widget or an expensive crate of wine or work of art. We treat every shipment like it’s our own because we know that it’s our customers’ ‘bread and butter’.”

This quality guarantee has helped propel EBISS ahead of its competitors. “We don’t advertise our services because all our work comes from repeat business and word of mouth recommendations,” Rhonda points out.

“Many of our clients will use ordinary couriers for non-important items, but they come to us when they need a high-value, personalized service. Our clients know we will pull out all the stops for them.

“For instance, say a holiday plane breaks down on a runway in Ibiza – we will ship the part out as soon as possible so that the flight can take off and everyone arrives home happy.

When it comes to events and exhibitions, EBISS handle everything from sourcing graphics for stands and banners, to hiring equipment and making sure everything is booked in at the right place at the right time.

“Our clients come from all types of industry from finance to med tech and manufacturing, and they might be a big or small company. But they all have one thing in common – the need to showcase their products at trade fairs and exhibitions, which could be anywhere in the world.

“That’s where we step in, handling delivery, collection, and installation, and sorting out import paperwork.

“We can do all the ordering and produce and store promotional materials ready to ship out when needed. We book time slots to get everything into the venue on time, and make sure amenities like electrics are available.

“For example, I might get an email saying, ‘Hey Rhonda, here are four events we are attending over the next four months. Can you arrange to set up our stand and get all the right materials there?

“Our client– or their sales team – simply want to turn up at the venue, make use of a fully prepared stand and then leave, knowing that everything will be packed and stored away ready for next time.”

And then there’s the arts. It’s a unique side of the business that really took off during Covid, when other freight and exhibition work basically shut down.

“Thank heavens people kept buying art!” Rhonda adds. “It’s so successful that we have a dedicated warehouse now. It’s a totally different approach to our other work because of the delicate paintings, sculpture, glass, and ceramics involved.

“We could be asked to organise logistics for a London exhibition, with 140 artists and galleries involved. We can offer a partnership, collecting artwork from several exhibitors in one go, or we could be asked to pack and ship a single, small piece of museum quality ceramics to New York – every phone call and every client is different!

They don’t have to worry about congestion charges and parking – we transport everything there, set up if needed, and they can simply concentrate on their own customers.”

EBISS also has an office in Chicago, and recently opened a new office and warehouse in Germany to meet ever growing demand.

“We’re always expanding, always on the lookout for great people with relevant experience in freight, events, and the arts.

“But we’ve only been able to expand because of our talented team and their fantastic approach to customer service.

“Above everything else, we’re invested in our customers. Our mission is always to go that extra mile so that they can concentrate on what matters most to them – running their own successful business!”

More details available at ebiss.co.uk or you can email rhonda.dearsley@ebiss.co.uk