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Bikes mean business for Claridon

[ July 3, 2012   //   ]

A passion for motorbikes has turned into a lucrative business for Essex-based forwarder Claridon. Some 15 years ago, directors Chris Scott and Tim Cleary – both avid Harley-Davidson enthusiasts – approached the Harley Owners Club suggesting they offer a shipping service for worldwide enthusiasts wanting to bring their bikes to the massive rallies – often 200,000-strong- that take place every year in the States and eventually became the Club’s worldwide forwarding agent. It is also involved in other events in the motorbiking world such as the MotoGP races and the US Cannonball Rally.

Later, Claridon shipped in the exhibits for the Barbican Art Gallery in London’s ‘Art of the Harley’ exhibition, which formed the nucleus of a new exhibition forwarding service for Claridon. Claridon subsequently followed this up by staging its very own show, Customising, Culture and Harley featuring some of the world’s rarest and sought-after bikes at the Museum and Science and Industry in Manchester as a showcase for its exhibition forwarding skills.

The exhibition has since prospered and Claridon has won a major contract with the Welsh Assembly Government for their exhibitions all over the world, explained Chris Scott.

Claridon, which is based at Stanford-le-Hope, only a couple of miles from the new London Gateway port development, describes itself as a niche forwarder. It is also NATO’s European freight agent, having taken the business over from Hogg Robinson Group after operation Desert Storm in the 1990s. “We offer a very hands-on, genuinely 24/7 service, because we help support the AWACS aircraft for NATO,” explains Chris Scott. “But that is also available for our other commercial customers too.”

Claridon has also develop services to and from East Europe and Central Asia and also operates a daily service to and from Ireland. It also runs a ships spares forwarding business through its Davis Freight subsidiary, as well as non-freight interests including a travel agency and even selling a patented non-scratch film coating for cars and other applications.

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