Tim Phillips, Chief Growth Officer, has had a fascinating career to date, having held various leadership roles throughout a career spanning over 30 years.
Passionate about automotive vehicles, Tim started his career at Land Rover, where he worked for 17 years following the completion of his engineering degree. Since then, he has held senior positions across the transport and logistics sector, having worked at Land Rover, BMW, AutoLogic, Freightex Ltd. (now UPS), and Coyote.
Tim is now helping sennder scale the business throughout Europe. We sat down with him to understand more about his role, career journey, observations of the logistics industry, and what he and his team have in the pipeline.
Tim, you’ve had a long and varied career in the industry to date, how did it all start?
I have always been interested in motor vehicles. So, it is unsurprising that upon the completion of my engineering degree, I ended up in the automotive sector, where I worked in logistics and then sales for a period of 17 years. I learned a lot working for international conglomerates like Land Rover and BMW across Europe. I left BMW as a general manager, where I was managing contracts and operations for finished vehicles globally.
My work has taken me all over the continent. I have always kept a good pace in my career and have been keen to try something new. I was working for BMW after they bought Land Rover, alongside 100,000 other employees. I then moved to AutoLogic, an asset-owning transport company employing around 4000 people and running 1500 trucks across Europe. I was interested in the application of technology in the logistics industry, so when an opportunity came to lead a newly formed tech-based start-up, Freightex, I jumped into a new role as managing director, working alongside only 20 other employees.
My time at Freightex educated me on driving growth and scaling a business. We scaled from being a €6m to a €40m company, before being purchased by UPS to become Coyote Europe. As part of the deal, we agreed that I would run Coyote Logistics, as the European president in charge of expansion.
Working at a range of companies, big and small, has taught me a lot. I like rapid change and work can become transactional and overly routine in big companies. I am also interested in technology and digitalization, which drove my desire to join sennder and work with this fantastic team.
What does your current role at sennder entail?
David Nothacker and I connected in 2018 and he ultimately brought me to sennder in April 2019. Now I split my time between Berlin, the UK, and the international sennder offices.
As Chief Growth Officer, I focus on expanding and growing the business into new markets. So far, I’ve opened our offices in Spain and Poland and I've supported the growth of our Riga office in Latvia. Now that we've established these offices, I will be looking for new markets and let the global teams to scale the existing ones on their own. Of course, I'll be on hand to support and share my insights on sustainably scaling a business.
You’ve had some amazing exposure to the industry. You must have witnessed a lot. What have been the major changes?
When I worked for Freightex in 2008, the industry wasn’t ready for digitalization. I think that we're currently in a period of transition, largely due to other industries. E.g. retail being one of them. Companies like Amazon have demonstrated the benefits of digitalizing and people now expect seamless digital solutions. The transport industry is ready for change and, more importantly, the technology is ready to deliver it.
How is sennder revolutionizing the industry?
The founder’s vision inspired me to join sennder. This vision has led sennder into the position it’s in today. We are the leading European player, large enough to create economies of scale, bringing greater efficiencies to carriers and shippers, and using data to our advantage.
Our team and culture are very strong. Post-merger integrations can be challenging, so I’m proud of the culture that we have fostered while scaling so fast. When scouting opportunities, we look for businesses that are a good fit, meaning the combined firm after a merger or an acquisition must be stronger than the sum of its parts.
People work together to find solutions to the industry’s problems. We think differently. And, we’re not just thinkers, we’re doing it. We're utilizing cutting-edge technology like AI to enhance our transportation services, while automating the processes.
We’re in the front seat, driving what comes next.
What do you think is next for sennder?
As the new offices are all up and running, I am on the hunt for our next new markets. We are optimistic and looking to continue our impressive expansion rate.
While we have a presence throughout Europe, there are still some key countries that we’re planning to enter. When we look for new markets, we must assess the local carrier and shipper footprint. Carrier capacity is a growing topic and with many international carriers located throughout Eastern Europe, we’re certainly interested in continuing our expansion there. Additionally, there are also other markets that I’m looking at.
2020 has been an exciting year for sennder. We’ve grown remarkably and we know how to enter new markets whether it's by acquisition, partnership, or organically growing a team from the ground up.
I look forward to continuing building on our success.
You might also be interested in this article: sennder acquires Dutch-based Cars&Cargo, supplying digital offering whilst expanding network.
If you’re interested in learning more about sennder, our culture, and open positions, go to our career site HERE.