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 Plc, Freightex 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 to date, 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 learnt a lot, having worked for international conglomerates, 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 it bought LR), alongside 100,000 other employees. I then moved to Auto Logic plc, an asset owning transport company employing around 4,000 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 MD, working alongside only 20 other employees!
My time at Freightex educated me about driving growth and scaling a business. We scaled from a €6m to €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, work can become transactional and overly routine in big companies. I am also interested in technology and digitalization – this drove my desire to join sennder and work with this fantastic team.
What does your current role at sennder entail?
I’ve been at sennder for almost 2 years. David Nothacker and I had connected in 2018. He ultimately brought me to sennder in 2019. Now, I split my time between Berlin, the UK and the international sennder offices.
As Chief Growth Officer, I focus on expansion, helping to grow the business into new markets. So far, I’ve opened the offices in Spain, Poland and have been supporting the Riga office growth in Latvia. Now that we've established these offices, I will be looking for new markets and leave the global teams to scale up the existing ones. I will of course, be on hand to support, sharing my insight into 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 are currently in a period of transition, largely due to other industries - retail being one of those. 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 can sennder revolutionize 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 integration 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 - the combined firm 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 – 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 rate of expansion.
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, so we’re certainly interested in continuing our expansion there. Additionally, there are also other markets that I’m looking at – I'll disclose more when we have agreements in place!
2020 has been an exciting year for sennder – we’ve grown remarkably and know how to enter new markets, by acquisition, partnership and organic growth – from the ground up.
I look forward to building on and continuing our success!