95 Years of Tradition

Clarke Global Logistics

Starting at Clarke in an entry level position as a customs house clerk, Jason Kline began couriering documents around the city, conducting inspections as a teenager, and taking all the relevant courses to become a licensed customs broker. “Most young guys start in that position, and work their way up to becoming a customs broker,” says Mr Kline, who today serves as Managing Director.

Many years earlier, in the mid-fifties, Jason’s father, Bruce, started at Clarke in his youth, eventually becoming Managing Director until he retired in 2003. Today, the company is run by Jason Kline, Martin Moyano and Tony Bux who bring to the table combined experience as customs brokers and freight forwarders which exceeds 70 years.

Providing a professional customs and freight forwarder service, Clarke Global Logistics has a wide variety of services that assist and enhance local and overseas clientele. The company handles both Import and Export freight forwarding by air and sea – including oversize freight. Clarke has Customs and AQIS accredited Brokers with full knowledge in customs tariff consultancy and customs tariff audits. Its transport management team headed by Wayne Burr provides transport, warehousing/storage and distribution for many of the company’s many clients.

With decades of firsthand experience and in-depth industry knowledge, Clarke Global is connected to affiliated agents in all states of Australia and around the world. Skilled in supply logistics, international trade export and import logistics, the company’s flexibility enables it to work with the best, most appropriate agents possible to ensure quality export, import, and supply logistics and shipping to Australia. Working with transportation professionals, the company is able to provide clients with individually tailored customs and freight forwarding services. Along with facilitating all customs and freight forwarding services, Clarke Global can provide customers with additional warehousing storage, transport and distribution.

Another reason clients choose Clarke Global is the company’s years of experience with providing professional Advice on the classification of their products. Mr Kline says some importers simply don’t value the need for utilizing a professional Customs Broker enough; during these current financial times it is even more important to look at the benefits of having a professional looking within your business and advising you how and where to save money on your Imports and Exports, whether this be in area of Freight, Tariff Classification Advice, or Tariff Auditing where you can claim refunds for four prior years of imports or advice on existing Free Trade Areas. “We can advise businesses on these and a variety of products and services that we offer,” Mr Kline says.

A Tradition of Service

Founded almost 100 years ago, Clarke Global Logistics remains among the Top Five oldest customs brokerage firms in Melbourne. Since the company was created by Frederick J Clarke – who spent his early career as a customs clerk with Fitzgerald Stokes and Co, where he supervised the clearance of steel for the Transcontinental Australian Railway to Perth – Clarke has undergone a number of name changes. Becoming Clarke Wilkinson Pty Ltd Customs & Shipping Agents, the company was later renamed F J Clarke, a name it carried from 1933 to 1945, when it worked on a number of war contracts.

Outgrowing its Williams Street offices and Flinders Lane store, the business relocated to a four storey building on King Street, Melbourne, and was known as F J Clarke & Sons until 1960, when it moved again and was renamed Frederick J Clarke & Sons Pty Ltd, a name it held until 1981. By this time, the company had a Customs Division, Export Division, Wharf Cartage, Parcels Delivery, General Cartage and Storage Division, and had numerous trucks of different types on lease.

With the arrival of containerisation in 1970 – and its attendant increase in road transport and rail loadings – owning its own stores, transport and interstate shipping facilities was deemed uneconomical, so the decision was made in 1971 to sell off all divisions save the Customs Division, and to revert to Customs and Clearance Agents. Known as Clarke Coulson Pty Ltd from 1981 to 1983, the company was renamed Clarke Customs Pty Ltd, a name it held from 1983 to 2010, when Jason Kline was appointed, and the business was renamed Clarke Global Logistics Pty Ltd. The move was one to keep up with client demand.

Incorporating ‘Logistics’ into the name “has opened up a lot of other areas for us,” says Mr Kline. “By limiting ourselves to customs, we felt that we were doing ourselves a disservice, if you like. Logistics is a such a broad word, and takes in much more than Customs Clearance; we provide many other services and this is the direction that our industry has taken.

“In this day and age to experience growth within your business solely doing what you have done for the last 95 years is nearly impossible, you must go and mix it with the big companies and offer a fully integrated Door to Door Service,” says Mr Kline. “Our expansion into international freight over the last 10 years has been pivotal to our growth. We have been extremely fortunate to have had a strong existing clientele to begin with and having invested into a new website and web approach has internationally also been extremely important.”

Through this approach the company has built international contacts and agency agreements which has meant it can remain competitively priced and provide service to its clients globally. “Our imports from China to Australia remain our largest trade lane, however we have seen a general increase on Imports and Exports to all trade areas. Another advantage with doing business internationally is that it has opened us up to cross trade – movements that don’t come from Australia; we still have maximum control of cargo but we just never see it.”

Partnerships

You can’t be in business for such a long period of time without having great support and partnerships, and this includes existing clients and third party service providers. Says Mr Kline, “We value these as partnerships and do whatever possible to ensure our service adds value to our clients and service providers businesses also.

“Our oldest client still operating with us goes back to the early 1920s: Mr Chris Wang and his family and forefathers began business with us and grew to become David Wang Imports. They were one of the first major importers from China, and their company became a backbone of our business through the 1950s to 1980s. Along with the amount of people Chris has referred to our business, he has been a true friend of ours over many, many decades.”

Secon Logistics is another who as a provider of Transport Services have been a great ally of Clarke Global’s for over 20 years. “It’s amazing how clients remember the last leg of the service,” Mr Kline says. “If this isn’t performed well it leaves a bad taste, and we have been lucky that these have been few and far between.”

As one of Australia’s leading customs broker and freight forwarders, Clarke Global Logistics is able to offer reliable, professional service advantages to all customers. In business for 95 years, the company is renowned for its friendly and personalised service, and for its ability to work as a single point of contact for all clients’ global shipping and airfreight supply chain logistics.

Handling Freight of All Sizes

The company is able to work with freight of almost any size – large machinery, caravans, motor homes, cars, chemicals, apparel, footwear and foodstuffs, “we can handle it.” One of the largest items Clarke ever facilitated was an enormous, 20 tonne Fin Stabiliser for a boat, which was sent by air. “That was a very large job that required a lot of thought,” says Mr Kline.

No matter the size, Clarke is able to develop cost-effective solutions for clients. With Licensed Customs Brokers who are Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Accredited, the company is supported by trained transport, logistics and administration personnel, who are fully conversant with customs regulations and procedures and operate the latest communication and computer equipment. Acting as a Customs Tariff Consultancy, Clarke has a team of fully qualified, highly trained personnel that can facilitate customs and AQIS clearance and undertake Customs Tariff Audits if required. And since the company is electronically registered with the Australian Customs Service and Australian Quarantine Inspection Service’s Integrated Cargo System, this enables rapid clearance and automatic updating of records, tariff concessions and other data.

With freight forwarding services, import logistics and freight services, transportation and distribution, warehousing and storage options, export freight services, import freight services (sea and air), and more, Clarke can handle Import/Export Custom clearance and door to door delivery worldwide.

“There aren’t many companies who have been around for as long as we have,” says Mr Kline. “We are proud of our past, and extremely excited with what is ahead of us. We are continually growing and this is a good thing, having come from a customs background, we have moved into a full logistics services company.” The road ahead looks clear indeed for Clarke Global Logistics.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

November 21, 2018, 3:46 AM AEDT