Companies seeking to trade with Russia and the CIS countries that are currently deterred by the complexities involved can rely on a new trade and logistics consultancy service.

UK-based freight business FSM Logistics offers a portfolio of global freight forwarding and logistics services but also specialises in the markets of the former Soviet Union (FSU), having established itself in the Russian market in the 1990s.

Alfred Stienen, Director of FSM Logistics recognises that for some businesses, Brexit has made trading with traditional markets in the EU more complicated and many are looking at markets further afield.

“Russia and the CIS countries have a large middle class and GDP across the region has been rising for many years, increasing the spending power of the nations’ populations, for the potential benefit of UK traders.

“But, many businesses are dissuaded from considering trade with these markets as they are portrayed as impenetrable – ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’, according to Winston Churchill, which is an impression that we want to correct, and encourage UK traders to think again.”

Whilst trading with Russia and countries of the CIS can look complicated from the outside, Russia is the UK's twenty-first largest trading partner, with total trade in goods and services between the UK and Russia valued at over £150bn per annum.

“FSM Logistics has had a successful trading relationship with Russia and the CIS markets for over 30 years and has a well established network of our own logistics centres in seven locations across Russia, as well as additional freight hubs in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In the early 1990s, I was involved in setting up offices in Moscow as one of the first UK forwarding companies to explore this market.

“Our new trade and logistics consultancy service for Anglo-Russian freight is a full value-added support operation, including advice on fiscal, tax, insurance, credit and Customs; multilingual staff in all offices; documentation, such as letters of credit, and Certificates of Origin, and even armed-escorts for highly valuable cargoes.

“It complements our full range of overland trailer, ocean freight and airfreight services between the UK and continental Europe with Russia and the FSU countries.

“To fellow freight forwarders and logistics companies, we say that if you are getting shipping enquiries for these markets from existing customers, but turning them down due to lack of knowledge, experience or confidence to handle the business, we will guarantee that we can help you with a service partnership that is truly neutral.

“To importers and exporters that are concerned about the potential complexities of trading with these markets, we urge you to get in touch to discuss the support that we can offer.

FSM offers to use its local network of contacts and expertise help businesses trading with the region to meet all the local requirements and to provide additional trading support services to help capitalise on the untapped opportunities in these markets.