The Lobina Story

Our story starts when Lobina Transport’s owner Simon Lobina was a teenager, working for pocket money helping his father make deliveries in the family food and wine business.

Simon’s father Gino, who had moved to England in the 1960s, was importing quality Italian produce including olive oil, salami, pasta, tomatoes and wine and selling and delivering it to Italian families who had made their home in the Midlands and the North of England. These families missed the unique taste of home and visits from Gino Lobina’s delivery drivers were eagerly anticipated.

The foundations for Lobina Transport’s unique vision and values were laid here. The business thrived because of the long term relationships the Lobina family forged with the Italian community across the UK. Loyalty, reliability and honesty were their watchwords. Soon they were being asked to deliver parcels, arrange removals of furniture and many more transport jobs between Sardinia, Italy and the United Kingdom.

“It wasn’t like a traditional driver’s job,” remembered Simon. “We were invited in to the homes of our customers for meals, and to spend the night. We had earned their trust and their respect.”

“People buy from people they like and trust”

In 1986, after leaving school at the age of 16, Simon looked round for an opportunity to make more money. He landed a job with a major insurance company, but after only three days realised that this wasn’t the career path he wanted to take.

Instead he decided to use his passion for building a rapport with people to become a salesman for a well-known vacuum cleaner company. He was regularly the top salesman despite making the least appointments of any of the sales team.

“I learned quickly the valuable lesson that you have to sell yourself first,” said Simon. “People buy from people they like and trust.”

In fact, aged just 17, Simon broke the company sales record.

He was still helping out with the family transport business and aged 18 he passed the Certificate of Professional Competence for National and International Road Haulage with flying colours despite being the youngest in the group.

Time and mission-critical expertise develops

Persistence is another quality that Lobina Transport prizes and Simon showed tenacity when it came to driving. Ironically for a man whose careers has been built around transport, it took him three attempts to pass his ordinary driving test at 17 and seven attempts to get his Class 1 HGV licence at the age of 21.

After this, Simon hit the roads, constantly travelling between the UK and Italy building up first-hand experience of the transport business. He also worked as an agency driver between trips for the family business.

He developed a specialist reputation for being the person companies called in a crisis when they needed help with time and mission-critical deliveries – and so was born another element of expertise that sets the modern-day Lobina Transport apart from its competitors.

Simon came to see that there was always going to be a cap on how much he could earn as a lone driver, and with a wife and a young family to support he began to think about the next stage of his business journey.

In the summer of 2001, after 10 years of driving, Simon was involved in accident – not his fault – in which someone lost their life. This left him very troubled and no longer willing to be out on the roads as a driver.

It was time to use the experience he had gained to direct transportation and logistics operations.

Always have an alternative plan

He began to work alone out of a small flat above his mother’s shop. He organised and commissioned other drivers to move domestic loads and transport the shipments he used to drive himself. At this stage, 99% of his business was still between Italy and the UK.

As the business grew, Simon moved in to his first office in Orston, Nottinghamshire, working in collaboration with two other companies that specialised in imports and IT.

“I learned a lot at this time. One of the most valuable lessons, which I instil in my employees today is that you don’t turn down a plan unless you have a good reason and an alternative way of doing it,” said Simon.

In 2004, Simon registered the domain name Lobina.co.uk – a sign of things to come.

Lobina Transport Services became a Limited Company the following year and Simon moved out and onwards to employ his own staff at new premises in Trowell.

In 2007 came another move to Webster’s Yard in Ilkeston, to accommodate new staff and bigger warehouse facilities. The Lobina team now had eight employees.

Simon said: “From being out on the road I was now at a computer from 6am to 8pm and often longer. I saw the value in being available 24/7 when people had the greatest needs. When I was younger I would never have imagined I could find fulfilment in being office-based. But I loved the interaction of building relationships and negotiating on the telephone. It pulled together the skills I had developed as a youngster, building long-term relationships and selling. It’s always challenging, never boring, and I love the excitement of closing a deal and then putting the plan together and into operation.”

Three generations of

INNOVATIVE THINKING

Surviving – and then thriving

Just when things were going well, the 2008 global financial crisis hit.

Many of Lobina’s clients went bust, leaving Simon owing huge debts to his suppliers.

“It might have been easier and more profitable for me to liquidate Lobina,” said Simon. “But I was not going to allow that to happen. My son Luigi was due to leave school and wanted to come and work for me. I chose not to run away or hide. I rang every supplier that we owed money to and explained the situation and asked for their patience as I worked to pay off everything we owed.”

Simon needed to make changes and so he laid-off five staff taking costs down to the bare bones to ensure the company survived.

His hard work paid off as he slowly but surely wiped out his debt and got back on the road to growth.

Building the family business

The first family member to join Lobina in 2009 was 17-year-old  Niko Lobina, Simon’s nephew. He had no experience in the transport business but was hungry to learn.

In the same year, Simon’s son, Luigi, left school and joined the company.

“He was such an asset,” said Simon. “Luigi knew nothing about the business to start with but he was positive and had great character. By the time he was 17 he was doing a job that would usually be done by someone in their 30s. His confidence meant that clients on the phone had no idea they were dealing with a teenager.”

Following the financial crash, Simon saw the potential for Lobina to focus on the niche area of time-critical transport. He also benefitted from the values he had always promoted of honesty and high quality service and communication.

“If a delivery is going to be late, despite everything you have put in place, and nothing can alter that you have to be upfront and honest with the customer. Lies and excuses don’t wash,” said Simon.

After the UK voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, Lobina opened an office in Poland. It launched with one employee and now has a staff of seven.

In the same year, Simon launched Lobina Premium an extension of the company’s services concentrating on bespoke solutions for high-end clients.

The biggest step of all, so far…

In 2017 came the biggest step in the Lobina journey to date when the company moved to its current premises on Hallam Fields Road in Ilkeston.

“We know we are only as good as our last job,” said Simon. “We focus on ensuring that we earn and keep the respect of our clients and we only employ people who share our values of honesty, persistence, a willingness to learn and an energetic passion for overcoming obstacles and finding innovative solutions.

“We still really WANT the business and that hunger to win fires us up every day.

“We also want to make it easy to do business with us and part of that is that we have fun in the office and enjoy every minute even when the work is serious and the pressure is on.”

Simon’s enthusiasm is contagious and it’s clear that after his father gave him a start in business in the 1980s he was a natural at earning people’s trust and delivering the best customer service possible.

Today, the three generations of the Lobina family, Gino, Simon and Luigi continue to shape the exciting future that lies ahead for this exceptional family firm.

Thinking outside the box

PRODUCES OUTSTANDING RESULTS

Experience, insight and knowledge

We’re here to help

When you need help to get stuff moving between any locations in the UK and Europe, Lobina has a team of experienced logistics professionals, with great connections and a ton of creative ideas, ready to come to your rescue.

If you ring us any hour of the day or night you’ll get through to a real person ready to put the wheels in motion and find you options – quickly and without fuss.

Here are some of the key people who head up our operations.

  • owner of Lobina Transport time-critical transports
    Simon Lobina
    Owner Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Simon grew the business his father started in the 1960s into the Lobina Transport of today and
    established the focus on time-critical work.

    “I know we are only ever as good as our last job. We focus on ensuring that we earn and keep the
    respect of our clients and we only employ people who share our values of honesty, persistence, a
    willingness to learn and an energetic passion for overcoming obstacles and finding innovative solutions.”

  • Luigi Lobina Specialist in Time-Critical Solutions across all industries
    Luigi Lobina
    Director Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Luigi has ultimate responsibility for the day-to-day running of Lobina Transport and its strategic
    direction.

    “I never settle for less than the best: the best solutions for our customers facing time-critical and
    mission-critical delivery challenges; the best people in our team; the best performance and the best
    customer service.”

  • Vaidas Bernotas - Chief Operating Officer at Lobina Transport Services Ltd
    Vaidas Bernotas
    Chief Operating Officer Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Vaidas leads and manages the Lobina teams to ensure that they always put customers first. He manages
    complex transport assignments, and keeps clients fully up to date with the progress of their deliveries.

    “The more difficult the request, the more I relish the chance to find solutions and options and I am
    proud of my attention to detail and my flexibility to handle changing priorities and overcome
    unexpected obstacles.”

  • Niko Lobina - Operations Manager at Lobina Transport Services Ltd
    Niko Lobina
    Operations Manager Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Niko has worked with Lobina since he was 17 and knows the business inside out. He develops and trains
    Lobina’s team members so they are equipped with the necessary skills and mindset to achieve above
    and beyond clients' expectations.

    “I am proud of my ability to co-ordinate multiple transportation jobs and keep both the clients and the
    carriers updated throughout the mission.”

  • Lucio Martinazzoli - Business Development Manager at Lobina Transport Services Ltd
    Lucio Martinazzoli
    Business Development Manager Connect with me on LinkedIn

    A major part of Lucio’s role is enabling Lobina clients to grow their businesses and become more
    profitable and successful.

    “We can commit to working round the clock to meet our clients’ needs throughout Europe and the UK.
    No delivery request – however large, small or unusual – bamboozles us. Our fresh, innovative thinking
    means we come up with answers when other companies can’t.”

  • Susanna Lobina - Marketing Manager at Lobina Transport Services Ltd
    Susanna Lobina
    Marketing Manager Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Susanna is a key point of contact for customers old and new and forges long-term relationships based on
    mutual respect, strong communication and ambition to grow.

    “Every day at Lobina is filled with new, surprising time-critical transport challenges! But the one thing
    you can be sure of is that we rise to meet those challenges and have the energy, enthusiasm, contacts,
    knowledge and skills to make a difference to every company that works with us.”

  • Dominik Tekieli - Customer Experience Manager at Lobina Transport Services Ltd
    Dominik Tekieli
    Customer Experience Officer Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Dominik helps protect logistics managers from costly production downtime by ensuring that urgent,
    time-critical shipments get through as quickly as possible across the UK and Europe.

    “My ‘can-do’ attitude, energy and passion means that I am fired-up to find options that meet all your
    objectives. Like all the team at Lobina I am driven to provide an exceptional customer experience for
    every client, every time they call us.”

  • Szymon Goska - Poland Branch Manager at Lobina Transport Services Ltd
    Szymon Goska
    Manager of Lobina’s Polish branch Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Szymon manages sales and operations at the Polish branch of Lobina, which was set up in 2016. He
    ensures the day-to-day business runs smoothly and efficiently and supports and develops all the team
    who work in Poland.

    “If you rely on a swift, efficient supply chain moving goods around Europe we can smooth that road and
    tackle any problems that threaten the safe arrival of time-critical deliveries.”

Contact

You can contact us 24 hours a day for enquiries, support or item tracking. Logistics never sleep – and neither do we.

Foot Telephone Icon Blue +44 (0)1158 508 640 Our dedicated team are waiting to take your call.

Simon Lobina - +44 (0)7885962730
Luigi Lobina - +44 (0)7515878039
Footer Email Icon BLue info@lobina.co.uk Email us for information – but if your need is urgent or complex, please call us.
Footer Map Icon Blue Lobina Transport UK Lobina Transport Services Ltd
Lobina HQ
Hallam Fields Road
Ilkeston DE7 4BR
Derbyshire
Footer Map Icon Blue Lobina Transport Poland Lobina Transport Services
Poland Sp. zo.o.
Piotrkowska 197,
90-451 Łódź
Poland