Flagship contracts with the Louvre and Vatican boost Chepstow company’s export success

An award-winning Welsh manufacturing company, whose clients include the Vatican, Rolls Royce, Paris Metro and Mercedes, is reaping the rewards of its international export strategy with record-breaking sales.

Chepstow-based Reid Lifting, a world leading designer and manufacturer of lightweight portable lifting equipment, is on track to hit record-breaking export sales of £3.6 million for 2019, following growing success overseas.

First founded by Jim Reid in 1996, the company originally specialised in providing its solutions to the water and waste water industries, after identifying a gap in the market for safer and more modern designs to replace traditional and dated lifting equipment within the sector.

Following its initial success, the company has since expanded into a range of industries, supplying its innovative davit and gantry systems to sectors including oil and gas, automotive, waste processing, height and confined space safety and even museum preservation. Its products now have a number of applications, from installing escalators, rope access work on high rise buildings, to alleviating hazardous situations such as when manoeuvring heavy oil pumps.

Reid Lifting had an international outlook early on, when it began trading in Canada in 1999. Further market research then revealed export opportunities in France which led to the company securing its first distributor, Reid Lifting France, in 2003.

Reid Lifting France is now one of the company’s main distributors, with clients including the Louvre in Paris, where it is responsible for transporting, hanging and helping to repair priceless pieces of art, sculptures and statues.

And it’s not just the world-famous Louvre that benefits from Reid Liftings’ innovation and expertise when it comes to showcasing and maintaining iconic works of art. The company also works with the Vatican in Rome, where it has been responsible for moving and maintaining more than 10,000 statues.

Almost twenty years since its inception, Reid Lifting now has seven global distributors and an additional 30 resellers across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Australia and North America.

Exports now account for over 55% of the company’s trade, and over the last two years exports have increased significantly, with export revenue accounting for over £3.6 million in total turnover in the last year alone.

The firm aims to double this figure by 2024 by increasing its presence in the United States and expanding into South East Asian markets.

The export success has also led to an increase in its workforce, which has more than doubled, from 21 to 50, in the last five years.

Key to Reid Lifting’s international success, the company has received support from Welsh Government, accessed through Business Wales, including support to undertake market research as well as help securing attendance at trade missions and finding potential customers.

In particular, Welsh Government support has enabled the company to ensure its presence at major international trade shows, like Abu Dhabi-based ADIPEC – the biggest oil exhibition in the world. Attendance at this trade show has played a key role in the company’s export strategy and resulted in the firm’s most recent signing with Egyptian oil company, Petrolift.

Nick Battersby, managing director at Reid Lifting said,

“Since Reid Lifting made its first point of contact in Canada twenty years ago, exporting has been at the forefront of our business. Not only has it provided the company with exponential opportunities for growth, but it has assisted us in providing equipment to industries and markets we previously never thought would be possible.

“Our specialised products can be found in many industries all over the world. We pride ourselves on creating equipment that is easy to assemble, lightweight and portable; qualities that make choosing Reid Lifting an easy decision for overseas clients.”

Nick added: “The support we have received from Welsh Government has been vital in our global expansion.

“To any company who is thinking of exporting, Welsh Government has a wealth of export professionals that can help you get your brand and product effectively and efficiently onto the global stage.”

In recognition of its expanding global presence, Reid Lifting has received four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, two for innovation in 2006 and 2013 and two for international trade in 2013 and 2018.