Starting a new business can be a hard road to navigate at the best of times but throw in a worldwide pandemic and it takes the task to a whole new level.
These are the odds that Coast to Coast (C2C) Logistics, an organically grown, family-owned freight forwarder and customs broker, faced.
Owner/operator Kathy McDonogh began business operations in September 2019, mere months before COVID-19 hit.
However, despite the many challenges including border closures and worldwide lockdowns, C2C Logistics not only survived, but they thrived.
As a result they have been named as a finalist in three categories at the 2021 Illawarra Business Awards for Excellence in Import and Export, Excellence in Customer Service and Excellence in Micro Business.
C2C Logistics support local businesses to navigate their way through the complexities of customs, quarantine, ports, terminals, warehousing and transport.
Working closely with those businesses, they help to optimise their supply chain by improving systems and allowing the process to run as smoothly as possible - from their factory floor to the end consumer.
Businesses benefit from an efficient supply chain by saving money and having reduced stress and complications along the way.
"Customer focus is the bones of our business. C2C was built from the ground up to mitigate the stress and worry of our customers and simplify their lives when it comes to international trade and logistics," Kathy said.
"That mission was amplified through the global pandemic and meant we had to show up for our customers more than ever. We worked around the clock to support local businesses, holding their hands through such stressful times, and navigating unheard of changes to the way business is done across the globe.
"We place a lot of value on the Illawarra Business Awards and being a finalist gives us some amazing recognition for the resilience we have displayed over the last 18 months."
After working high profile and demanding careers in Sydney, Kathy and husband Paul were on a quest for a better work/life balance when they started C2C.
Kathy also wanted to work in the Illawarra community where she was already an active member as the president of the Illawarra Stingrays (an all Women's NPL Football Club) and as a guest lecturer at UOW.
"With over 30 years' experience in our respective fields, we felt it was our time to back ourselves, go out on our own and open C2C Logistics Pty Ltd," Kathy said.
"I want to build a legacy in the Illawarra that ensures a long term, viable logistics company in our region, so the next generation can have a successful career in logistics and study an MBA and/or Masters in Supply Chain and Logistics at UOW.
"I believe right now we are on the cusp of a boom for the Illawarra region."
What sets C2C apart from their competitors is their commitment to their customers and the local Illawarra community.
"Our connections in the local community and the relationships we have built with our customers have been paramount for us, and we are so grateful for the collaboration opportunities that have been a part of our journey so far," Kathy said.
"We are very excited to have been awarded the logistics side of the new Jamberoo Action Park ride, which will see us benefit from the customs clearance and logistics management of this project."
Find out more on the website at c2clogistics.com.au