Two years in the making: Rock-It goes global

Rock-It Global Co-Managing Directors (EMEA), Chris Palmer and Martin Corr share what the future holds for the Global Critical Logistics (GCL) company following a post-lockdown rebrand.

Rock-It Global has rebranded, launching a new logo and website, harnessing over four decades of expertise in live event logistics from Rock-It Cargo, Sound Moves, Waiver, Cargo Live, and Rogers Customs Broker. The new look outfit, along with Dietl, Cosdel, and Dynamic International are now part of Global Critical Logistics (GCL), a global holding company for mission-critical freight forwarding and global logistics providers to specialty sectors and a portfolio company of ATL Partners. 

“This announcement has been in the works for two years and was largely made to consolidate the brands specific to live touring, live events, sports, tradeshows and our internal cargo and passenger charter divisions,” Rock-It Global Co-Managing Director (EMEA), Chris Palmer began, speaking to TPi following the announcement. “We took the many years of experience and talent of companies such as Rock-it Cargo, Sound Moves, Waiver, Rogers and CargoLive and combined them under the new banner, Rock-It Global.”

Rock-It Global Co-Managing Director (EMEA), Martin Corr joined the conversation: “We always had the vision that we would all be stronger together, sharing our knowledge and experiences across the board and in doing so, creating an incredibly tight, far-reaching network of offices and warehouses all over the globe to benefit our clients. While our underlying DNA and culture will not change, we believe that clarity around branding and focused messaging will be helpful for customers to grasp who they are engaging with and how they truly benefit from a global, tight knit network of experts.”

In London, Rock-it Global, has opened a dedicated 15,000 sq ft facility at Heathrow Airport, which offers 13,314 cubic ft of caged secure storage space, as well as rack space for 300 pallet positions for long-term storage and tour merchandise.

“London has, at certain stages of this whole process, acted as a beta test for the entire company. Rock-it Cargo and Sound Moves maintained a physical distance for many years in the UK, operating and existing in separate spheres entirely, but when the time was right and both parties were in total agreement that we could make it work, we moved in together to share a facility. To say that it has been a profound success is an understatement,” Palmer commented. 

“Whether we were united by our shared experience during the pandemic, the aftermath of Brexit, or the realisation that we were working to a shared goal, or simply a combination of all three factors, we have cooked up a truly wonderful team of individuals working together to create a fruitful and highly-enjoyable future for everyone involved,” he said.

In a bid to provide a holistic service for clientele, Rock-It has invested in an X-ray machine for onsite screening and installed an Explosive Trace Detector (ETD) machine for cargo too dense to X-ray, avoiding the need to rely on a third-party off-site provider. 

“This provides us with more control over the handling of our clients’ goods, reducing the opportunity for damage or loss by a third party and keeping as much of the freight-forwarding process controlled by our team of experts,” Corr explained.

Now united under one banner, Rock-It Global will provide logistics and freight forwarding services for fine arts, sports and broadcasting, corporate events, film and television, power projects, and humanitarian relief sectors, in addition to traditional live entertainment and music touring sectors. “The pandemic accelerated changes and growth that we had begun to embrace,” Palmer said. “While music touring suffered hugely in 2020 and for most of 2021, we saw an increased number of films and television shows being made, even live sports broadcasts without a crowd – and we knew that our offering of critical logistics solutions fit these requirements.”

With a greater focus on sustainability in the sector, Rock-It Global has built and adopted an Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) programme that addresses its environmental and social impact. “We work to minimise the impact of our day to day activities – such as green purchasing, green office practises and offsetting our own travel – and we work with our suppliers to educate ourselves and clients on what can be done to minimise the impact of freight,” Corr said, highlighting examples such as more “sustainable packaging materials, fuel efficient modes of shipping and sustainable routing schedules”, as well as “offsetting carbon emissions of the projects it executes for customers” as means to a greener end.

“We hope to see the sector embrace the adoption of more fuel efficient and alternative fuel solutions faster and more aggressively, and increase the investment in carbon emission offsets – our planet cannot afford a gradual and slow phasing out,” Corr added.

As live events activity and schedules slowly begin to pick up, global freight capacity issues are making the coordination of international moves “more difficult” while at the same time increasing cost for shippers. According to Palmer and Corr, it has never been more important to have well established partners, a strong global network, and – at the heart of it – dedicated team members with several years of experience primed to tackle international supply chain challenges.

“We’ve been more affected by logistics capacity issues, such as shortages of flights, leading to higher cargo costs, and the ongoing multiple issues affecting ocean freight, as we then have to work much harder to find suitable solutions for our clients to move their freight around the world in a timely and cost-efficient manner,” Palmer explained. “However, we believe we are well positioned to transparently guide our customers through the current environment and extend our legacy of delivering high cost of failure projects with the highest accountability,” he noted.

Despite the uncertain future, Palmer and Corr are optimistic that live events-related activity will pick up around the globe, despite varying degrees of restriction and limitation. 

“We are more bullish on specific end markets such as sports, film, television and fine art for which large live audiences are not necessarily required but high demand persists, and a bit more reserved about the full recovery of global music touring,” Corr conceded. 

“This selective excitement is equally reflected in the expectation of geographic activity levels. Incredibly positive things are happening in the live events space in the Middle East and North America is coming back relatively strongly.”

This article originally appeared in issue #268 of TPi, which you can read here.