Howe Robinson: Multi-Protocol Label Switched network

Large shipbroking company utilises Telstra’s Multi-Protocol Label Switched (MPLS) network to achieve resilient, scalable and highly secure network
· 09 September 2019 · 3 minute read

One of the world’s largest shipbroking companies, Howe Robinson & Co. Ltd. utilises Telstra’s Multi-Protocol Label Switched (MPLS) network to provide the resilient, scalable and highly secure network needed to enable the effective operation of Howe Robinson’s offices globally and to capitalise on growing opportunities in the Asia region.

The Challenge

Howe Robinson & Co. Ltd. (Howe Robinson) is one of the world’s largest shipbroking companies, providing dry-cargo and containership broking services to ship owners, charterers and ship buyers and sellers across the globe. Headquartered in London, with around 100 brokers based in its London head office, the company has recently looked to expand its operations overseas, especially in Asia which has grown into the world’s hub for the shipping trade in the past decade.

To ensure the company could take advantage of increasing growth opportunities in Asia, Howe Robinson began a strategy of increasing its overseas operations by opening up regional satellite offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Hamburg. To initially support this expansion, the company used local network providers but found the service to be of insufficient quality. For the expansion to be effective and for its overseas brokers to be able to serve their client base effectively, Howe Robinson required a trusted network provider with specialist expertise across Asia which could provide a resilient high-capacity network.

The Solution

Howe Robinson chose Telstra to run its international network due to Telstra’s unrivalled expertise and infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region, and its ability to provide a global network. Telstra’s Multi-Protocol Label Switched (MPLS) network has been implemented from Howe Robinson’s headquarters in London to its overseas offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Hamburg.

The MPLS network provides Howe Robinson with global connectivity, low latency, and improved Quality of Service. Telstra provides comprehensive service management, backed by 24/7 support to enable Howe Robinson’s brokers to access and share real-time information across the world.

The Benefits

All of Howe Robinson’s shipping data, crucial for the shipbroking process, is stored centrally in London. With over one hundred brokers based overseas, many of whom work remotely, Telstra’s MPLS solution enables fast, reliable access from across its workforce in Asia to its central servers in London.

The Quality of Service parameters provided by Telstra help ensure Howe Robinson has an I.T. infrastructure which can be relied upon 24/7. Any downtime where its remote brokers cannot access centralised data impacts their ability to conduct crucial business; the availability afforded by Telstra’s network has enabled the success of Howe Robinson’s Asia expansion.

Shipbroking is such a dynamic industry. The scalability provided by Telstra ensures Howe Robinson has the flexibility for continued organic growth. The company is able to easily expand its network to further capitalise on growth opportunities across Asia Pacific; safe in the knowledge it is working with a network provider that has the expertise and infrastructure to support them. 

Without core infrastructure there is no Howe Robinson. Telstra has demonstrated an unrivalled understanding of our company and its technology requirements and the deployment of the MPLS network has been responsible for unprecedented organic growth out of the UK and into the Asia Pacific market. We see our relationship with Telstra as a strategic partnership and the base that the existing infrastructure has provided will now give us the springboard we need to support continued future growth and technology expansion worldwide.

- Andrew Speakmaster, I.T. Manager, Howe Robinson & Co. Ltd.

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