Chamber International hits right notes for piano manufacturer after major Chinese export order

13 May 2014

A key contract to provide ongoing help to a novice export business which has secured a major Far East contract has been won by international trade support specialists Chamber International.

The Export Office Team at Chamber International will help the UK’s only  piano maker, Yorkshire Pianos, Bolton Abbey, a craftsman co-operative, which has a won a five-year, £1.75m contract to supply 500 Cavendish pianos to a Chinese wholesaler.

Chamber International provides comprehensive support to exporters advising on sales quotation content, liaising with freight forwarders and insurers and presenting accurate documents to the importer’s bank for payment. It ensures faster export payments, reduces questions and rejections from banks and frees exporting companies’ time.

Yorkshire Pianos managing director, Adam Cox of Yorkshire Pianos, a qualified piano technician, said: We visited Shanghai International Music Fair last year and made initial contact with Shanghai Musical Instruments Ltd. We met again at Frankfurt Music Fair, facilitated by the Music Industries Association, and struck the deal to supply them with 100 pianos a year for the next five years.

While at Shanghai Music Fair we were intrigued to see several Chinese manufacturers have acquired English piano names and claim an ‘English Heritage’, complete with pictures of The Queen, double-decker buses and full-size models of red telephone boxes at their trade stands. Pianos are seen as quintessentially British and the rise of a monied upper class in China means there is a ready market for high-quality imported goods which is how we came to secure the order.

The letter of credit method of payment chosen by our customers proved far more complex than expected with regard to the volume of paperwork and terms, conditions and practices which were new to us. Our bank was helpful but could only offer a degree of advice.

We contacted Chamber International which took an active and astute interest in our business. They are now acting as intermediaries with our shippers and are taking care of all the paperwork so we can avoid any potential pitfalls.  We could not have succeeded without Chamber International’s help.


Yorkshire Pianos was founded in 1994 as Headingley Pianos and has six staff and currently has a £500,000 annual turnover.

Chamber International, which also runs the We are International Export Network as part of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s We are International campaign, helps hundreds of new and experienced exporters with a wide range of specialist services to make exporting easier and more cost effective each year and is exclusively partnered with London headquartered global testing organization, Intertie, to assist with a wide range of issues including product conformity.

Main photograph: Chamber International documentary credit accounts manager, Roy Broadhead, Yorkshire Pianos managing director, Adam Cox and Chamber International International Trade Services manager, Michealla Platts.

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