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Netherlands: Combination of transport and storage proves successfulAgainst the currant of the economic developments, there are several transport companies, who still managed to grow. A company that in recent years saw an opportunity to expand, is AFL Barendrecht. Contributing to the growth is the combination of storage and transfer capacity with transportation and a flexible attitude. "Being flexible is the key," explains Eric Barendrecht.
Over the past year, AFL Barendrecht bought fifteen new objects, partly as a replacement of the vehicle fleet, and partly an extension. Thus, seven new MANs were purchased last year, and the fleet was extended with another three trucks. AFL Barendrecht also bought five new refrigerated trailers, partly an extension, partly a replacement.
Combination of transport and storage and handling
In addition to the expansion of the fleet, the company also expanded the storage and handling capacity. Once a tenant moved out of the same building, the transport department took up this space. The extra space was used to expand the cooling facility.
The combination of is a successful concept. Eric Barendrecht: "Other transporters usually don’t have much storage capacity, while transshipment companies customarily do not own trucks." Whether the combination of transport and storage and handling is the future for the industry? "I can’t say. It certainly is an added value. I think you might attract more business if you combine storage and handling with transportation."
Flexibility is important
"We offer a complete package where we pick up the containers at the port, store them and transport them," explains Eric. "Being flexible is the key. You should be able to shift quickly. If it is not busy in the fresh produce business, we switch to something else.”
Transport companies switching to cheaper drivers from Eastern Europe, is something Eric struggles to understand. The transport company has only Dutch drivers. It's expensive, but the Dutch driver has a greater value. "The service that we can provide with Dutch drivers is much higher than when working with East European drivers."
Publication date: 8/14/2014
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