With a fleet of 200 trucks and three hubs in Poland, two hubs in the Czech Republic, one in Hungary and one in Romania, which also serve the Slovak and Bulgarian markets in addition to the main location in the Netherlands, Mandersloot is one of the market leaders in conditioned groupage transport to Central Europe.
"The advantage of the various depots is that we are locally present and speak the language of the customer, while a branch manager from the Netherlands is active in all countries. When necessary, we can immediately solve problems with a certain shipment and we offer on the spot services such as stickers, packaging, repacking, documentation and quality controls," says Willem van Leuveren.
Willem van Leuveren
Mandersloot is flexible and, in addition to fresh produce, transports meat, flowers, plants, frozen goods and so-called high value cargo. "We are a customer at almost all retailers in the mentioned Central European countries. We can therefore apply very competitive rates for retail," says Willem van Leuveren.
"We often cross-dock the Dutch products in our logistics centre in Scherpenzeel. By 8 p.m., the trucks must be on their way to our hubs, which all have conditioned storage space, so that the cargo can be delivered to the Eastern European the next day. For this we have in-house transport from vans to LHVs, because we are also active in urban distribution and can therefore also cover the last mile. All in all, our activities go much further than transport from A to B. "
Last fall, the company took an important step in obtaining the IFS Logistics certificate. "For us, this means not only a safety system for the transport and cross-docking of food-related products, but it is a system in which we can guarantee the quality of every conditioned product on all fronts," says Willem. "This has also changed things for the customer. They used to be able to choose from various temperature ranges, now they can only choose between four different set points for LTL transport, namely -20 ° C, + 2 ° C, + 10 ° C and + 16 ° C. We drive with these temperatures on a continuous basis, so that there is less temperature fluctuation during transport. "
Willem mentions the recruitment of qualified drivers as the main challenge. "We don't make it easy for ourselves, because we always drive with drivers from the country of origin, so from Poland with Polish drivers and from the Netherlands with Dutch drivers." He does not expect that road transport to these countries will be replaced by other modalities. "The network in Central Europe is not suitable for this. In addition, in our trade, the fresher, the better, and the truck is still the fastest means of transport."
Automation is a spearhead for Mandersloot. "Our web portal is available to all customers, so that they can track their shipments and view documents 24 hours a day. 80% of our customers now use this. We also send our key accounts a performance report every week, but we find it is important to communicate proactively to the customer. There can always be something that slows down the freight, but if you are ahead of the customer, you can work on a solution," says Willem.
"We also collect a lot of data. We work with a high-tech planning system, in which I expect that most of the planning will take place automatically within a few years. I do not think that the human factor will be superfluous, but planning will become a different profession. In the past, the planners knew all the postcode areas by heart. Nowadays they have to think much more systematically. That is why we also focus on the necessary education and training. "
"Mandersloot remains a real family business. In 1964 it was founded by Teuni and Wuf Mandersloot. Currently, the management is led by Ronald and Marjon Mandersloot and the third generation is already involved in the company," says Willem. "Sustainability is of paramount importance to us. This year we have installed solar panels on the roof of our headquarters in Scherpenzeel, and the purchase of LNG trucks is planned for next year."