"Switch from complete cargoes to groupage"

Gerard Mostert active with Betrex Espana for 25 years

As of this year Gerard Mostert has been active with Betrex Espana from Valencia for 25 years. He started as an outpost of two Dutch transport companies and took over the transport agency as a one man company after five years. Now the company has grown to be an experienced business with a versatile fleet and cooling and freezing cars, tautliners and frigolonas.

Gerard Mostert

The company has over 25 cars on the road every day. The focus is on the fruit and vegetable transport from the Spanish production areas to the Netherlands, Belgium the western Ruhr area and the United Kingdom and vice versa. "An important change is that we take care of more groupage transport than before when the transport was often still complete cars. The advantage is: the more groupage work you have, the simpler it is to create the logistics puzzle around it," says the director.

Gerard doubts that it has gotten easier in 25 years. "There has always been competition. It has been difficult for 25 years and will undoubtedly remain this way. I do have the impression that there is more regard for the price than before, and less for service. We have a lot of competition from Eastern European transporters, who will break the market for a pittance at the start of the season and don't pull through at the end of the season," says Gerard. "When I went to the Netherlands by car I noticed how many Dutch transporters had Eastern European units."

An informed customer isn't an angry customer
When asked if customers are loyal, Gerard replies: "Yes and no, there are customers who are happy and others choose the cheapest route. We hope that through our service, sharing information through personal contact, we can be definitive. We know our customers well and can therefore anticipate potential problems. It is better to inform the customer that the truck isn't going to make it, rather than raising expectations you can't achieve. An informed customer isn't an angry customer. With the current driving time laws, not much time can be made. You can't take a single risk with the digital tachograph."

In recent years the logistic service supplier has learned a lot about new intermodal initiatives, but he's not directly afraid of competition. "No modality can beat the flexibility of road transport. I don't think importers are prepared to wait for their trade any longer, plan the transport earlier and run more risk. More trade will be taken from the road at a good moment, but the containers still have to come here," says Gerard.

Delivering part loads
Gerard uses his 25 years of experience in Spanish logistics at his work every day. "There is a need for flexible players, who take care of the transport of part loads and we like to play into that. We are also often an encyclopaedia for customers, for instance for an exporter who already works with us in Spain and is looking for a Dutch contact or importer, who is looking for a certain product. This way we can be of extra value to our customers on both sides."

Gerard says a return to the Netherlands is out of the question. "I live in a beautiful country with great people. I think that I have become more 'Spaniardised' over the years. When I talk to Dutch customers, family or friends, I often notice how stressed they are. People in Spain are calmer. I do think that the Spanish have become more 'westernised' over the years too. We mainly work with Spanish drivers and they used not be bothered whether they were at the dock in Barendrecht at 6.00 or not. Nowadays they understand the desires of the Northern European market more, even if they still have to wait to unload."

For more information:
Betrex Expana S.A.
Carrer Barranc 24b
46711 Guardamar de La Safor
Gandia (Valencia)
Tel: 0034-962878080
Fax: 0034-962878181

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