In such a disruptive world as ours, what is the advantage to cultivate a long-term relationship with a freight forwarder? Our sales manager in Puebla (Mexico) talks about this existential doubt of companies and tells us about a successful relationship with a large company in the automotive sector.
Before the pandemic, we had a logistics world quite close to ideal.
Companies organized themselves to tender tariffs, valid for one year – or up to three! – with an immovable picture, where the managers of large supply chains knew in which links they could reduce costs.
From planning managers to sales teams, everyone had the same target for savings: freight.
Changes in the logistics’ dynamic
Now, the market has changed. Shipping companies, airlines and ground freight carriers hardly keep rates for more than three weeks. In May 2022, in some countries – such as Italy and Japan – rates were only valid for an hour.
The new market dynamics demand a new type of relationship between companies with global supply chains and freight forwarders.
Strategic partnership and a new long-term relation model
A few years ago, signing an exclusivity contract with a freight forwarder gave importing and exporting companies the peace of mind of dealing with only one transport provider.
For freight forwarders, it also gave them the peace of mind of offering a limited portfolio of services. The needs of the company had to be adapted to this limit.
One of our customers, Veritas AG, moved its logistics based on this dynamic. And it was there that we found openness to act.
Strategic logistic partnership
After some time of handling spot or event shipments with Veritas AG – a period in which we could show them our experience in time-sensitive logistics solutions – we consolidated the long-term relationship with them with a good agreement.
In this agreement, the benefit for our client would range from budget optimization to an excellent management of critical situations.
Building a strategic logistic partnership with an international freight forwarder can improve your entire supply chain.
A new necessity, a new offering
Before the pandemic, Veritas AG moved a lot of cargo through the seven seas.
When the Ocean Freight crisis reached ports all over the world, the company needed to fly safety stocks, with essential parts and components, to avoid the risk of a line stoppage.
We met Veritas AG new need with a consolidated air service from Germany.
We started with a pallet. Then, we shipped two. And the volume kept increasing. Finally, the project strengthened and they decided that the long-term relationship was the best decision to optimize their logistics processes.
That intimate knowledge of the operation and the products available was the perfect combination for Veritas AG to solidify their trust in us.
When the container crisis reaches its peak, the buyers’ consol project was quite affected.
Veritas AG had already spent a lot on air services for building an emergency stock.
At this moment, we also approached them with a new proposal: we could work pre-bookings and own spaces on two flights with consolidated cargo. Thus, they would have the security of not running out of frequent flights.
We enabled them to escape the nightmare of having, every week, to look for options. They lacked confidence in the offers available. They felt they had no priority (or they actually experienced that).
We at Europartners made the commitment to secure space. In a strategic logistic partnership move, Veritas AG committed to give us cargo volume and shipment constancy.
Benefits our client obtained
- Best control of purchase orders and suppliers: a real-time control also helps to meet restricted delivery times, the cut-off of carriers in all modalities, ocean freight departure times and air freight departures.
- The balance between urgent and regular cargo: monitoring times, market changes and the most competitive options to make a decision is something that requires enough transparency in the relationship – the company must provide us with a forecast, and we must return with accurate information, with no hidden agendas related to deadlines, so they know what they can expect, what savings are possible on and what in the plan must have total priority.
- The flexibility to act fast: being able to change plans, having solutions at hand and the freedom to say what can or cannot be reached is our best way to handle the logistics of an always-on-the-go supply chain.
- Transparency in the relationship: our market differentiation is not selling just for the sake of selling. Presenting the full picture of how long the movement would take, from the arrival at the departure airport, to a precise checking if the itinerary really met the times of the supply chain, to lead our customer to the best decision – that’s what we work for.
- Efficient and accurate communication about times: we carefully check if a suggested solution meets the client’s specific need, to get to know in time if it is not possible to deliver on time – due to lack of space, ground coordination or time for the shipper. In these cases, we can review more alternatives to meet the right delivery time.
Europartners Group: more than a freight forwarder,
you best strategic partner in logistics
At Europartners Group, we work hard to become a trusted partner for our clients and, this way, to reach a high-level relationship, a long-term relationship of mutually beneficial strategic alliance.
Transparency and honesty are closely linked. It is about sharing information with the client, working in the clearest, simplest and most direct way possible. We know that this care helps to create a relationship of trust.
In the case of our relationship with Veritas AG, what I can highlight is our consistency. Saying, “Far from being discouraged, I know I’m not just another freight forwarder. For me, all your shipments are valuable. I will take care of each one as if I have all of them.”
I’m talking about a brand promise, a reputation, an expectation.
And, when you add to that a relationship based on knowledge built after years of good work, knowing their movements, their suppliers, either directly or indirectly involved in their movements, that gives you a plus: the ability to say: “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it”. Be aware of their urgency, their stress, and know how to read between the lines what they need, in terms of rates, times, service levels, attention, everything.
Do you also want to build a long-term relationship of trust with us? Contact us. At Europartners Group, we work to be more than a freight forwarder. We want a strategic logistic partnership with you.