The transport industry has had a tough time recently. The pandemic, war, legislative changes, soaring inflation and economic slowdown are all making the market very unpredictable, which is not helping the business. Companies in the TSL sector are taking a closer look at their profitability, many of them are also renegotiating contracts and seeking additional opportunities on the market. We discussed these and other issues with polish Sawa Logistics, which had a chance to try out our latest solution – Private Freight Exchange.
According to a report by the Polish Institute of Road Transport, 98% of transport companies are facing an increase in the cost of their operations. The vast majority even mention an increase of 26-50%. At the same time, falling consumption means a lower demand for the transport of goods. What challenges have you faced or are you currently facing?
Sylwester Niemyjski, Freight Forwarding Director at Sawa Logistics: Indeed, the past few years have been full of challenges due to both external conditions, such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine, and internal ones, e.g. changes in the law on settlement of drivers. Only last year we struggled with an oversupply of goods and high demand, resulting in a high demand for supplies. On the other hand, we are now observing a significant slowdown, which translates into less work for the industry. On top of this, operating costs are rising. All this means that we have to organize our work with even greater care and strengthen our position on the market.
How can this be achieved in the current uncertain situation?
Good relationships with business partners are extremely important in our work. Our customers are companies with a lot of experience and a well-established position. Therefore, we are constantly striving to develop working standards that facilitate our communication and cooperation. We have the same approach to working with our subcontractors. This year will be no different. The progressive digitalization of processes makes us eager to look at trends and test new opportunities. One of them is the Trans.eu Private Freight Exchange, which we had the opportunity to test.
Why is it so important for you to publish offers to a group of selected carriers and get your orders executed by them only?
Qualified staff and trusted business partners have been our recipe for success for years. When organizing shipments, we always use reliable carriers. This means that our customers can rest assured that their goods are in safe hands. As service providers, what we care most about is customer satisfaction. We could not guarantee this without verified partners.
The Private Freight Exchange is a solution chosen by more and more freight forwarding companies. Sawa Logistics decided to go with an extended version of its own exchange – a branded version. Why?
We want Sawa Logistics to be seen as a trustworthy partner, so we work hard to offer the best solutions to our contractors. With tools tailored to our needs, we can do our job better. The Private Freight Exchange-branded allows us to increase our brand recognition and better position our orders.
How did your contractors react to the news that you were using the Private Freight Exchange?
I must admit that our partners were very enthusiastic about this information. In fact, they see that the Private Freight Exchange makes it much easier for us to work together, leads to closer business relationships and expands our scope for action. For them, being part of our group of trusted carriers is, in a way, proof of our satisfaction with their services, and we want to continue working with them. What’s more, the Private Freight Exchange has not disrupted their business processes as its use is identical to that of the Public Freight Exchange, which the majority of them were already using.
How have you been looking for a trustworthy contractor to transport your goods until now?
Our job is to match the carrier’s capabilities with the customer’s load. Having been on the market for so many years, we have managed to build up an extensive database of trusted carriers. This allows us to quickly and accurately select a partner to whom we can entrust the execution of a given order. However, we are aware that as a company we cannot rest on our laurels. We want to grow, so we are open to new trends and ways of working with customers.
How does the development of a carrier database look like in the Private Freight Exchange environment?
In the early stages of cooperation, the supplier must go through a verification process. We put a lot of emphasis on assessing its credibility as a partner. Only after a few test loads can we decide whether to accept it on the Private Freight Exchange.
What is the key value that you see in the Private Freight Exchange?
Since it is a new product, we do not have many years of experience with it. However, we can already see that this is a tool that can significantly improve daily operations, especially with a particular group of trusted carriers. On the other hand, I think it gives carriers a chance to spread their wings.
What will 2023 look like for Sawa Logistics?
With such a high level of volatility on the TSL market, it’s hard to come up with numbers or concrete facts. One thing I know for sure, though, is that we will continuously strive for further development and strengthening of our position on the market. 2023 will be a challenging year, but I have every confidence that we will come through it successfully, and that these challenges will be our driving force for improvement.
Sawa Logistics is a fast-growing Polish company with an established position on the TSL market. It has been offering comprehensive and customized transport and logistics services for 14 years. It is also one of a few companies in Poland that specializes in crisis and emergency logistics solutions.
It owes its position to continuous development and a flexible approach. With qualified staff, its own warehouse and a modern fleet of vehicles, Sawa Logistics can respond quickly to market needs and events.
We would like to thank Sawa Logistics for the opportunity to conduct the interview.
The interview was conducted by Dominika Krzak (Trans.eu).
To find out more about the 2023 forecasts, download our latest report on the contract market in Europe and gain essential insights for freight forwarders in road transport: