Maintaining good relationships with carriers is the foundation of most forwarding companies’ operations. They help ensure transport security and meet the expectations of customers who entrust them with their valuable loads. Thanks to them, the work of forwarders becomes more effective and less stressful. Therefore, forwarding companies take various steps to build and maintain relationships at the highest level.
We talked to Flash Logistic about their own experiences in this area. Recently, the company decided to upgrade to a higher Private Exchange package to categorize carriers and create separate exchanges for them. We invite you to an interview with Karol Kupczak, Transport Director at Flash Logistic.
Karol, what are currently the most important concerns for your company? What are you concentrating your efforts on?
What we care about most of all is good, enduring partnership relationships – both with our clients and carriers. We focus on cooperation with trusted subcontractors specialising in specific types of transport, thanks to which our customers can be sure that their loads are in safe hands. To increase the sense of security of shippers, we cooperate only with carriers whose transports can be tracked from loading to unloading using a GPS system.
In your opinion, what events in recent years have had the greatest impact on the forwarding industry and your company?
The transport industry is characterised by enormous variability on an unprecedented scale. Moreover, the situation in each country where we provide services is different. Examples include road toll increases in Germany or the Macron law in France. The market has also been shaken by new requirements regarding transport licenses for vans, which were introduced in May 2022 in the European Union for vehicles crossing the internal borders of the community.
In addition, the conflict in Ukraine has resulted in a shortage of drivers, which was already a problem in the industry. Forwarding companies are frantically searching for drivers.
It is also worth mentioning the huge fluctuations in fuel prices. These have been so significant that one day it was profitable to travel at a given rate and the next day it was not.
Therefore, you need to constantly keep your finger on the pulse and follow market events in order to react to changes in a timely manner and prepare for them.
How do you deal with such instability? Are you using any helpful tools?
Since the most important thing for us is cooperation with trusted carriers, our basic tool that we currently use is Trans.eu’s Private Exchange. Thanks to this, we have managed to create our own database of subcontractors, including all carriers that handle our freight.
The decision to implement the Private Freight Exchange was a unanimous one, as we all saw its huge benefits. We did not consider building our own exchange from scratch, because it would have involved huge costs and a significant amount of time, and Trans.eu offered a turnkey product supported by an experienced team of IT specialists. Implementing a turnkey solution allowed us to significantly reduce expenses. We have received a product that meets our needs, and in fact we cannot imagine that any other tool could perform better. The Private Exchange has become an indispensable tool in our daily work.
Did you face any challenges in implementing a private freight exchange?
In the beginning, when we had a limited number of carriers on our private exchange, there was little response to our loads. However, as time has gone by and it has developed, the tool has become more and more effective. It is noticeable that over time, the use of a private exchange is becoming very effective. As a forwarding company we were able to build more enduring relationships with carriers.
I am convinced that our exchange will operate even more efficiently. Therefore, we decided to move from one private exchange to several smaller ones. This solution will allow us to precisely segment carriers depending on the directions or types of transport they serve.
What criteria did you adopt when inviting carriers to the Private Exchange?
Cargo security and the associated satisfaction of our customers are our top priority.
The process of adding carriers to our Private Exchange begins with suggestions from our forwarders. They are the ones who report carrier companies with whom they have enjoyed good cooperation. We pay attention to their responsiveness to our offers, a quick response to existing problems and independence in solving them.
We then conduct a detailed analysis of each carrier, paying attention to criteria such as:
• the size of the company
• documents, e.g. carrier liability insurance
• social media activity.
We also verify carriers by an external company, based on the reports it generates. They include information such as how long the company has been operating on the market, the number of employees it has, the company’s financial situation and whether it has any debts.
We have already discussed the current situation, but what are your predictions for the future?
Of course, the market situation is shaped by many factors, so it is difficult to assess it unambiguously. However, it seems to me that the most difficult times are behind us. My market observations show that we are already experiencing some growth in freight volumes, so I am optimistic about the future.
What plans do you have for the future?
Over the last three years, we have been focusing on building our position on the market, which I think has been successful. Now we plan to focus on other business aspects – primarily by acquiring new certificates and engaging in marketing activities. We intend to expand the scope of our services to include intermodal transport. We are currently in the process of opening a second office, this time in Wrocław. We also plan to introduce eSkonto to enable our carriers to receive payments faster, which will certainly contribute to even better cooperation.
Our next goal is to serve the Chinese market door-to-door. Currently, the largest volume of freight comes from there and I think that transport from China to Europe will continue to increase in importance. We are already conducting specific discussions in this direction.
All this we do in the hope that the Flash Logistic brand will continue to grow stronger.