Results for Logistics Belgium (Ghent) have not developed to their liking in 2018, due to competitive pressures and factors that were sometimes beyond their control. especially rising oil prices which cause increasing costs for road transport and surcharges for sea transport.
“We cannot control those extra costs, but we can certainly do something to mitigate the effects and improve our results. In cooperation with the Strategy & Consultancy department, we initiated Project Boost shortly before Christmas to increase sales and efficiency through a number of initiatives Involving the team in Ghent,” says Geert Liefhooghe, MD of DFDS Logistics Division in Belgium.
Growing the top line
“We have been analysing the current business in relation to our customer base and have identified new opportunities for increasing sales to current customers. In addition to this, we have listed companies who would benefit from becoming our customers and gaining access to our networks. We are in the final stage of closing a big volume tender in the right areas of our transport,” he says.
“A major initiative that we are working on is mitigating the effects of increasing fuel costs and fuel surcharges for ferry transportation to and from Sweden, Norway, Finland and the UK. The surcharges are adjusted monthly, and if prices go up quickly, the costs may not be fully covered by our customers. We have now implemented an improved rate structure that follows the fluctuations in fuel costs and fuel charges more closely.”
More efficient use of trailers
“We have a big focus on reducing empty running. We found our main imbalances to areas to be in France, and optimised our sales forces to find adequate return loads or repositioning loads to reduce empty kilometres. We have already had some success, but we still have a way to go to close the gaps. Another key focus is reducing the turnaround time of our trailers. We have set ourselves clear targets to reduce the average number of days per trip, as this will enable us to do more business using the same equipment. This means we can save costs, be more competitive and grow our business, ” says Lieven Baete, General Manager, Logistics in Ghent
“These are just some of the main initiatives. However, I think this provides a good understanding of how we look at all parameters in order to become more efficient and increase our results. Thanks to everyone in our Logistics team in Ghent and the Strategy & Consulting team for their huge commitment and support to ensure that we will be a more profitable business in 2019 than we were in 2018,” says Geert Liefhooghe.
A steering group consisting of Eddie Green; Niklas Andersson; Geert Liefhooghe; Lieven Baete; Filip Hermann and Christina Mørup is following the project closely.
February 6, 2019