Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Freight and Logistics Group Releases Latest Financials and Has No Fear of Brexit

Dachser Boss Believes Whatever the Changes - His Company is Prepared
Shipping News Feature
UK – Dachser Ltd, the UK subsidiary of the family-owned, German-headquartered global logistics group, chose the first day of the Multimodal Exhibition in Birmingham to officially release the company's annual figures, and with Brexit looming, Managing Director, Nick Lowe, gave an insight to his firms attitude to the coming changes. First those figures, and it would seem to have been a pretty good year for the island branch of what is a truly international, intermodal freight operation.

UK sales turnover increased by around 16% to £77 million with the European export service portfolio seeing the highest degree of growth, a jump of 21% on top-line sales. Dachser’s import business also grew by 7% year-on-year and the company says it has seen exceptionally high levels of growth in its contract logistics and value-added services. Lowe sees the company’s ability to ensure reliable, time-defined, delivery status visible distribution services as owing much to its user friendly web portal, as well as the ‘Shipment Pointer’ App, branded under its internet-based tracking service ‘eLogistics’ offering.

So how does one of the major league players in Europe view Brexit from its UK base? Lowe is bullish about the future, despite the shiver of uncertainty which is currently running through the industry. He is relaxed, in charge of an operation with an extremely comprehensive European network as a partner. Such an infrastructure he opines, will be useful no matter what the outcome of talks, traffic will still have to flow, and the changes may lead to a stockholding economy for importers, with customers shipping full, rather than part loads. As he points out, customs clearance times and procedures can often be quicker for such volumes.

Dachser, which moves the bulk of its international road freight using driver accompanied trailers, and with its Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status secured, Lowe says is ideally placed no matter what lies in the future. As far as holding more stock for clients, the UK company now has two warehouse locations in Northampton involved in contract logistics, one at its Brackmills Logistics Centre, which was opened 4 years ago in 2014 having been built to a bespoke design and configuration, and the other being a leased warehouse with a combined storage capacity of some 30,000 pallets across the two sites.

At the company’s north west location in Rochdale there are also plans for expansion. The current premises, the result of the acquisition and integration of JA Leach Transport in 2010, are now insufficient to handle Dachser’s projected business growth in the region, and planning is at an advanced stage for a new, purpose built 6,700 square metre cross-dock facility which is expected to be operational from mid-2019. Nick Lowe commented:

“There was a great culture fit with the team at JA Leach, and a very high percentage of colleagues remaining with us and positively embracing change, a factor which was and continues to be instrumental in our success. Our annual sales turnover in Rochdale is now approaching the £20 million mark, from £6.5 million at the time of the acquisition in 2010. These days, roughly 65% of our turnover is attributable to European road freight, evidencing our strategy to simultaneously grow and diversify our customer portfolio. Inevitably we now need to reflect that on-going positive development by investing in the right facility to sustain our growth into the future.

”The number of employees has now grown across all four Dachser branch locations at Northampton, Rochdale, Dartford and Bristol, to a total of 410. Real-time consignment and delivery status information is available [to our customers] as a result of the wide extent of bar-code scanning throughout our network. This captures the arrival and departure of all shipments at every stage of their journey, right through to the final delivery to the ultimate consignee.

”[As for Brexit] we are talking very much to our colleagues across Europe. Of course, we agree with what the British government has said about frictionless trade and borders. However, we are preparing for all options and we have the strength of our network to help our customers, after all, our decisions will be driven, as ever, by customer need.”

Photo: Dachser ensured they maintained a tangible presence at the Multimodal show.