Monday, April 11, 2011

Global Freight And Logistics Provider Sees Many Changes

DSV Boss Offers a Recipe for the Future of the Industry
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Lots of news from global freight and logistics provider DSV this week who spoke at length to the Handy Shipping Guide at the Multimodal 2011 exhibition about the changing faces of ocean and airfreight as well as the international road haulage services it is now known for in Europe. The group, which employs around 21,000 staff across the offices it has in over sixty countries, is well placed to gauge the state of the supply chain from manufacturer through to delivery of the cargo to the consignee’s door.

Firstly the local news, in the UK DSV Road and DSV Air & Sea are moving into new offices in Leeds/Bradford in a week’s time and DSV Air & Sea is opening a dedicated Airfreight Export department in the area for the first time. From the 18th DSV Air & Sea and DSV Road will be found at Bradford Chamber Business Park, New Lane, Laisterdyke, Bradford.

Further afield General Motors (GM) has bestowed its “Supplier of the Year Award 2010” for outstanding performance and exemplary cooperation in servicing the giant car manufacturer’s logistics requirements in the past 12 months. DSV was one of 82 suppliers and service providers to whom General Motors awarded prizes as their best suppliers at a celebration in the GM Renaissance Centre in Detroit and the prize winners only include a handful of European companies.

DSV Air & Sea transports parts for General Motors from Europe, Africa, and the Near East to the production locations and spare parts centres in Europe (Germany, Austria, UK and Hungary) as well as locations in North America, Asia, and Australia. The range of services includes order management, supplier management, and the physical delivery process. DSV uses its own land-based travel network, sea freight, air freight, and package shipment as well as charter flights and on-board couriers.

Last week Rene Falch Olesen, Managing Director of DSV Road Limited spoke to the Handy Shipping Guide about current trade and the company’s philosophy saying that DSV felt that as a non asset based transporter they held an advantage in the hugely variable European market. Mr Olesen considers the flat UK trading conditions were principally caused by an overcapacity of transport in 2007-8 enabling companies who subcontracted substantial portions of their requirements to throttle back without serious harm to their balance sheets.

He went on to emphasize that companies needed to either grow or shed staff to balance the books, the latter was a natural result of Danish DSV’s buy out of ABX Logistics Worldwide from 3i plc in 2008, despite giving them a foothold in the air and sea freight forwarding sector in Western Europe there had been a natural consolidation of resources from what the DSV CEO, Kurt Larsen, described at the time as a ‘perfect fit’.

The DSV Road boss believes that a properly instituted training programme was essential to keep staff motivated and that employers’ must accept this cost time, money and effort on their part. He pointed out that British companies and employees alike found it hard to accept a policy of re-education, something often quoted to this reporter in the past by shipping executives born overseas.

Another view expressed by Mr Olesen is also one we come across on an almost daily basis, that is that sales staff in the forwarding industry often have a ‘beat the rate’ mentality without pausing to truly consider the operating costs. He urged salesmen to ‘use your calculators’ and be prepared to accept that 13 – 14% of customers would naturally be lost annually and the key was to satisfy your existing clientele whilst gaining new business through better service.

DSV follow a policy of observing staff with view to placing them in a more ‘value added’ position, both for themselves and the company. For their part Olesen expects his people to be capable of adapting to new roles and add value and growth to the group’s activities. He believes this policy of promotion from within has encouraged loyalty and says he believes he leads a team of first class forwarders and sales staff who put in a ‘fantastic effort’ which enable DSV to see off the bad times and set their sights confidently on the future.

Photo: DSV’s New Bradford Office