For this blog, we interviewed two of our top logistics experts, Freek Flemminks and Alfred Kersten. We spoke about several topics ranging from our routes, delivery patterns and delivery times to (local) challenges and trends. You can read all about it in this blog about our logistics services!
Freek, as team leader logistics, keeps the overview and has been working for Evers for 8 years now. Alfred has supported our logistics team since last year. His experience as an international truck driver comes in handy as a logistics planner.
Fltr: Alfred Kersten, Richard Vacquier Droop, Hanneke Hummelink en Freek Flemminks
Where do we actually drive to?
Freek: ''We deliver in a circle of 800 km around Nijmegen. In Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, that is for the fresh produce trade, industry and retail. In the north of France, we only deliver to industry. We used to do a pallet to England as well, but this has been discontinued due to the Brexit.
Nice to know is that we often name our routes after the cities of the final location. For example, for Belgium we have routes to Brussels and Veurne, and in Germany we have routes to Munich, Berlin, Hamburg and Dresden. This somewhat covers the circle of 800 km''.
What is our delivery pattern?
Alfred: "In principle, our customers receive deliveries at least three times a week on one of our routes. Sometimes this is less, but then this is absorbed by groupage.
And what are our delivery times?
Freek: "We usually deliver at night. We want to be with the customer 24 hours after the harvest. That is why we make sure that we arrive at the furthest location late at night. That way, the customer can start using the fresh bean sprouts the next morning. The return leg, the next day, is mainly for the transport work we do for our partners. These are products that have a longer shelf life''.
What is so remarkable about our logistics services?
Alfred: "The core business of Evers is, of course, bean sprout production. Therefore, I find it remarkable that the logistic service to customers is so good. Evers does everything in its power to build up its own logistics chain and control its own product. Most companies choose to place their product with a transport company. Then someone from the transport company comes to work for the company. As a result, you lack the power to make ad hoc changes to volumes, route planning and delivery times. However, we control everything ourselves, so you are dependent on third parties as little as possible.
Freek: ''It may also be remarkable that we drive to Germany during the day, while many parties only leave for Germany at the end of the day. There are more and more companies that want to be delivered, so it is no longer so much about going via wholesalers. This actually forces us to deliver to these customers during the day as well, since we want to get our bean sprouts to the customer within 24 hours of harvesting.
We not only take our own bean sprouts, but also other producers' goods on our routes. Can you tell us more about that?
Freek: ''We want to be able to guarantee our customers flexibility. Therefore, there must be as many cars on the road as possible. In order to achieve this, we started looking for partners with whom we can share our routes.
Alfred: ''Think hereby of large parties, for whom we transport dry goods and fresh. This has enabled us to drive more cost-effectively and sustainably. We have been doing this for a long time, but it has grown considerably over the past few years.
Freek: ''And because we arrive at the final locations in the evening, we also have the opportunity to deliver goods in the city the next morning. Whereas, if you only arrive in the morning, the driver has to rest first and unloading only takes place in the evening.
Are there any trends that you see emerging?
Freek: "Well, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach inner cities. That is also the challenge. You can drive with diesel in fewer and fewer cities; it all has to be electric. So in the future, that logistics picture is going to look very different. It is only going to change even more. There will be more and more small electric vehicles that will take care of deliveries in the cities and towns.
Alfred: ''This will also mean that more and more hubs will have to be built, so that more city or regional distribution can be done. The polluting, large trucks will only be allowed to drive on the motorways. This will create even more connected parties in the logistics chain''.
Freek: ''Another trend is the increasingly stipulated window times, within which we have to deliver. These window times make us much less flexible, and our planning is already partly determined. Fortunately, we can still be flexible with many customers. As long as the bean sprouts are there before they start.
Finally, you have already talked about transport in the inner cities, and that this will become increasingly difficult. What challenges do you see for local transport in the future?
Alfred: ''Local transport will indeed become more challenging in the future. As far as I'm concerned, the challenge lies mainly in the timing. Everyone is avoiding it while they can, because changes always involve extra costs. Nevertheless, at some point we will have to accept it. We will have to organize the transport in such a way that there are several parties who can act on different levels, i.e. wholesale transport and zone-related transport.
Freek: ''We cannot organize local transport just like that. That is why cooperation with local partners is very important. We really appreciate our local partners.''