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BioMar: ”Efficient logistics are essential to our business”
What defines a well-functioning logistics chain and why are efficient logistics so important to a company’s competitiveness? The Port of Grenaa has invited three gentlemen from the companies BioMar, Rygaard Transport & Logistic A/S and SDK Shipping to a joint discussion of the parameters which have turned their transport cooperation into a success over the last 25 years.
The atmosphere at the Port Centre at the Port of Grenaa is good – for there is much to talk about after nothing less than 25 years of cooperation.
The focal point of the conversation is on the effect logistics have on the global fish feed manufacturer BioMar’s business.
“The fact that we provide high-quality products is vital for us to be among the leading companies in the industry today. Of course, the price for the feed also matters, but is not quite as important as the quality”, Hans Christian Nielsen, forwarding agent at BioMar, says and continues:
“Efficient logistics and a quick supply chain are of fundamental importance as well.”
Hans emphasizes that “we must be able to keep what we promise our customers.” And Hans knows what he is talking about, as he has 37 years of experience at BioMar, where all his work has been related to transportation.
BioMar was founded in 1962 by a group of Danish breeders in the town of Brande, which is located in Central Jutland. BioMar still produces fish feed in Brande. The headquarters, however, were relocated to Aarhus, and the group now has 16 factories worldwide. The company develops and produces high-performance fish feed and delivers it to about 80 countries.
A well-functioning logistics chain plays a vital role to the competitive power of any company which is active on a global scale. BioMar is no exception, for, as Hans emphasizes, the customers must be able to rely on punctual delivery of the feed.
Danish ports are a part of many companies’ logistics chains, as they are an extremely important location for reloading goods from one platform to another. This also applies to the Port of Grenaa, which BioMar uses as its logistic nerve centre.
25 years of successful cooperation
Since 1995, BioMar has shipped fish feed on lorries from Brande to destinations abroad by sea using the company Baltic Line for its cargo from the Port of Grenaa. Initially, the fish feed was mainly sent to Norway, but since 2007, the feed shipped from Grenaa is only destined for Turku in Finland.
Almost immediately when the line to Finland had been established, we were the three operators who shipped all goods from BioMar in Brande to its final destination in Finland. And may I say that the cooperation between all three parties has been very unique,” SDK’s sales manager Søren Kjær says while pointing at Hans from BioMar and Gert Rygaard, who is the CEO of the haulage company Rygaard Transport & Logistic A/S.
Søren Kjær can look back at impressive 52 years of experience in the industry, and these days, his role can best be described as a “transport facilitator” who acts on behalf of cargo buyers and sellers.
Søren used to be the owner of the shipping company Franck og Tobiesen A/S, but years ago, he sold the business to Shipping.dk (now SDK Shipping), where he is now working on a freelance basis. At the beginning, Franck og Tobiesen were Baltic Line’s agents, who cooperated with BioMar, Rygaard and the Port of Grenaa regarding cargo from Brande via Grenaa to Turku. When Franck og Tobiesen was sold, the cooperation was naturally also transferred to SDK Shipping.
Credibility and service in all transport stages
When these three extremely experienced men are asked what made their long-standing transport cooperation a success, they have no doubt:
All three of them agree that security of supply is the most important aspect for the customers. And this can only be achieved through a reliable relationship based on trust in all transport stages.
“Logistics can be complex, because so many parties are involved. Of course, the price also plays an important role when decisions are made. However, the price is not all that matters.
It is also about service and facilities. How can we help each other in a certain situation?”, Søren Kjær asks rhetorically and continues:
“It is a matter of knowing one another, and we must trust each other one hundred per cent. In our cooperation, we have done extremely well in this respect.”
Gert Rygaard points out that “Rygaard is located in Grenaa, where it also has its base” and refers to this as the explanation for why BioMar has chosen Rygaard as its business partner. But neither Søren from SDK or Hans from BioMar accept such humility.
Instead, they explain that it is Rygaard’s professionalism and punctuality which make the haulage company a good business partner:
“It is as Gert says. Using Rygaard makes sense, because they are based in Grenaa. Rygaard hauls cargo from Grenaa to all parts of Jutland, which allows the company to transport BioMar’s fish feed to Grenaa as return cargo. Logistically, this makes sense. But that’s not all. It is also extremely important that the drivers hired by Rygaard can work independently, meaning that not only do they have a profound knowledge of the procedures at BioMar in Brande, but also at SDK Shipping in Grenaa; When Rygaard’s lorries arrive, they always arrive on time.
Rygaard’s drivers know what they are dealing with and do their jobs independently. It is very important to have partners we can rely on. And this is actually what I think characterises BioMar, Rygaard and SDK – the fact that we know each other very well,” Søren emphasizes, and Hans from BioMar fully agrees:
“We know for sure that when we book Rygaard, we will get the lorries we need. We produce huge amounts for Finland, and here in Brande, it does not really make any difference to us whether we produce the feed at night or during weekends.
Our warehouse capacity is not sufficient for a weekend’s production and must therefore be shipped on a continual basis. Rygaard’s lorries often arrive and are loaded during weekends. It is the same drivers who come time and time again. They are very rarely replaced. When they arrive, the drivers therefore know all our facilities; they know where to find the goods, and sometimes they also handle the loading process themselves.”
Cooperation brings you further
The geographical location of the Port of Grenaa is an advantage with regard to BioMar’s transports from the factory to the port – and in particular with regards to Baltic Line’s scheduled traffic. But Hans from BioMar claims that the Port of Grenaa is also an important part of the transport stage because of its service and flexibility:
“When we need assistance and warehousing capacity, they find an immediate solution,” Hans says with a snap of his fingers and continues:
“This is incredibly important, and we appreciate it a lot. We have never experienced that the Port of Grenaa could not provide the warehousing capacity we need. We have never experienced that anything is impossible. All parties adjust to each other, and this is the basis of good cooperation and trust in each other,” Hans claims; Søren confirms it and wraps up the conversation expressing the future potential of the cooperation:
“Cooperation is a means to bring you further in life. And this is precisely what we have done. Right now, we are sitting here and talking about BioMar and Baltic Line, but there is a potential to do more if the good cooperation continues. Finland is not the only reason why we are assembled here.”
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