Into today’s digital world, we have grown so accustomed to the option of ordering our goods online and receiving them right at our doorstep in just a matter of days. So much so, that a late delivery can bring on anxiety and stress. And if further problems with our packet occur, the people at the end of the telephone line better be able to fix the issue quickly and with care. It is true then that in e-commerce, delivering an excellent customer experience is the main priority. So how do two companies, giants in their own fields, collaborate to deliver on that promise to the retailer, brand, and end customer? What tools and solutions can a transport provider offer a cross-border e-commerce business to enable them to succeed in this fast-paced business?
It is no secret that e-commerce, or online shopping, has grown significantly in recent years. This growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including the increasing availability of high-speed internet as well as the increasing comfort of consumers with making purchases online. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this growth as more people have turned to online shopping to avoid contact. As a result, e-commerce sales have increased at a faster rate than traditional brick-and-mortar retail sales. And having a digital presence has become a matter of survival for many companies.
Despite the expectation that e-commerce would slow down after the pandemic lockdowns were lifted, online purchasing has remained stable. According to the Ecommerce Europe Report 2022 findings, “in 2021, total European e-commerce grew to €718bn with a growth rate of 13%. This is up from €633bn in 2020. In 2022, growth rates are forecast to continue their upward trend. However, we can notice that the growth is slightly stabilising, with an expected growth rate of 11% and a turnover of €797bn.” As more and more consumers turn to the internet for their shopping needs, e-commerce is expected to only continue to grow in the coming years.
Joining forces with Asendia
Girteka is trusted by major e-commerce companies in Europe for delivering high-quality service, operational excellence, and constant value creation. One of such e-commerce giants and our partners is Asendia UK, a subsidiary of the group company, a joint venture by the French La Poste and Swiss Post, providing mail delivery and e-commerce solutions to consumers and businesses worldwide.
Founded in 2012, Asendia handles all aspects of international e-commerce and mail logistics, including delivery, customs, e-fulfilment and returns. Today, the Asendia Group has 32 global locations on four continents and has acquired a number of companies including esw, a global e-commerce software business. In 2021, Asendia UK began using Girteka’s services for a proportion of their inter-continental European road line haul.
Capacity and performance
For an e-commerce company such as Asendia UK, there are several main points that are very important in choosing a reliable transport provider. First, it is performance and high market key performance indicator (KPI) standards. In e-commerce, especially during the peak period, all companies that want to succeed must focus on the most important KPI: customer satisfaction. If a delivery is not on time or if it is obvious in advance that the delivery will not arrive as scheduled, customers are likely to switch to other competitors.
Expectation of convenience and speedy delivery are key for buyers. Hence, for logistics companies, on-time in-full (OTIF) orders, order accuracy, days to delivery, returns turnaround time, meeting next-day shipping commitments, and other KPIs also factor into the equation. And the higher KPI of the carrier, the more cargo it is given by the client, translating into more revenues.
“Girteka’s ability to offer large capacity is one of the biggest advantages for Asendia UK. The fleet size translates into available capacity and flexibility, especially in the loading schedule, which is very important for timely deliveries,” says Matthew Clark, Road Transport Manager at Asendia UK.
Being the largest asset-based road freight company in Europe, Girteka can cover all of its contractual loads during peak seasons and provide its clients with tailored solutions by offering the most optimal trailer selection, including standby trailers according to demand. With a fleet of over 9,000 trucks and 9,800 trailers, the company can ensure a high truck concentration in each European region, adapting to regional driving conditions and customs procedures. Moreover, with FTL deliveries, which Girteka specializes in, the risk of delays is reduced, as a truck is filled with a single customer’s cargo.
“We knew that Girteka would be able to meet our needs due to the fact that it is a large company with a massive fleet, offering stability, large capacity, and many two-driver trucks that we require for safe and on-time deliveries,” summarizes Clark.
“Maintaining daily communication, a high level of service and good KPIs, allowed the business opportunities between our two companies to widen, and we see that there is plenty of room for the partnership to grow,” says Mindaugas Pasilauskas, CEO of Girteka Europe West.
Increasingly, online shoppers pay attention to how sustainable the journey and/or the packaging of their parcel is, hence, for e-commerce businesses, sustainability and environment-friendliness have become very important issues. In January 2022, Asendia Group announced that the company had become 100% carbon neutral through a comprehensive offsetting programme not only for all international transport emissions, but also those by their delivery partners, parcel returns, office emissions, machinery, and business travel.
From our side, Girteka can offer the client a young and environmentally friendly fleet which is constantly being renewed with the latest, most innovative vehicles on the market. For instance, the company’s Volvo trucks are equipped with the “I-Save” technology, which helps save 10% of fuel. In addition, our trucks run on the fuel-efficient Euro 6 standard and increasingly, the company focuses on HVO fuel, which can reduce CO2 emissions up to 90% compared to diesel fuel.
In the near future, Girteka will also be able to offer its clients cargo deliveries by e-trucks: the company recently signed a deal with Scania for 600 battery-electric vehicles to be delivered over the next four years. Together with Scania, the company will also collaborate on establishing charging infrastructure and optimising charging solutions.
“As we develop our ESG initiatives, Girteka’s sustainability solutions fit well into our agenda. We are excited to lead the way in our industry towards a more sustainable future and we value that Girteka shares our ambition. Together, we will continue to provide sustainable transport solutions for our retailer clients,” says Clark.
What e-commerce companies value very much, aside from the carrier’s transportation capabilities and sustainability solutions, is a dedicated customer service team and a customer-centric approach to business. At Girteka, two customer care teams work with the team at Asendia UK: one for UK lanes and a separate one for European lanes. Here, effective communication, quick reaction, transparency, and problem solving are crucial.
“Customer care and support is fantastic; I get an answer to my questions within the hour which is important in the fast-paced e-commerce industry. I consider the Girteka team an extension of my department and they are a trusted logistic partner. Girteka has a night shift contact which is also useful. We value that the company is available to contact 24 hours 7 days a week,” notes Clark.
Girteka offers every client dedicated personnel, including an operations manager for professional technical support and a key account manager speaking the language of the client’s preference. The notion that the client can trust the carrier regarding any questions or issues in various situations enhances the partnership.
“Asendia UK definitely sees, and values how dedicated our customer care people are and appreciates that we follow their procedures,” says Arūnas Vičinas, Sales Manager at Girteka Europe West.
One of the main solutions to the challenges of managing e-commerce supply chains is information sharing between the shipper and the carrier. This is where data-driven planning and decision making come in. For instance, Asendia UK requests timely and efficient transits, which Girteka’s teams constantly monitor utilizing various digital tools, including the SAP Transport Management System (TMS), which encompasses transport management and commercial procurements activities. By utilizing digital solutions, the company can intelligently manage and analyse data in real time throughout the business chain, ensuring a stable and timely flow of deliveries.
Girteka has also provided the client with the project44 data processing platform. In fact, when it first became available and before it was widely known, the company already tested the platform with Asendia UK, with great results. With the help from our partners at the project44, the client gains real time visibility (RTV) of their shipments, allowing their team to have a more proactive approach and be able to check shipment location, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and other parameters at any time during the delivery, ensuring smoothness in operations, enhanced customer experience and business efficiency.
“The Project 44 system is brilliant; we can view all the trucks carrying our customers’ items in one place. We know exactly where they are. My team regularly monitor the trucks throughout the day, so having this service is a must as it means we can have live tracking, and proactively deal with any issues should they arise,” comments Clark.
Another digital solution provided by Girteka that also plays in to Asendia‘s carbon neutrality stance is the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). This tool replaces paper-based processes, allowing business operations to be processed faster, reduce costs, and increase accuracy since e-documents, such as e-invoices, can be automatically integrated into other business systems.
Driven by our clients’ goals and needs, Girteka is constantly working on heightening the quality of its processes and operations to provide the best services possible. Being trusted by such e-commerce companies as Asendia UK is a great proof of those efforts and their success. We are proud to support fast growing businesses like Asendia UK, as one of their trusted partners in their European distribution supply chain.