The Dutch logistics operator group Raben, now operating in 13 countries, celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. The Hungarian subsidiary, Raben Trans European Hungary Ltd. was established 11 years ago. Its Head of Sales & Marketing, Zoltán Üveges tells Diplomacy&Trade about the Group’s diverse activities.
As he explains, Raben Group offers comprehensive TSL (transport, shipping and logistics) services: contract logistics, road transport (domestic, international and to the East), Fresh Logistics, FTL (full truck load) and intermodal, sea and air transport for customers operating in various branches. “Working with them on the road every day, and we not only mean delivering the goods from point A to point B, but rather reaching long-term goals, building partnerships and positive relations.”
He adds that Raben puts great emphasis on groupage transport, striving to become number one player in every market where it is present. In this model, several clients share the cargo capacity of a single vehicle, making it one of the most cost-effective and most sustainable solutions.
Expanding operations and offering new services
Raben appeared in the East Central European region (in Poland) 30 years ago and its Hungarian subsidiary, Raben Trans European Hungary (RTEH) Ltd. was established 11 years ago through the acquisition and integration of two major logistics service providers. Therefore, the Group entered the Hungarian market with the opportunity to build upon a stable infrastructure and professional base of its ‘predecessors’, Zoltán Üveges says.
Headquartered in Dunaharaszti, south of Budapest, RTEH has three further depots in the countryside (Debrecen, Győr, Pécs), providing tens of thousands of square meters of warehouse space, including extensive cross-dock areas.
The Head of Sales & Marketing is glad to report that 2020 was an outstanding year, providing the best figures so far: largest turnover, new warehouse projects underway and new business solutions in the pipeline.
This year, RTEH is launching operations in its two new warehouses in Dunaharaszti and Pécs. The former one offers approximately 30,000 sqm of temperature-controlled area (divided into three zones), while the facility in Pécs enables the company to better serve the needs of one of its most important local clients.
2021 also brings a number of new services. One of them (business-to-customer, B2C) is developed especially for the players of the e-commerce sector, providing extra features, like dedicated handling staff, evening delivery or MyDelivery option, which enables consignees not only to track their shipment, but also to modify the date of delivery in a given time frame.
“Setting up decentralized routes in international groupage transportation is an important element of our strategy to further strengthen our market position and improve our competitiveness. The main idea of this solution is to find additional connections between regional depots, apart from central hubs. This enables us to deliver goods on shorter routes, with fewer operations (less loading and unloading). This option is primarily available in the East Central European countries (from the Baltic states through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to Romania and Bulgaria),” Zoltán Üveges points out.
Of course, expanding operations and the introduction of new services require further recruitment: the headcount of RTEH’s employees is set to reach 410 this year.
Hungary is a favorite site for logistics company because of its geographical location, ensuring a gateway position. The country’s excellent transport connections make it an optimal choice for the players of the logistics sector. Since Raben Group has businesses in several surrounding countries, Hungary’s role becomes even more important, he adds.
New platforms for better service
Digitalization is a buzzword for many businesses and Raben is no exception. Zoltán Üveges highlights that Raben Group developed several solutions (like myRaben and PCD) that make it easier and safer to handle and track shipments, as well as to create automated data interchange with customers (EDI connection), eliminating a large amount of manual order processing. MyRaben is a client platform designed to provide fast and easy access to information, complex management of supply chain, personalized configuration of the system, etc. PCD (Picture Confirming Delivery) is a solution that makes the confirmation of delivery possible without contact, almost without the participation of the consignee. Delivery is confirmed with on-site photographs, including time stamps and data on geographical location, he explains.
RTEH is working on further measures (e.g. the use of POS terminals) to make cashless and contactless payments possible. The pandemic also accelerated the pace of digitization: there are more personal IT devices used, restructured work organization needing new IT solutions, etc.
Saving resources for the next generations
It may come as no surprise, Raben being a Dutch company, that sustainability is a foremost issue and this is especially important in the logistics business that – by its nature – puts a burden on the environment.
As the Head of Sales & Marketing puts it, “we are aware that as a transport and logistics company we have an impact on the environment – and we want this impact to be positive. Ecology is of great importance for us. By conserving natural resources, measuring, reporting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we act for the common good – and for the future.
We want next generations to have access to the same resources we are using now. Therefore, out of concern for the environment, we gradually eliminate paper from our processes, every year we invest in more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions in transport and warehouses and we plant thousands of trees neutralizing tons of CO2. We also signed the first green energy supply contracts in 2021 in some of our markets.”
In connection with the development and increasing the dynamics of Raben Group’s involvement in environmental issues, Raben has decided that all activities and solutions that they implement to support the natural environment should be carried out under the slogan ‘Eco2way’.
Raben Group invests heavily in modern fleet that is more environmentally friendly. They are testing gas-powered vehicles both on short routes and in long-distance transport.
“We focus on using the most effective vehicle combinations, such as double deck trailers or swap body BDF containers, all of which are designed to optimize shipments, save time and fuel, thus reducing costs per pallet as well as the level of emissions. Our CityLiner type trailers, on the other hand, can freely enter urban areas with restricted traffic, also making it possible to reduce emissions per pallet. In the meantime, we make sure that our own fleet complies with the highest environmental standards, Zoltán Üveges explains.
Ecological buildings are another key element of efforts for sustainability at Raben Group, which has over 1.2 million sqm of warehouse capacity all over Europe, opening new facilities every year. As a rule, all of them are equipped better than equivalent buildings built by the developer.
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