In greater detail 01/19

Back to the Future

Rhenus relaunches break bulk cargo products

What do you do if you have good products, but the market is still not fully aware of what they provide? Rhenus Road Freight worked for more than a year to develop a new, integrated concept for its Rhenus Classic, Rhenus Fix and Rhenus Premium break bulk cargo products. After all, quality is not the only critical factor – customers need to know about the products, accept them and trust in their benefits. Tobias Volz, Head of Product & Network Management at Rhenus Road Freight Europe, and Lola Bonet, Sales Manager at Rhenus Road Freight Europe, discussed these matters with Astrid Unverricht.

Mr Volz, the three break bulk cargo products known as Rhenus Classic, Fix and Premium, are not new to the company. Why did you decide to relaunch them last year?
Tobias Volz: You’re perfectly right in saying that we’d already developed the products a few years ago. The goal of the relaunch was to try to remarket the freight products in order to raise the awareness of our services within the market and inform our customers in a better way that we can offer them solutions relevant to their needs. Experience teaches us that clients will only actually book services if they’re aware that our products go beyond a standard solution.

What does the relaunch entail exactly, Ms Bonet?
Lola Bonet: Our major focus is on having more targeted communications and appealing to customers in a better way. We initially summarised the benefits of our break bulk products. It was important for us to make the Rhenus Classic, Fix and Premium products more comprehensible to our clients. However, that only works if our sales employees have been trained to explain the specific services and benefits to customers and potential new clients. We’d like to offer each customer several options and not just fob them off with a standard solution!


Rhenus Road Freight: on a European footing
Rhenus Road Freight has an extensive break bulk cargo network all over Europe. This enables rapid and cost-efficient transport services for door-to-door deliveries. Rhenus Road Freight transports about five million consignments to its customers within Europe by means of its break bulk transport services every year; shipments can weigh up to 2,500 kilos.

Please tell us more about the benefits of Rhenus Fix, Rhenus Classic and Rhenus Premium!
Tobias Volz: Rhenus Classic is our low-cost option for transporting break bulk items. Rhenus Fix offers the benefits of a fixed delivery date that has been agreed in advance. This may be a specific point in time or a time frame of two hours. Rhenus Premium is particularly suitable for time-sensitive consignments with priority lead times, which cater for customers’ needs. We also offer a specific scheduled delivery by 8 a.m., 10 a.m. or midday in many countries.

Are the break bulk cargo products different from one country to another?
Tobias Volz: Generally speaking, that’s not the case. We do pursue a local approach within Rhenus, but our products do not end at any national frontier. We’ve increasingly standardised our freight products within the Rhenus Group during the last few years. We’ve already established them in 15 European countries now – ranging from Portugal to Spain, Germany, Great Britain and Italy and even in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Europe is our main market for road goods traffic and we want to expand into other markets.

There are specific customs rules in each country. Do customers have to keep track of things themselves when goods cross borders?
Lola Bonet: One of our advantages as a logistics specialist with global operations is that we’re very well informed about the latest customs regulations and requirements in the countries of origin and destination. We not only provide advice, but can handle the complete customs clearance work, if necessary. We’ve particularly had many decades of experience in transporting goods to and from Eastern Europe. We’re also an Authorised Economic Operator and are pursuing a pan-European approach to customs matters

What kind of goods can be transported using the Rhenus Classic, Fix and Premium products?
Tobias Volz: Customers can book the products for standard groupage freight services or even for hazardous goods. Our customers come from a wide variety of sectors like industry, chemicals, retail or automotive. We transport goods weighing up to 2,500 kilos in our break bulk cargo network! It’s very important for us to provide high-quality services and we naturally check them on a regular basis.

Are there any minimum amounts when booking break bulk cargo products?
Lola Bonet: No, as long as the goods are suitable for transport as groupage freight, it’s possible to book the products without any minimum quantities.

Can customers track their consignments in real time too?
Lola Bonet: Of course. Each customer can follow its consignment using our company’s Track-&-Trace platform and check the consignment number on the website. Depending on what’s required and the booking, the customer is also provided with information again before the final delivery.

The break bulk market in Europe is extremely competitive. How does Rhenus Freight Logistics hold its ground?
Tobias Volz: We offer customers several outstanding options with our break bulk cargo products. We’re not only very well networked and have many business sites, but we can handle value-added services like freight insurance and customs clearance too. We also offer complete logistics chains involving different modes of transport within the Rhenus network.



Rhenus Classic

Rhenus Classic: consignments with a standard lead time
Rhenus Classic is the least expensive option for transporting break bulk cargo. Delivery takes place using regular, nationwide, direct services, which transport pallets, cartons and machines


Rhenus Fix

Rhenus Fix: precise daily planning
The delivery is made to the recipient during a set time frame if the Rhenus Fix option is used. In order to plan the time precisely, the consignment can be delivered at a point in time, which is agreed in advance, or within a time frame of two hours.


Rhenus Premium

Rhenus Premium: priority deliveries
Rhenus Premium is the transport service with priority delivery for the consignment. This product is the best choice for time-sensitive shipments in particular. Rhenus also offers deliveries by 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and midday in some countries.

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