In safe hands
The last two years have seen Gondrand Traffic upscale significantly. It was in 2018 that the end-to-end supply chain solutions provider was acquired by the Nordic Transport Group (NTG). Following the move, the almost-century old company benefitted from NTG’s expertise specifically in the road, air, and ocean forwarding areas.
“Road and Air & Ocean had been two of our three main business units since 2010, before they became NTG-forwarding entities in January 2019,” clarifies Roger van der Groen, Managing Director of Gondrand Traffic. “Due to the historic significance of the third division, which is Logistics and covers warehousing and distribution, it was decided that it should continue to serve under the Gondrand Traffic name, whilst still being a member of NTG.”
The company’s corporate values – safety, customer focus, respect, and responsibility – are viewed by Roger as Gondrand Traffic’s biggest strengths. In his opinion, listening to customers is key not only to providing a sustainable service, but also to making a tangible difference when they are in need. It goes without saying that achieving consistency in service quality is another priority for the business.
Roger comments: “Only by providing a continually high-level service and expertise, can we maintain a good relationship with our customers, some of which have been with us for more than 25 years. However, as we specialise in dealing with chemicals and hazardous goods, together with a high standard of quality, we have to be able to provide flexibility in what we do.
“Actually, it is often the case that customers have non-hazardous goods next to the hazardous ones in their range, but our complete solution allows us to provide storage of both types,” he continues. “We have large-scale temperature-controlled storage compartments and a temperature-controlled staging area, while all other compartments also offer the option of floor heating.”
Due to its unique warehouse design and strict procedures, which enable it to not just segregate hazardous goods, but also to provide dedicated/single-compartment storage solutions, Gondrand Traffic has become a partner of choice for the food industry, too. As reported by Roger, the company is the European Distribution Centre (EDC) for a global beverage company, with part of the service including the provision of a frozen storage solution in combination with a controlled thawing process. Optional services, such as dry-ice and temperature monitored shipments (also online) are also in place.
It is not a surprise that Gondrand Traffic has been chosen as a central storage partner by the client in question. The bonded warehouse’s strategic location in the middle of the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam makes it a sought-after logistics provider. Roger adds: “It is one of our biggest advantages that we have a direct connection to the European hinterland via a number of different transport options. I believe that such a proposition is attractive particularly to UK companies that may be considering to move their European central stock to the mainland.”
For 23 years, Gondrand Traffic had been using a site in Moerdijk (in the south of the Netherlands) for the storage of packaged chemicals. As regulations were getting tighter, however, the company decided to build a completely new site, designed to comply with all the relevant industry and government directives. The 17,500-square metre warehouse opened in Q3 2018 and was built entirely in concrete, due to the material’s inherent fire resistance.
“It has seven storage and three staging compartments. One of each is equipped with an ESFR sprinkler system, while all others feature CO2 distinguishing systems,” Roger points out. “Furthermore, each compartment is equipped with LEL detection, air humidity measuring, and automatic high-capacity ventilation systems. Together with this, one of the storage compartments was split into four temperature-controlled units (5-12 degrees Celsius) and one central temperature-controlled staging area in front. All other compartments have floor heating (from frost-free five-plus degrees Celsius to up to 25 degrees ambient storage temperatures).
“Less than two years after we completed the warehouse, we acquired another plot of land adjacent to it with a view to extend the facility as soon as possible. Spanning 22,000 square metres, the plot is even larger than the unit itself,” Roger announces. “By having it at our disposal, we are able to start building a dedicated design for a new larger customer or provide extra space to our existing clients to accommodate their future growth.”
Alongside the expansion of its warehouse, Gondrand Traffic will be looking to obtain GDP and ISO 22000 certifications and renewing its SQAS registration throughout 2020, having already been certified to the ISO 9001 and 14001 standards, and customs AEO registration. Security wise, the building is TAPA 2 prepared. In addition, the company is working tirelessly to enable new pharmaceutical, food, and chemical solutions. “A focus area for us will be to develop a conceptual and procedural safe solution for the storage of li-ion batteries,” Roger reveals. “This is an industry-wide challenge, but we are currently in talks with the governmental institutions that are responsible for the creation of the new 2020 storage legislation.
“As regards our long-term ambitions, we are pleased to see a very clear trend that customers are increasingly asking for a full supply chain solution. They insist on focusing on their internal processes and, therefore, prefer not to split their supply chain among multiple players, which they have to manage themselves,” Roger concludes. “Such a demand plays to our strengths and we are confident that we are in a good position to continue to grow. Once the new part of the warehouse is operational, we will have a greater capacity to serve our clients. Meanwhile, we will be working on creating additional infra solutions to expand our customer base and service portfolio.”
End-to-end supply chain solutions provider
Specialises in chemical warehousing, distribution, and forwarding
Recently opened a new warehouse and is shortly building an extension to it