Caring for the customer

The company known as Visbeen may have evolved considerably over the course of its 90-plus year history, but one thing that has remained the same has been its focus on releasing its customers from what it calls their ‘transport burdens’. Having initially begun life as a business providing local transport options between farms, the company has since developed into a reliable and reputable carrier of both fresh and frozen products within the Benelux, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Scandinavia, Swiss, Portugal, Poland and Russia.

“It was my grandfather who started the company back in 1925,” explains Visbeen Managing Director, Adrie Visbeen. “In the 1960s the scope of the business increased into international transport, beginning with Germany and France, before later turning to the UK where we developed groupage services supplying fruit and vegetables, and later flowers and plants. In 1998, a separate company called Dailyfresh Logistics was formed by competitors, taking ownership of all fresh distribution lines, and it remains a very successful business owned by Visbeen and Post-Kogeko. Then, in 2011, we as Visbeen commenced activities within the frozen market, launching in partnership with a leading European customer.”

Today, Visbeen’s customers can be split across two different market segments. The first of these involves the daily distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables under the Dailyfresh Logistics label, many loaded from Holland and Belgium to UK retailers, catering companies, fruit and vegetable traders. The other segment revolves around frozen distribution all over Europe to producers of foodstuffs. Here the company developed its Cross Chain Control Centre solution for one of its biggest customers to fully co-ordinate and direct their supply chain. This involves consolidating, planning and managing logistical flows as well as creating transparent information flows, financial flows and data management, and this has been adopted by a number of other customers.

At Visbeen’s disposal is an enviable fleet of vehicles, including 110 own trucks, 350 reefer, 60 huckepack trailers (owned, leased and hired from several suppliers) and 110 reefer containers, each measuring 45 feet in length and pallet wide. Visbeen has eight long 25 metre reefer lorries that can carry 50 block pallets. Also Visbeen use several local subcontractors to deliver the goods in their own country. In addition to this, the company also boasts a strategically important cross dock facility in Hoek van Holland operated by DailyFresh Logistics which is only one mile from the Ferry to the UK. Each truck and trailer comes equipped with GPS, temperature controls and door lock trackers, and its team of highly trained drivers are supported by an operational department that is on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Due to the fact that Visbeen believes in thinking differently and sustainably it is continually looking at innovative logistic concepts and investing in economical equipment and facilities. “At least 50 per cent of all our movements are now in the process of going intermodal,” Adrie reveals. “Our unique huckepack P400 reefer trailers, with their internal height of 2.7 metres and width of 2.5 metres, have a larger load capacity and dimensions that correspond with standard trailers found on European roads. As a result, they can be lifted on to, and transported by, rail and over water. This capability helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, unburdens the road network and increases our own transport flexibility. Further to this, more than 75 per cent of our trucks are already equipped with Euro6 compatible engines, with a number also equipped with gensets powered by the trucks engine to generate clean 380 volts for use on our 45 feet Visbeen-Coolboxx reefer containers.”

This socially responsible approach can also be found in a number of the projects that the company undertakes. For example, Visbeen is a partner in the COOLRAIL project, working alongside several European retailers, importers, exporters and a major packaging supplier. The project itself involves a fast rail connection between Valencia and Rotterdam, which will run twice a week transporting 45-feet diesel electric reefer containers. The transit time for the rail link will be approximately two days and will result in a 70 per cent reduction in emissions compared to what would have been created by transportation by road.

In March 2017, the company announced the further strengthening of its fleet with the purchase of 50 new refrigerator/freezer trailers. “This delivery of new trailers will ensure that we meet the ever-growing levels of demand from our customers,” Adrie says. “These trailers are equipped with the newest refrigerators from major suppliers. In addition, these trailers increase the number of dual-temp trailers we have in order to better control temperatures for our groupage services and are also equipped with parking sensors, engine protection, special ferry bumpers and secure bars inside to avoid damages.”

Over the next 12 months the company’s goal is to expand within its core markets in order to achieve steady growth, all while remaining true to its slogan, ‘because we care’. In the longer term, Adrie plans to expand Visbeen’s multimodal European network with new connections. “We are going to work towards offering our customers transport solutions in a sustainable way so as to help them achieve reduce their emissions,” he concludes. “Furthermore, we will look to establish partnerships with local specialists in all the European countries in which we are present, including the UK, as we continue to look at reducing the number of miles we transport by road rather than through intermodal means.”

Specialist carriers of fresh and frozen products
Developers of the Cross Chain Control Centre
Large fleet of intermodal trailers, trucks and containers