The short sea shipping company BG Freight Line was founded in the Netherlands in 1982. It operates a fleet of 15 short sea container ships, which operate from the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam. The BG fleet connects Ireland (Cork, Dublin), Northern Ireland (Belfast) and the east and west coasts of England with the European mainland. While many companies see Brexit as a source of complications, BG Freight Line prefers to think in terms of opportunities. For example, the company’s services present an interesting alternative for many logistic companies that used to transport freight along this route overland, by truck or trailer. Whereas road transport is often hindered by laborious processes like customs clearance and Covid-related health protocols, BG Freight Line can offer its clients a swifter solution via its short sea container services.
‘’We think Routescanner is a fantastic initiative. And we can see it gaining increasing traction within the sector,” says Hans van de Pol, Business Development Manager at BG Freight Line. ‘’Particularly now that more and more parties have joined the platform, we definitely don’t want to be absent in the search results. For example, if a shipper or freight forwarder is examining its options along the route between Munich and Dublin, it would be a missed opportunity if you didn’t show up in the results. We’re a somewhat smaller player in our market, and focus exclusively on the UK and Ireland. Thanks to Routescanner, we can stand out a bit more along these routes.” The company has already received its first queries via the platform. BG Freight Line is currently following up on this interest, and the company expects it will soon be converting these contacts into actual bookings. “These leads concern both a shipper and a freight forwarder. We see this as proof that the platform actually works.”
We think Routescanner is a fantastic initiative. And we can see it gaining increasing traction within the sector
‘’Normally speaking, there’s a range of events and fairs throughout the year, and we tend to have a sizeable presence. But of course, these have all been cancelled due to Covid, which means we have to find new ways to raise our profile.” You can see a development towards ‘doing business digitally’. BG Freight Line is therefore pleased with its constructive collaboration and views the Routescanner platform as a fresh opportunity to also step up its visibility in the digital arena.
Digitalisation is creating new opportunities and has resulted in greater efficiency within the chain. While in the past, this trend mainly took shape at the operational end, nowadays digitalisation also allows us to organise our work processes more effectively in the office. BG Freight Line has also observed the changes being wrought by digitalisation. “We see how digitalisation is creating greater transparency in the market – which is a positive development in our view. You could compare it to the traditional high street, for example, where multiple shops offer similar product ranges. We think they can actually strengthen each other in this way, because the customer knows where to find what he’s looking for, enabling him to make better choices. And finally, I believe that our joint offer will also cause overall volumes to go up, making this a win-win-win situation.”
Within the platform, Routescanner encourages users to select more sustainable routes. We do this by offering the co2 filter option within the application. BG Freight Line also believes in offering clients ‘the choice of a greener route’. “For example, wherever possible we try to organise pickup and delivery via rail or inland shipping. We offer these routes in partnership with a number of inland operators like, for example, Hannibal, ERS or BCTN. What’s more, this strengthens our ties with other operators: together, we experience the benefits of participating in Routescanner – and in the process can offer our clients the most efficient route.”
“We are happy to see how our platform is being adopted by the sector – and the growing relevance that comes with this,” says Steven Jan van Hengel, Director Commercial & Business Development Routescanner. “Routescanner is built with and for the market. It is basically an ecosystem: operators showcase their network via different ports, and shippers and freight forwarders are able to find and compare the best routes. One can’t exist without the other.”
Operators showcase their network via different ports, and shippers and freight forwarders are able to find and compare the best routes. One can’t exist without the other
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