Based at Menlo’s European headquarters in Amsterdam and operated by a specially recruited team of experienced transport managers, Menlo Freight Brokerage has undergone a year of preparation and trial operation and is now being launched across Europe.
“Menlo has operated a successful and growing freight brokerage operation in North America since 2007 under our sister company, Con-way Multimodal,” noted Tony Gunn, managing director for Menlo Logistics in Europe. “We have adopted best practices from our North American colleagues and combined those with our Lean tools and a team of European transport specialists to create a unique service offering for European shippers.”
New Service Offering Gaining Market Traction Indeed the nascent European Freight Brokerage operation, at the end of its trial period is now managing more than 500 shipments per month across all types of freight and modes of transport including: truckload, parcel, groupage, full container and LCL, air freight and ocean shipments. The majority of the volume has been intra-Europe in extent but Asian and North American destined cargo has also been handled.
Gunn added that Menlo expects a rapid growth in volumes in the future but for the modal mix to be in line with that experienced so far. “Key to our service offering is a multimodal, consultative approach to our customers’ transport needs. We will advise the optimum routing and modal mix for any given European shipment profile. Our emphasis is on value, of which price is a component but not everything, which is consistent with the value-add approach Menlo takes with all of our supply chain offerings. This product is highly complementary to our portfolio and adds a capability which our customers have been inquiring for some time.
Europe Launch Complements Menlo’s Global Transportation Management Strategy
The launch Menlo Freight Brokerage in Europe also is in line with Menlo’s larger global strategy of building consistent, reliable freight brokerage capabilities across and within the world’s geographies. Explains Tommy Barnes, president of Menlo’s U.S.-based brokerage operation Con-way Multimodal, “Geographic diversification is a key part of our strategic vision. By extending our brokerage services into Europe, we can tap a new market and support existing Menlo operations and customers in securing flexible, cost-efficient transportation capacity for customers. Through our combined efforts, we should be able to further reduce costs and take additional waste out of customers’ supply chains. Our Europe expansion supports Menlo’s overall business growth goals and provides the opportunity to extend our Lean process improvement capabilities into a critical new area for our clients.”
For its European transportation management system, Menlo Freight Brokerage uses CargoWise, which is a proven technology platform and has solid daily transportation management functionality for both domestic and international shipments. Menlo’s Europe brokerage team also liaises with its U.S. brokerage counterparts, which allows for synergies and the development of collaborative service solutions for global customers with brokerage needs in both the U.S. and Europe.
Dedicated European Brokerage Operation Established in Amsterdam The European freight brokerage operation is based at Menlo’s offices in Amsterdam and is headed up by Richard de Ritter, who has eight years with Menlo managing transport solutions for customers of the Company’s logistics services. His career stretches about 20 years working for blue-chip supply chain service providers and container transport operators.
A core value of the company’s operation is a commitment to waste reduction and the philosophy of pruning processes were savings in both time and money can be identified. Menlo sees this aspect as a key differentiator of its service when compared with brokers that merely quote a rate and find a truck. Concludes Menlo Europe’s Gunn, "The transport element of the supply chain is often overlooked as a link to be managed with careful analysis of cost versus performance and the necessary amount of visibility. We are bringing a higher degree of management standards to a process that many in the market see as simple trucking.”