Ten hours. Three DHL terminals. One truck brand.
The big deal between Linde and DHL Freight Sweden is completed. The trucks are delivered, and now it is living up to proof in a world that consists of goods in and goods out in a flow that never leave. We went on a ten hours long reporting trip to the DHL terminals in Rosersberg, Eskilstuna and Örebro to check the progress of the worldwide logistics company's new truck fleet.
In the entrance to the office building at DHL Freight in Rosersberg outside Stockholm the company motto speaks clearly:
"Neatness. Order. Responsibility. Style."
Go ahead, this is what applies to employees and management in contacts with customers, suppliers and the world in general. If it is the the case of trucks should be unsaid. But if it does, Linde is in the right place. A good truck makes it easy to stay organized, and to take responsibility for promises and time plans. And anyone who drives a Linde will always do it with style.
Sandra Hesslin, Business Analyst, receive us and show around in the terminal. It is late morning and fairly quiet.
– Night shipments coming in at eight o'clock the latest and are reloaded into other cars going out at ten o'clock. Then comes the incoming goods again at 3 pm to be shipped out around eight in the evening, she says while a Linde truck enters the terminal's special battery replacement area.
– It's always a challenge to get battery replacements to operate smoothly. But it does here, thanks to a special solution that is both secure and makes us not lose time, explains Sandra.
Time is important for all logistics companies. Inbound and outbound deliveries must run smoothly to the letter, otherwise someone in the supply chain is suffering.
– The clock is our number one enemy, says Magnus Andersson, site manager at DHL Freight in Eskilstuna. At the same time, it motivates us to constantly be on our toes and do an effective job.
In that job, the truck is an important factor. A work tool that must work all the time. As with any other gear the driver get used to his truck. They become one. How will it be then, when three forklift brands only gets one?
– We prepared the transition in the best way. On our Monday meetings we informed everyone about the process of switching to a single truck brand. Linde supplied us with some demotrucks for the drivers to test in the terminal. They then gave their views on what is important to us.
And it was?
– For example, the speed should be as fast as with other trucks. And it would go to mount the truck with a handle afterwards, because many drivers have driven with a handle bar for many years and was accustomed to it. Most of it is about to be fixed, Linde has responded well to our requests.
Staffan Larsson, site manager at DHL Freight in Örebro, also find the transition to a single supplier has gone smoothly:
– Many are accustomed to Linde earlier. We have had a close dialogue with Linde sellers and rented a pallet truck at the end of last year to jump the gun. There are some features that are different, for example, higher lift heights and the asymmetrical grip. There is also another driving position with Linde´s special driving platform. That one, too, the drivers had the opportunity to test.
Sandra Magnus and Stefan agree on the importance of efficient service. Linde has service technicians in place at all three terminals. Janne Åkerlund is responsible for DHL in Rosersberg.
– Good service has great value, it may even be decisive at procurement. Although the handling in a terminal is quite simple, it is always exposed to the pressure of time. If we are in place we can work closely with the customer and shorten lead times.
– If service doesn’t work it is verging on disaster. We want and need to be prioritized from Linde's side. And we are; their technician with us, Daniel, is right on the spot if something should happen.
Outside the Örebro terminal darkness starts to descend. A day that started in Rosersberg and continued in Eskilstuna is coming to an end. But inside the terminals it will never end. At one side of the terminal yellow signs shows where the incoming goods comes from. The red signs on the opposite side shows the destination of the outgoing shipments. The drivers work in their trucks. Undeterred. The goods must be delivered.
When we go says Per-Ivar Berglund, head of outgoing goods in Örebro:
– The drivers are so involved in their trucks. Some trucks work their shifts with its own special driver. It's as close to a personal truck you can get. And now, when we have new trucks, for the truck drivers it's like driving a new car.
DHL and Linde in a unique big deal After a procurement in the spring of 2014 DHL Freights Sweden AB decided to use Linde Material Handling Sweden as a single supplier of forklifts to its 22 sites.
• DHL Freight Sweden AB has sites from Luleå in the north to Malmö in the south. Previously, the company had three forklift suppliers. But after the contract last spring, it is now just one.
• Linde delivers mostly new trucks, but also "Approved trucks", that is factory refurbished used Linde trucks. The fleet consists of a limited number of standard models that are selected based on DHL's business.
• The models involved are elmotviktare 1.6 and 2 tons for loading and unloading and double stacker L12 LSP with protected platform and driver protection.
Terminal area: 9 000 sqm (incl. office)
Handlinf: 13 900 packages/day
Truck fleet: 3 counterbalance forklifts, 1 diesel truck, 16 pallet trucks
Terminal area: 6 500 sqm
Handling: 8 500 packages/day
Truck fleet: 4 counterbalance forklift (including one diesel truck), 15 pallet trucks
Terminal area: 8 600 sqm
Handling: 8 500 packages/day
Linde forklifts at DHL
Linde forklifts at DHL