Jerome Chevrolet
Country Manager
GEFCO

12 August 2019

With a 14-year presence on the local market, GEFCO Romania serves more than 300 customers annually and is one of the main players in the Romanian logistics industry.

 

Can you briefly introduce GEFCO’s presence in Romania and explain the relevance of the energy sector for your portfolio?

GEFCO entered the Romanian market nearly 15 years ago, essentially starting from scratch and have managed to became one of the top players on the logistics market. Our portfolio here includes a few hundreds industrial customers for whom we provide complex logistical services. We have fostered strong, long term relationships with them - in fact, some of our customers have been with us from our very early days in the market. We credit trust and proximity for this successful outcome.

The energy sector represents one of our strategic directions for development, in Romania as well as globally. It is a sector that is developing very fast and we are keen to be a part of this story. The core of our customers from energy segment of industry is made up made up of oil & gas and renewable energy sectors, and we assist them in transporting good across Europe, as well as to and from China and the United States. We have just recently organized a bulk transportation of cargo from Constanta to Turkmenistan, a very complex operation because it involved using the Danube river and crossing the Caspian Sea.

 

As a global company, what strategic role does Romania play in the company’s wider operations?

We were not sure what to expect when we first entered the market, but our experience turned out to be a very positive one and it is safe to say that the country occupies a strategic role in the organization presently. We have set up a subsidiary of a significant size here and we find that there are many competitive advantages that the country holds, starting with its location - Romania is situated by the Black Sea, between Eastern and Western Europe, giving us plenty of opportunities in terms of transit all over the continent. Further to this, the country’s industry is well developed especially if we look at the automotive sector (there are two major cars manufacturers located here) and we believe that there is still a great deal of space left for development.

 

How would you assess the state of infrastructure in Romania and the ease of customs operations?

From a logistics point of view infrastructure is important of course, but it is an even playing field for everybody involved. Any problems I can think of are problems that our competitors are facing as well, so securing a top spot will depend on other elements.

There is certainly room for improvement when it comes to highways and railway, we welcome any plans to upgrade them, but we understand that it is not an easy problem to fix. You cannot replace the infrastructure each year and deterioration is bound to take place. Regarding customs operations we have not come across any problems, we have experts handling the procedures and they are cooperating very well with the authorities.

 

Modern technologies are reshaping industries and services alike. What can you tell us about the innovations in the transport and logistics sector?

Innovation is at the very center of everything that our company is doing for a few different reasons. For instance we expect big changes to take place in the way people are consuming goods and services, and we do not want to simply follow the trends rather we want to anticipate and play an active role in these changes. It is why we invest our efforts and money into IoT solutions, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and so on. We are using drones in our warehouses and also connected glasses, to measure the volumes of goods.

Recently GEFCO Group has launched an Innovation Factory program, within which employees are encouraged to submit ideas - the most interesting ones are invited to be presented in front of our board and are helped by experts to turn them into real projects. We have also set in place the “Innovation Watch and Business Intelligence” team - through this we keep and eye on what is happening in various markets around the world and try to anticipate changes that will take place. We know for example that electric cars are gaining more and more ground, and that more and more wide usage of autonomous cars and truck cars are not far from becoming a reality. This type of change will directly impact our business, so having this knowledge gives us an important competitive advantage.

 

What is vision for GEFCO in Romania going forward?

We are presently one of the leading logistics companies in Romania, and the top player when it comes to the automotive sector.  The plan is to maintain this position and also extend our portfolio to other industries, with a specific focus on energy. We already have in place all the necessary capabilities to offer complex solutions, fully adapted to the industry’s needs.

 

 

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