Tech company with smart logistic solutions

  3 December 2020  |    Interview

Processing e-commerce goods from Asia, the US or elsewhere in the world, efficiently and digitally – that’s what ViaEurope is all about. Commercial director Martijn Schneider considers the company to be more of a tech business than a traditional logistics firm. For ViaEurope, Schiphol Logistics Park is like a community. ‘Many of our partners are located in the immediate area.’

ViaEurope’s location at Schiphol Logistics Park was a strategic choice, says Martijn Schneider, who is responsible for sales and business development at the company. More than 1,000 businesses from Asia, the US and elsewhere in the world have chosen the Netherlands as the location from which their goods are distributed throughout Europe. From Schiphol, all of Europe’s economic and industrial centres can be reached within a day, and in the Netherlands, the IT infrastructure offers endless opportunities, also for the logistics sector. ‘In addition to the fact that we are located in a new building with our physical e-hub, the digitised warehouse, it’s also crucial for us that we are next to the airport. Hundreds of shipments come in every day that need to be picked up by the handling agents. We also act as a digital hub because we have a direct data connection with all handlers and the flight information for Schiphol, which means we can guarantee fast and efficient processing – a must when it comes to e-commerce.’

Smart logistic solutions
ViaEurope was founded in 2015 to digitise and improve the flow of goods – mainly e-commerce from Asia, but also including the USA and other places, including customs declarations. The headquarters is located at Schiphol and there are also offices in Berlin, Liege in Belgium, and Shenzhen in China. Alongside other responsibilities, Schneider manages the sales team in Shenzhen, ViaEurope’s most important market. ‘ViaEurope is not a traditional logistics company. It’s a tech company that offers smart logistics solutions. It’s primarily focussed on the customs clearance, handling and distribution of e-commerce shipments to Europe from China, the USA and other places.’

These days, it’s all about data, and ViaEurope has developed its own portal, which can process huge amounts of it. For example, the entire process of clearing goods at customs has been digitised. ‘The huge growth of the flow of e-commerce goods created a demand for making the process even more efficient. We’ve now constructed our own sorting and managing system – activities that five years ago, as a start-up, we were still outsourcing. The goal is to digitise every step of the logistics process. This leads to more transparency in the chain, which in turn will lead to higher-quality solutions for our customers.’

Flexible and fast
‘The motto at ViaEurope is that you don’t necessarily need more people to achieve more. Our relatively small permanent team means we can be fast and flexible in our responses to this ever-changing market. And we have a large, flexible temporary workforce, so we can always directly scale if necessary. Because digitisation comes first for us, we use messaging services such as Slack to communicate within our team – it’s an ideal tool for keeping connected with each other and our customers, despite being a remote team. I can definitely imagine extending this in the future to communicate with our partners, too. We want to be involved with all things e-commerce, so we’re always happy to enter new partnerships. But our focus will remain on what we’re good at: digitisation and the smart improvement of the flow of e-commerce goods.’

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