Your Supply Chain - transparent and cost-optimized

Interview with Srecko Mühling, Chief Commercial Officer and Nebojsa Kolakovic, Chief Operations Officer of 4PL Central Station Deutschland GmbH

4PL Central Station Transport Management

Transportation and logistics processes have become increasingly complex in recent years. It is therefore important for companies that move large quantities of goods to have a reliable coordinating partner by their side, but also to have a current cost overview. The 4PL Group, headquartered in Switzerland, is a leading provider of logistics services throughout Europe. The German subsidiary is also on a successful path in Germany with the 4PL business model.

"4PL stands for Fourth Party Logistics," explains Chief Operations Officer Nebojsa Kolakovic. "Our business model is not that of a typical freight forwarder. We do not have our own assets, no own equipment, but operate from the shipper's perspective. Essentially, we support our customer's Supply-Chain department, with an end-to-end approach, from Demand Planning and Demand Forecasting to purchasing, sourcing, and selecting suppliers."

Proactive Consulting

While the company initially focused heavily on the topic of Transportation Management Systems (TMS), over the years, the service portfolio has expanded to include contract logistics. However, managing transportation, which is covered inbound and outbound with a self-developed system, remains the core of the business.

Srecko Mühling, Chief Commercial Officer
Srecko Mühling focuses on best performance through IT and know-how
Nebojsa Kolakovic, Chief Operations Officer
Nebojsa Kolakovic is convinced: Only data transparency enables optimization

"Since Corona, supply chain disruption has become an important topic for our customers," says Chief Commercial Officer and Director Srecko Mühling. "Being dependent on a single main supplier in China does not make for a resilient position. We proactively advise our customers in this area. Since we have structured our portfolio modularly up to the after-sales section, our customers can adapt our offerings individually to their current issues and needs."

Since 4PL Central Station collaborates with all major forwarding companies worldwide, customers benefit from very good purchasing conditions, both in terms of freight services and in operational handling via the software.

Transparency and Transaction-Based Billing

"Above all, the tangible benefits of our solution are important for our customers," says Srecko Mühling. "With our software, we create visibility and automatically map the entire freight ordering process, so that billing is based only on what has actually been transported. This transaction-based billing brings significant savings potential. Most of our customers do not have their own TMS, so from the loading ramp where the goods are loaded, a blind spot occurs in terms of costs. The variabilization of fixed costs is always an interesting area for a company. Our system networks with other systems, allowing our customers integrated access to all data. This also allows for the evaluation of KPIs, for example, performance tracking. It creates a solid basis for strategic management decisions and optimizations. Transport flows and goods streams can be optimized as part of a continuous improvement process. Only those who have an overview of the data can optimize."

4PL Central Station various stages of logistics services
An overview of the various stages of logistics services

A Central Point of Contact

In addition to the high level of transparency and the transaction-based billing, customers appreciate 4PL Central Station as a Single Point of Contact, especially large companies that work with several carriers. "Our customers have their own Key Account Manager as a point of contact with us," says Nebojsa Kolakovic. "We take over the coordination for them – this is a real added value in the collaboration – and we reduce the complexity of the business for them. The greater the complexity, the greater the added value of our solution. But our model is also highly interesting for smaller companies."

Development and Growth

Srecko Mühling and Nebojsa Kolakovic look forward confidently and will consistently continue on the company's path. "We want to grow disproportionately," explains Srecko Mühling.

4PL Central Station Business Intelligence
Through a solid database, the company's clients can identify KPIs, make optimizations, and make strategic decisions

"AI and sustainability will be driving themes. These must be integrated along the entire supply chain. Currently, for example, we have developed our own demand forecasting tool with the help of AI. However, our biggest asset remains our employees and their know-how. Therefore, sourcing and employer branding will also be high on our agenda for the future. Meanwhile, there are numerous digital freight forwarders. But they lack either the operational know-how or they are specialized. Our roots are in the operational business. This means we have real experts for all topics, such as air freight."

"Also a topic is the expansion of our end-to-end approach, also through partnerships and acquisitions," adds Nebojsa Kolakovic. "Of course, there will always be core themes in the supply chain. The TMS remains the centerpiece; we will continuously develop this so that we always have a genuine USP compared to the competition."

In the context of its growth plans, 4PL Central Station will also increase communication in the future. "We engage in communication at trade fairs, such as LogiMAT, with industry associations and will also strengthen our online marketing," says Srecko Mühling. "We are optimistic that with a clear focus on development and growth as well as with the excellence of our employees and our IT, we will achieve our growth targets. Since our model is not tied to specific industries, we see promising growth perspectives in various areas."