Figures sometimes speak for themselves. 3,500 employees, deliveries of 102.2 million parcels per year and more than 450,000 parcels per day – Chronopost is the leading express transport service company in France in a highly competitivemarket. Due to globalization and the rapid growth in online retail, parcels delivery services play a key role in supply management and logistics.
Market-oriented reforms have been undertaken in many countries. Public postal operators have been corporatized or privatized and the scope of postal monopolies reduced. France has also undergone fundamental market changes.
Liberalization has come in stages and the French government-owned postal service La Poste has to face competition. However, La Poste still dominates the market for letter mail. Chronopost is a subsidiary of GeoPost, the number 1 in France and the number 2 in Europe in the delivery of parcels for both businesses and individuals. It combines the Express subsidiaries of La Poste Group.
The company GeoPost serves more than 230 countries on behalf of 300,000 customers in the world. In 2013, it grew by 9.1% and delivered 814 million parcels worldwide.
Chronopost benefits from GeoPost’s efficient road transport network. It has been operating in the market for 30 years now. “The first 20 years, we were a generalist offering different kinds of parcels services,” explains CEO Martin Piechowski. “Over the last ten years, our service range has become more and more specialized. Today, we offer specialized solutions and services to different industries and market fields.”
B2B activities in particular have grown significantly and are still highly in demand. From 2005 to 2008, there have been huge investments. More than 200 million EUR was invested in structural processes, hubs, machinery and distribution centers. Investments which have long been paid off.
Today, Chronopost uses state-of-the-art technologies and even doubled its volume from 2007 to 2011. “We are one of the leading players in the area of courier services for smaller parcels,” points our Mr. Piechowski. “Customers appreciate the vast range of special services. We work a lot for health companies and if necessary we deliver before eight o’clock in the morning. Industrial companies, electronic and telecommunication companies, banks, insurance companies and e-commerce companies rely on our competence.”
Innovation has always been a key characteristic of Chronopost and led to customer-oriented solutions such as Chronoviti. “With Chronoviti we developed a product especially for wineries,” says Mr. Piechowski. “It is a highly competitive service making wine deliveries in France and abroad extremely easy. Customers get a text message with all the necessary information about delivery times. If so desired, they can even change the destination or decide to leave the goods at other places to be picked-up. We also introduced certain collecting points which customers appreciate a lot. Today, a quarter of all deliveries can be picked up at these points. This way, we continuously adapt to everchanging market needs.”
Chronopost works mainly for B2B customers. One quarter is made up of B2C clients, where online orders need to be delivered quickly and reliably. One quarter of Chronopost’s turnover comes from exports.
“In Europe, we cooperate with DPD, which is also part of GeoPost group. Furthermore, we have selected local partners around the world. We see a lot of growth potential in this business segment and will prepare ourselves to face this challenge.” However, there are more challenges to face. “Our aim is to further strengthen our leading market position,” stresses Mr. Piechowski. “Currently, we are working on a strategy for the next three to six years which clearly focuses on the customer and his individual needs. As customer satisfaction is essential for us and we want to know what really matters to our customers we conduct surveys and act on the information we get. We want to be the most popular and preferred express service.”
But there are other important goals on Chronopost’s agenda. “As we take our environmental responsibility seriously, we are working on many different projects to reduce CO2 emissions,” says Mr. “Piechowski. “I am thinking for example of ‘Total Zero’, which ensures that every parcel is sent carbon neutral and at no extra cost to the customer. Besides, we partly work with electric vehicles.”
‘Total Zero’ is only one of many aspects which sets Chronopost ahead of the market. The company is part of a strong international network, is innovative, offers reliability and high quality services and banks on a stable pool of committed employees.
“We have a lot of respect for our employees and are aware that we owe our success to them,” sums up Mr. Piechowski. “We will not forget this in terms of future strategies.”