“We create novelties every day,” Marketing Director Jindřich Karas confirms. “The current substantial ones include the renewal of our fleet with regard to the standard. During the past twelve months, we have renewed about 70 tractors E 5 classification, which means that more than 50% of our 300 vehicles meet the standard. We are also planning to open a new warehouse in Ostrava in the Czech Republic to bring logistics solutions to several of our customers. Recently we have applied our first outsourcing solution in Poland.”
Offering services based on the individual needs of their customers is the speciality of ESA. “Each service is different,” Mr. Karas explains. “It is very important for ESA to adapt the character and activities of the services provided to the customer’s requirements. We aim for efficiency and mutual savings while maintaining or even improving quality standards. It is high pro-customer orientation that makes us different from other companies in our field.”
Transport, warehousing and outsourcing solutions as well as distribution logistics, logistics counselling and customs clearance are part of the services ESA offers. The Slovak subsidiary even deals with the sale of fast-moving consumer goods. But the flagship of the company is GREEN 3PL. “GREEN means that all handling, warehousing and transport of goods are as environmentally friendly as possible,” Mr. Karas explains. “3PL defines the level and range of services. It is a logistics concept for integrated logistics service, entrusting transport, warehousing, IT solutions and other services to the logistics provider. The prerequisite is a closer relationship between the customer and 3PL provider. Our company focuses on large clients who enable us to present them integrated logistics services as well as individual parts. However, the portfolio of our customers also includes medium-sized businesses with a national scope of activity.”
Of the 107.9 million EUR turnover, 30% is made with FMCG, 20% with the building industry, 20% with retail and 30% in other businesses. With 14 operation centres, 16 crossdocks, offices in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, plus 5 warehouses with an overall capacity of more than 48,000 m², the company is able to accommodate the needs of all its customers.
“The main job of our 980 employees is to think about the clients’ interests,” Mr. Karas emphasises. “And if they fulfil the clients’needs, ESA will fulfil theirs.” The company policy of treating all resources and all people involved with respect has proven to be very successful in the last 20 years. The company established in 1992 is one of the ten largest providers of logistics services in the Czech Republic.
ESA is steadily developing its activities in Poland and Hungary, and has built up a strong position in Slovakia. On a global level, ESA is part of the Hitachis Transport System Group. “That is quite a significant player on the global market,” Mr. Karas points out. “The incorporation of the company in 2007 was also interlinked to a 51% ownership entry of HTS into ESA. It makes great sense to us since it allows us to serve international clients in our field of interest as well as to provide global logistic services to clients of a regional significance.” The Czech market is ideal for a logistic company due to its strategic position in the centre of Europe.
“However, the current situation is not clear,” Mr. Karas admits. “Companies are more cautious in their long-term planning, so they resist large investments in logistics and prefer outsourcing, which provides them with greater flexibility, and that is an opportunity for advanced logistics companies likes ours. Currently we are negatively affected by the decrease in demand in the building industry as well as by the overall decrease in household consumption. Logistics companies in the Czech Republic considered 2011 the year of ‘alignment of prices’ for logistics services. In 2012 we expected the return of market prices, but the situation is improving very slowly. Our main objective now is further development of our services and expansion to the Balkan States. Together with HTS, we are building ‘Smart Logistics,’ using synergies of serving clients in the same segment in order to offer more efficient solutions. But this is about more than just our company. We hope that the European economy will stabilise to such a level that it starts creating conditions for the implementation of a pro-growth strategy.”