Odyssey Logistics & Technology was founded in America in 2002. The European subsidiary was set up in Antwerp in January 2008 to provide a local service for the company’s European clients. A team of 32 employees works at the Antwerp office, speaking a total of twelve different languages between them. “We provide managed logistics services for clients in the chemical industry,” explains Managing Director of OL&T Europe Toine Matthijssen. “We are positioned at the end of the supply chain. Our work begins when the product has been manufactured and is ready for delivery to customers. As the final link in the chain, our service is the one the customer experiences first hand and must therefore be first class.”
This is where OL&T’s logistics platform makes all the difference. The Odyssey global Logistics Platform supports all modes of transport and global shipping scenarios in a secure, hosted environment. “Through the platform we provide comprehensive planning, execution, management and analysis across a scalable data management and integration base,” outlines Mr. Matthijssen.
“We integrate with our clients’ own ERP software for greater interactivity, control and visibility.” Most of OL&T’s clients come from the chemical industry while most of its staff come from a chemical background, thereby ensuring a profound understanding of the client’s business. Performance indicators are agreed including targets to be met by OL&T’s services and by the suppliers involved. A monthly or quarterly review meeting ensures that these targets are being discussed and met. “An increasingly important component in our work involves reducing our client’s CO2 emissions,” says Mr. Matthijssen. “We are looking into software that helps prevent empty loads and increase efficiency.”
One of OL&T’s key advantages is its independence. With no logistics assets of its own, the company is free to choose which partners to work with. It also offers complete transparency regarding fees. Despite its obvious advantages, the European subsidiary is having to look further afield for new business. “The European market is stagnating,” says Mr. Matthijssen. “For a company that conducts 80% of its business within Europe, this does not bode well for the future. As a result we are looking for other opportunities.
At present we see growth opportunities through new client acquisition as well as through the expansion of our service portfolio. Our expertise currently focuses on network configuration and supplier selection. In the future we will become more involved in the areas of supply chain optimization and inventory management.”