ALUFIX and cargo-partner – all wrapped up!

“Even the best planning will not help if the external logistics are not functioning”

ALUFIX is an Austrian company with over 55 years of experience in the production of packaging materials. Although the company is primarily known for its aluminum foil, its product portfolio also includes paper, plastic and biodegradable materials for home, hospitality and catering as well as disposal solutions for the commercial and public sectors. Find out more about humidity-controlled transports, why Koper is chosen over Hamburg and Rotterdam and whether people really have been cooking at home more. 

cargo-partner has been working with ALUFIX for over 12 years and organizes the entire supply chain for the company’s international transports: everything from sea freight imports from Asia via the port of Koper to deliveries to supermarket chains across Europe. But the company's products are not just simple household goods that can be transported in a box from A to B. For instance, the products made from renewable resources require strict humidity control on longer transport routes. In addition, the company relies on cargo-partner's online tools to track the status of its transports in real time and create detailed KPI reports. We talked to Florian Huemer, company spokesman of ALUFIX, about the impacts of COVID-19 on production, the increasing importance of digitalization and the advantages of alternative transport routes.

 

Interviewer: Manufacturing companies have been faced with many new challenges since the start of the year. To what extent have the impacts of COVID-19 been felt in your business so far, and how have you responded? What is your outlook for the coming months?

Florian Huemer: The sales volumes in certain product segments have changed due to the lockdown and travel restrictions. In our core segment of products for consumers, trends and growth in certain areas can be seen because more cooking and baking is taking place at home. The market for large-scale consumers has been picking up and normalizing again in recent months. With our highly sophisticated planning system, we can respond quickly to changes on the market and compensate for areas of increased consumption and other changes.

What expectations does your company have of its transport partners, and what values make for good collaboration in your view? How have these requirements changed in the past months?

Even the best planning will not help a company at all if the external logistics are not functioning. Even if we are 100% capable of shipping, the 2,500 different articles we produce must find their way from our four production plants to the store shelves on a daily basis. We therefore place the utmost importance on a transport partner that can ensure our delivery reliability. The requirements have changed in that our transport partners must now also respond much more flexibly than in the past since our products are selling very rapidly.

“The stock turnover of our customers has also changed over the years. The topic of logistics has grown increasingly complex, and lead times have become shorter. cargo-partner is the expert in transport/logistics and has made it possible for us to adapt to these changes while also supporting our growth and expansion into new markets.” 

Florian Huemer about the challenges ALUFIX and cargo-partner overcome together  


ALUFIX has worked with cargo-partner for over 12 years. The cooperation began with sea freight imports and now also includes warehousing and value-added services as well as deliveries to distribution centers and large supermarket chains throughout Europe. How would you characterize the cooperation?

The stock turnover of our customers has also changed over the years. The topic of logistics has grown increasingly complex, and lead times have become shorter. cargo-partner is the expert in transport/logistics and has made it possible for us to adapt to these changes while also supporting our growth and expansion into new markets.

For imports from Asia, ALUFIX uses the routes offered by cargo-partner through the Slovenian port of Koper. What advantages do you see in this service as an alternative to transport via northern ports such as Hamburg or Bremerhaven?

Koper has the advantage that the land route to our main plant in Wiener Neudorf is 50% shorter than from a northern port. In addition, we serve all customers in southeastern Europe through our Slovenian subsidiary.

Alongside transport and logistics services, ALUFIX makes use of the online tools offered by cargo-partner for tracking the live status of transports and generating detailed KPI reports. In consideration of interrupted supply chains, remote work, etc., have digital communication and the availability of real-time information become more important than ever in recent months?

Since we have 13 subsidiaries, including three production plants outside of Austria, digitalization was already a major topic. The coordination and planning for finished goods takes place exclusively in Wiener Neudorf, and the established supply chain must function smoothly. This makes real-time information indispensable. Digitalization is an ongoing process, as is the implementation of IoT solutions. As a manufacturer and an information-based business, however, we believe that increasing digitalization and remote work solutions demand continuous improvements in the area of cybersecurity.

Rail is gaining in popularity as an alternative to air and sea transport and represents a time- and cost-efficient as well as environmentally friendly option. Have you considered the “Iron Silk Road” as an alternative for your transports from Asia to Europe? What criteria would be especially important to you here?

We actively invest in sustainable products and solutions to make a contribution to protecting our climate. Our perspective is always focused on the entire life cycle and not just on the product. This also includes a low-CO2 alternative when it comes to transport, such as rail. In addition to the economic aspect relative to sea transport, transit time is also an important issue for us.

Thank you for the interview!