LOGISTICS firms expect growing globalisation in the market of transportation services.
Creating alliances of local partners and decreasing the number of logistic centres should be the results of future development in the market. The whole process will be intense in central Europe, where the candidate states of the European Union, including Slovakia, are located.
"Within the European Union, customs clearance will be simplified. Transportation will speed up, and it will be cheaper. The cost of customs services will also be spared. However, in sea freight, there might appear some export limits regarding all members of the EU," said Milan Bedlovič, a sales manager of Lindbergh, a transportation and logistics company.
Entrance to the European Union will also mean a dangerous environment for small, local transportation firms. "The market will be opened to foreign partners that will establish their subsidiaries in Slovakia, and this way they can harm the positions of local firms," Bedlovič added.
Adam Gastan, a branch manager from Maersk Logistics Slovakia, said: "Our organization is preparing for an enormous consolidation and a decrease of the number of existing sites of different logistic providers in central Europe.
"This will take place right after Slovakia becomes a member of the EU. The reason for this is that you can provide services on the basis of a national transit regime, not only for Slovakia, but also for Hungary, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic."
The impact of the above-mentioned changes on the prices of transportation services is not definite. In making a prediction, several factors have to be taken into account.
Apart from distance, the price of international transport is also dependant on the prices of fuels, licences, customs and other payments, waiting terms on the borders, etc. "The prices of international transport tend to increase," said Bedlovič.
He added: "The price of sea freight is influenced by a country's laws and by whether it is an export or import. Other factors can be war risk payments, payments for transport containers, or foreign exchange rates. Shipping companies usually set prices three months ahead of time.
"In air transport, it is, apart from fuel and safety payments, also a question of the unoccupied capacities of air companies. From the customer's view, it is convenient to be informed about prices regularly."
Maersk also emphasizes the impact of cooperation between partners. "Price always depends on partnership with your counterparts across the world. The longer the partnership and the bigger the volume of transported goods, the higher chance you have of winning another purchase order or contract," said Gastan.
He continued: "The future trend in transportation pricing is in line with the development of an economic environment where prices are going down due to mergers and acquisitions, new IT solutions, and political and economic improvements".
Logistic and transportation companies provide, apart from the delivery of goods to a customer, a whole range of services. First of all, they are supposed to offer a client the most convenient solution for the goods' transportation to any site in the world.
Among their services you also find customs clearance, storage, etiquetting, labelling, sorting, palleting, and packing. Some of them provide express services, tracking of consignments, etc.
It is possible to transport whatever goods you need. Some of the goods, like drugs, guns, radioactive materials, etc., are subject to international law, special licenses, or embargoes on specific countries.
Quick deliveries, and tailor-made solutions are the latest trends in international transportation on the global market.
Gastan from Maersk Logistics Slovakia adds: "The biggest trend is the direct transport of goods from a manufacturer to an end client at home.
"This will change the way logistics providers will deliver goods in the near future.
There will be more small parcels sent to more and more home destinations.
"Of course, such a trend will take some time, as the internet and new styles of transport become more affordable to end customers. This trend will have a negative impact on anybody involved in the chain between the primary producer and the end-user."
10. Nov 2003 at 0:00 | Marta Ďurianová