Breaking News on the Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Large goods vehicle

The new Mercedes-Benz truck has a Blue Tec 6 engine, which cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by 77%
The new Mercedes-Benz truck has a Blue Tec 6 engine, which cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by 77%
Logistics specialist Norbert Dentressangle (ND) is targeting €1bn (£848.6M) in freight forwarding sales within five years, according to Dave Barron, global commercial director for Norbert Dentressangle Overseas (NDO).

Barron predicted more than a 1,000% rise in current sales generated by freight forwarding. That’s the practice of arranging the overseas distribution of large orders from manufacturers and producers to their final customers.“We​ [NDO] do intend to be at €1bn euros (£848.6M) in the next three to five years,”​ he told

ND launched its freight forwarding operations in 2010 and chalked up sales of £73M (€86M) in its full year results for 2011, which it released at the end of January. That represented 67.5% like-for-like growth compared with the previous year.

Perishable goods

Barron said perishable goods, such as fresh produce and flowers, frozen food and fast moving consumer goods for retail channels would be core growth categories.

Perishables had been a crucial test bed for freight forwarding activities because organisation and timings of delivery were crucial in that category, he said.“Anyone can move dried goods.”He added:“We are seeing a fast increase in fresh and frozen.”

ND has also handled orders of plant machinery for processors, including X-ray and vision systems from overseas and ambient, long shelf-life food items.

The firm has already established freight forwarding offices in China, the US, Latin America and Europe. It also aims to open bases in South East Asia and India and further expand activities in Europe, said Barron.

ND’s freight forwarding operations are managed via air freight; ocean freight and customs, he said. "We intend to grow all three,”​ said Barron. “One of the key things is to work with existing customers offering an end-to-end service: freight forwarding; warehousing; and retail logistics.”

New hybrid truck

In support of its global operations, ND has adopted a new hybrid truck designed specifically to the latest Euro VI standards for cutting pollution, which will be compulsory for all heavy goods vehicles by 2014.

The new Mercedes-Benz truck has a Blue Tec 6 engine, which reduces its particle emissions by 50% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 77%.

ND also operates an holistic, global tracking system enabling product traceability from origin to shelf.

The firm’s acquisition of Schneider International in 2010, complete with its freight forwarding division in US and China, and its later acquisition of TDG in 2011, accelerated the development of its freight forwarding activities.

Its freight forwarding business now employs 250 colleagues in 30 offices in 11 countries on three continents.

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