DSV UK, a division of the global logistics giant DSV AS, has recently announced it is making significant investments in its less-than-container-load (LCL) Sea Freight Services to further enhance its offering to customers and “take LCL to a new level”.
The Air & Sea team has declared it is investing in its own processes and people to ensure its LCL offering is delivering good communication and great customer service, in line with other DSV logistics services.
Recently appointed Claus B. Jensen, Director LCL, DSV Air & Sea Ltd, brings with him a wealth of experience in the market, having formerly been at the helm of Shipco Transport UK Ltd for the past seven years, Shipco being the 2nd largest Global LCL consolidators.
Claus has previously worked for DSV for 16 years, based in the US and Denmark. In his new role, Claus aims to grow the range of LCL products offered by DSV, as well as redefine and strengthen procedures and help the sales team to grow the business. He commented:
“LCL has been an area that larger freight forwarders have not really focused on, mainly treating it as a “spin-off” product from their FCL business. Today LCL is largely left with the smaller freight forwarders who rely on middlemen and intermediaries for the actual freight movement and then focus on providing localised customer service. However, at DSV we believe LCL is well positioned in the service gap between fullcontainer-load (FCL) and airfreight and offers real value to exporters and importers on most global markets.
“DSV delivers high levels of customer service, it’s well networked and LCL is an area where we have considerable expertise. DSV has been strategically developing a range of new products and service features that will allow our customers to have much more transparency and accurate information about actual position of their cargo. We are placing a good deal of emphasis on this area allowing our customers to make the necessary planning of inventory and production flows. At the end of the day LCL is all about speed to market in a cost effective way”.
So, what makes DSV’s LCL services different to the competition? According to Claus, DSV loads more into their own system, which he argues means less damage and better information and communications for the customer, through its uniform global IT systems. DSV also has full control of the supply chain as they are handling all the planning in house.
“More often than not, when LCL is booked the Freight Forwarders would normally then go to one or multiple consolidators, which means they lose control and have no say in what vessels the shipments would travel on. You are also not aware what the other cargo is alongside your own and you don’t know what the handling procedures are when it arrives in port. There can often be several days delay during devanning and release of containers by UK authorities and the customer has no access to information about what is happening at this stage which can of course be a critical time.
“With DSV, the team decides which vessel the cargo will travel on, using our own operators so we know how it is loaded, what it is loaded with, as well as when and where it has been devanned. It also allows DSV to offer bespoke solutions that meet specific needs of the customer.”
Richard Lawford, Sales Director for DSV Air & Sea Ltd, commented on the strength of the inhouse team and the value-added customer service this brings:
“We believe it is an extremely important factor that we have an in-house LCL specialist team in Purfleet which gives us better control and better management – and importantly it cuts out the middle man, so we can keep costs down and maintain service levels to the standards our customers have come to expect from DSV. With DSV, we can ensure our technology is doing precisely what is required and feeding back the information the customer wants to see.
“We know that the customer simply wants to know the facts – where is my shipment and when will it arrive. With the technology available today, it’s hard to reconcile the fact that LCL customers are unable to track their shipments and traditionally, this information is not available through other freight forwarders. With DSV we believe this is key to good customer service.
“The DSV global network continues to grow, and further enhancing this network is part of the strategic plan for LCL product growth. Through the acquisition of SBS we doubled our volume, which gave us the leverage to enable us to take LCL to the next level. We are taking the successes we’ve made from our US model and migrating this to the new markets where we currently rely on co-loaders. DSV is investing in this expansion, developing new LCL products and services and opening trade lanes to a range of different destinations while maintaining a competitive pricing structure and exceeding expectations when it comes to customer service levels.”