Kent-based SMS Group Logistics has added to its trailer fleet with the acquisition of new reefers and Euroliner curtainsiders from Schmitz Cargobull.
The new refrigerated trailers will be used to distribute a variety of prescription and over the counter medicines from UK-based pharmaceutical companies' manufacturing sites to distribution hubs throughout mainland Europe, while the Schmitz Cargobull Euroliners will haul urgent automotive components between the UK and the continent.
Historically, SMS – who specialise in urgent European deliveries for a range of clients in the high technology, pharmaceutical, legal & professional, fashion and automotive sectors – have preferred to hire trailers on a long term basis, but this order was financed through Cargobull Finance, a joint venture between trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull and the Dutch-owned finance company De Lage Landen.
Having been so impressed with the ease with which the financial aspects of the deal were arranged, Simon Marsh, managing director of SMS Group Logistics, believes his trailer hiring days are over. “I don't think I'll hire trailers again,” he says. “Cargobull Finance put together a very simple and cost-efficient funding solution and, at the end of the day, the trailers are now an asset for my company.”
With security a critical issue during the transport of pharmaceuticals, the reefers are fitted with a telematics system, while Bulldog locks on the rear doors minimize brake-in risks still further. In addition, Euroscan temperature recorders ensure that the products' in-transit temperature is monitored throughout the journey from manufacturer to distributor.
Both the reefers and the Euroliners were built at Schmitz Cargobull's UK manufacturing plant at Harelaw, close to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Production techniques and processes at the Harelaw facility have been significantly overhauled during 2007 and, as a result, reefer manufacturing capacity has increased by in excess of 50 per cent while curtainsider and dry freight box van output at the site has grown by some 20 per cent.
Thanks to the investment in the Harelaw plant Schmitz Cargobull is currently quoting average lead times of 10-12 weeks from the receipt of an order to final delivery for standard refrigerated and curtainsider trailers built in the UK and this was a significant influence on SMS's decision to invest in the Schmitz Cargobull products.
“The last time I ordered trailers – from another supplier – they arrived three months late,” recalls Simon Marsh. “And when they did eventually turn up they were built to the wrong spec. The Schmitz Cargobull order arrived on time, the product quality was high and the trailers were built to precisely the specification that I had ordered,” he adds.
Andrew Morley, Schmitz Cargobull UK Ltd's sales and marketing director, comments: “SMS is a progressive company that offers a first rate service. We are delighted to be able to partner them as they seek to develop their business still further and very much look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”