One of Europe’s largest Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) experts, Continental Cargo Carriers (CCC), has announced an investment worth €4.2m to expand its fleet by 42 per cent.
An impressive 156 brand new trailers will be added to the firm’s vehicle portfolio in the coming months. This represents the biggest single investment since the company was acquired in 2018 by Europa Worldwide Group.
CCC currently operates 270 trailers from its 4,000 m2 Belgian warehouse base. Due to immense demand for the transportation of goods across Europe following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, more vehicles are required to fulfil historic order numbers.
The extraordinarily successful business had always planned to make further investments under its ambitious growth strategy, but recently took the decision to expedite this in response to market needs.
As Carlo Turner, General Manager at CCC explained: “There has been a remarkable increase in our daily full and part load consignment traffic volumes over the past year. As lockdowns eased and continental economies bounced back, CCC has never been busier.
“We’re now delivering more than an average 22,000 loads. This increased demand has come from customers of all sizes, across all sectors, and in all European countries.
“It was always a corporate objective to expand our operations within the next year, but we have brought the timeframe forward because our revised economic forecasts were so positive.”
This news reflects the fact the wider Ro-Ro market has rebounded from the shock of the global pandemic, a trend that is set to continue, according to leading analytical experts.
Eurostat, the data intelligence arm of the European Union (EU), recently highlighted that 824m tonnes of goods were handled in EU ports in the first quarter of 2021. This was comparable with pre-pandemic levels. Ro-Ro was responsible for a sizeable proportion of this movement as the logistics sector clawed itself back from the reduction seen at the peak of the crisis.
Statistics published by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), another EU body, also highlighted the number of ship calls in August 2021 increased by 11% compared to the same month in 2019. Ro-Ro cargo vessels accounted for a further 13% increase, following the 10% drop in August 2020.
As well as investing in its stock to expand its logistics capabilities, CCC is also bolstering its 32 strong workforce. The company is set to embark on the first phase of its Human Resources (HR) development plan, with the recruitment of four individuals.
These new starters will sit within the business development, managerial and operational divisions.
They will be responsible for helping the team generate innovative ideas and initiatives that lead to greater efficiencies whilst also building up new and exciting strategic partnerships.
More than 11m people are employed in the EU transportation industry, accounting for more than 8% of the entire jobs market. By 2050, predictions suggest a 60 per cent increase in European freight transport, meaning demand for logistics workers will be even greater.
Carlo continued: “Increasing the scope of talent within CCC is a further priority for the business. As we move our expansion strategy up a gear, it is crucial that we have the right team in place so we can harness the skills within our dedicated team and push towards our growth objectives.
“We have always prided ourselves on our long history of delivering high-quality, streamlined logistics services to our customers, but with a personal touch.
“The time is right to enhance our existing workforce as CCC continues to go from strength to strength. It is vital that we plan for the future to stay ahead of the curve.”
As well as investing in its vehicles and staff, CCC has also – in recent years – allocated significant resources to bolster its bespoke Information and Communications Technology (ICT) system, Leonardo.
This has optimised the flow of information within the business, ensuring CCC continues to offer a competitive advantage and enhanced experience to its customers. They can now collaborate to make better judgements in the planning of routes and tracking of shipments, ensuring their goods are transferred faster between locations.
The deployment of improved ICT capabilities across the business has also delivered greater visibility in performance. This means CCC is better equipped to meet its target to ensure consignments arrive at any European location within 24 hours of dispatch.
In response to Brexit, CCC also created Continental Flow, a Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) product to keep imports and exports running smoothly. Uptake of this innovative but simple, two-step solution, has been immense, because it dealt with the EU Value Added Tax (VAT) and duty requirements on a customer’s behalf.
Carlo added: “It has been a tough few months but we have weathered the combined Covid and Brexit storm. We are delighted to now be focusing our attention on these exciting investment plans, whilst consolidating our position in the European market as one of the safest and most trusted logistics partners.”
Established in 1973, CCC works with Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and large multi-national clients. Although acquired by Europa Worldwide Group in 2018, it operates as an entirely separate division of the business.