Radial has placed a strong focus on optimizing its transportation network and last-mile services to deliver exceptional customer experience. Our warehouse personnel meticulously pack, label, and hand over packages to the carrier of choice, ensuring the safe and sustainable transport of orders from our 3PL center to end customers, regardless of distance or geographic challenges. Read our interview with Kamil Zieliński, Director of Transport Solutions Radial EU, to learn more about our approach to transportation management and uncover the secrets behind our success.
Balancing Transport: Exclusive Carrier Deals, Reliable Services
Joanna Stankiewicz: Hello Kamil. 2023 is coming to an end. What are the biggest challenges facing transportation in the upcoming year?
Kamil Zieliński: The economy’s slowing down, prompting companies to prioritize cost optimization. Carriers face declining volumes due to reduced consumer spending amid rising energy, fuel, and inflation costs. Increased minimum wages in various markets contribute to inflation. Package shipments are decreasing, approaching pre-COVID levels, a trend seen across Europe.
Joanna: How does Radial mitigate the impact of market changes, including rising transportation costs, on its customers?
Kamil: Currently, we negotiate rates with carriers to provide our customers with fixed prices for each year. We leverage the volumes of Radial and the entire bpostgroup, which also includes Landmark Global, Active Ants and IMX to maximize our buying power and economies of scale for optimal rates. As a strategic partner for our customers, we strive to prevent shipping costs per parcel from rising, even with a potential decrease in order volume. The growing number of new customers strengthens our bargaining position, providing stability for carriers.
Joanna: As the final stage in the e-commerce journey, delivery may shape the recipient’s impression of the entire online order. How do you balance the need for cost optimization with maintaining a high level of transportation service?
Kamil: We focus on a balanced approach to managing and optimizing transportation costs, recognizing the delicate equilibrium between service and expenses. Our strategy involves crafting customized transportation solutions that propose the best options for specific markets with competitive rates. While prioritizing cost-effectiveness, we also remain open to alternatives. We offer a wide range of services. These include:
- home delivery,
- point of delivery (PUDOs),
- postal services.
All designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients. The key emphasis is on maintaining balance – providing competitive prices while ensuring a reliable service. Timely deliveries, avoiding misrouting, and preventing damages are also integral to saving time and money.
Joanna: What is the key factor that enables Radial to offer tailored transportation services to its customers?
Kamil: Certainly our extensive network of carriers, which covers every European country, global transportation giants, and local heroes. We actively work with almost 50 carriers but have integrated access to 200 transport companies worldwide through our TMS. We ship from all over Europe.
Our main destinations include major European markets such as Germany, the UK, France, and Italy, key developing countries such as Romania and Hungary, as well as smaller regions like the Balearic Islands and Cyprus. Our reach extends globally, with delivery options available in North America, Australia, Africa, and beyond, wherever our customers may need.
Joanna: This diversity of carriers and destinations must require precise processes to ensure smooth operations.
Kamil: Aligning transportation with the fulfillment process poses challenges. While Radial boasts a diverse range of carriers and transport services, which is our strength, it demands extra effort from the operations department for tasks like handling, sortation, packaging or labelling. State-of-the-art automation used in warehouses in Poland and the Netherlands, for example, plays a key role in accurately sorting packages.
Our advanced warehouse process keeps the possibility of errors to a minimum, increasing efficiency and delivery reliability. Transparent processes in all our departments are crucial to the smoothness of transportation operations. Constant monitoring and optimisation of the network are essential to maintain profitability and competitiveness. An unoptimized network can lead to delays in transit time.
Joanna: Modern logistics relies heavily on technology to optimise route delivery time and costs.
Kamil: With technology at our disposal, we can make data-driven decisions, delivering more efficient and cost-effective transportation services. The Multi TMS strategy and the plug-in built by our IT department that connects all TMS systems provide Radial with a significant competitive advantage. Our in-house TMS, Mercury, provides us with flexibility, independence from third-party decisions and the ability to fully adapt to our unique business needs and the needs of our customers.
As we also operate on Metapack and Centiro, the activation of carriers and services from our library typically takes just a few days. It takes us one day to switch between active carriers. This flexibility is invaluable when we must quickly adapt to market changes, seasonal fluctuations or emergencies such as a carrier strike.
Joanna: Can you share the new tools you have in the pipeline for the upcoming year to enhance collaboration with customers in transportation services?
Kamil: Our IT department is finalizing the development of an advanced transportation dashboard. This tool provides real-time insight into the entire shipment network, including all carriers and key metrics such as volume, capacity and delivery performance. This highly advanced and user-friendly tool aims to improve visibility and identify potential cost optimizations. It’s critical in the current economic climate. In addition, we plan to automate and standardize the invoicing of transportation services for customers across Europe in the coming year.
Joanna: Considering the demanding tasks ahead for your department, could you disclose details about your team’s experience and composition?
Kamil: The Radial Europe Transport department has transformed. We evolved from bpostgroup to the current form, specifically tailored to meet the unique needs and objectives of Radial. The team comprises 12 members, nine based in Poland and three in Manchester, collectively addressing all transportation needs across Europe. Each Radial 3PL centre in Europe has its dedicated transportation coordinator for daily monitoring. In addition, we also have a central team of analysts and development managers working on network improvements.
Joanna: At the end of our conversation, I want to ask about sustainable transportation. Radial is working to reduce the sector’s impact on pollution. Could you outline the specific green supply chain practices we follow?
Kamil: Radial works with carriers that minimise and transparently report carbon emissions. Consequently, we are implementing green solutions, such as bicycle couriers, and carriers setting up electric-only vehicle networks and utilising Sustainable Aviation Fuel with 30% recycled content. Some partners are using solar panels for their sustainability practices.
Deliveries to parcel lockers and pick-up points constitute an increasing percentage of our deliveries reducing our carbon footprint by consolidating deliveries to a single address. This trend aligns with the growing preference of end customers for flexible hours and parcel pick-up locations.
Joanna: Thank you for this inspiring conversation. Your insights have been invaluable. Fingers crossed for the success of your projects!
Kamil Zieliński is an expert in logistics with a degree from Warsaw University of Technology. He’s navigated the intricacies of transportation for over 15 years. His journey, spanning various roles from hazardous materials to courier networks, has evolved into a passion for crafting transport solutions for the dynamic world of e-commerce and fulfillment. In the bpostgroup, he started as a transportation manager to reach the position of the Director of Transport Solutions at Radial EU in 2020. Over the past 3 years, he’s steered Radial’s transport volumes to new heights, blending result-driven strategies, analytical thinking, and a collaborative team spirit.
You can follow Kamil on LinkedIn.
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