Heavylift / Breakbulk
Thinking in different scenarios
Holleman Romania added a broad range of subsidiaries to its core market in Romania a long time ago, with branches in Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova. CEO George Nita told the ITJ’s Christian Doepgen recently how his group is positioned in a challenging market and how it maintains its flexibility by constructively targeting its equipment acquisitions and additional services.
How has your company performed since it was founded, Mr Nita?
Our company was founded 22 years ago, in 1997 to be precise. We developed normally, growing from small to bigger in a pretty linear way. Basically, we always reinvested our profits – and still do so, to be able to respond and adapt to the market.
How is your ownership structured?
Initially Holleman was a Romanian-Dutch company, but it’s been an equal association of Romanian and German partners for 15 years now. Today we’re in a position to execute little and large transports between 1 – 300 t on any route across Europe – especially between the western and eastern regions. We’ve continued to invest in people and machinery in 2019, especially in heavier transport equipment.
Which part of your activities – services for wind mills, the industrial, agricultural or construction industries – currently represents your strongest suit?
It varies. Sometimes our wind-turbine component activities take the lead, in other years our classic transport solutions on European roads, with smaller loads (1 – 100 t) are stronger. We operate all of our activities in balance, to be able to adapt to new market conditions as and when they arise. In practice we actually have two fleets, specialised for each domain.
Are there any results in special regions that have developed substantially differently from your other performances?
We’re proud of the development of our Holleman companies operating in Bulgaria, Serbia and Ukraine. It was one of our executive management team’s ambitions to extend our activities to every country bordering on Romania. It’s in these countries that we’re most successful today, though developments were different in each region, of course.
How important is the intermodal approach to you, with riverine and rail transport solutions? How big is road transport’s share of your activities?
We use the Danube – Main – Rhine inland waterway shipping option most of all, combined in part with overland transport solutions. It’s proved to be a successful approach, with many of our clients happy with it. Normally we need more time to execute the combined transport jobs, so it’s really ideal when we have time available, as accorded to us by our clients. We’ve made great experiences with many ports. We always organise the transport management in a safe and supervised manner. The transports are cheaper this way, especially when the various overland routes through Eastern European countries are avoided, due to the very high rates for permits there; weight is charged at a particularly high rate.
Are Holleman Romania’s certificates and licenses (NSBS, ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001) a key factor in winning tenders?
We have these certificates you mentioned, indeed; they’re required by our main customers; our global clients. The good thing about such certificates is that they help me, as the manager, to run the business in a proper way. So it’s good for everyone that we have these certificates and that we take them seriously.
Are you planning to acquire any further equipment, such as semi-trailers, low-bed units and the like?
Yes, we’re forced to do this every year. We plan on the basis of a list of new equipment needed to replace old units and to adapt to market opportunities. We always keep some of our budget earmarked for investment in tractors, modern trailers, heavylift equipment and the like. Today we already have a large number of modular trailers, low-bed vehicles, adaptors and swap bodies that allow us to be flexible and prepare the right and optimal configuration for our clients. In other words, we aim to specialise in tailor-made solutions corresponding to very different scenarios, to prove that we’re amongst the best service providers in the market.
What are your goals for 2020?
We want to bring in enough jobs and execute them in a good way, so that our clients always come back to us and ask for our services again. We intend to keep our existing position as a main regional player in the heavylift and oversized transport segment, based on our capacities and our strong professionalism.