“Improve our operational efficiency”
Stormy demand and the turbulences churning up the logistics markets have also had an impact on freight forwarders. Jenny Vargas-Lamprecht, CEO of Lamprecht Pharma Logistics, teamed up with managing director Gian Carlo Alessi to tell Christian Doepgen in an interview conducted in Basel how an SME copes with these challenges and equips itself for future developments.
Jenny Vargas-Lamprecht is pleased with the results for 2020. “We came through the Covid-19 outbreak much better than we expected.” Consignments were down by approximately 10%, it’s true, but stable figures in the road haulage segment and rising margins in the maritime cargo business, amongst others, provided the company with a degree of compensation.
The first half of 2021 has also developed positively for Lamprecht Transport – despite global disruption to the supply chain. “In our experience, however, the blockade in Yantian was a bit like an Ever Given 2.0,” Vargas says. She underlines that the SME’s good relations with its partners in the markets freed up quite some capacities that would not have been available otherwise. Lamprecht Transport’s in-house sea freight specialist Claudio Licci says that ongoing disruption points to “systemic shortcomings” in markets. So business will remain turbulent.
Pharmaceuticals on a growth trajectory
Lamprecht Transport’s subsidiary Lamprecht Pharma Logistics (LPL) has taken the next step forward in the important and lucrative pharmaceuticals logistics segment, by joining the UK-based network Pharmafreight. “The fact that this GDP specialist has audited us represents another seal of quality,” according to newly-appointed LPL managing director Gian Carlo Alessi. Lamprecht’s pharmaceuticals activities did well in 2020, having grown turbulently in the preceding years. “We’ve extended our customer portfolio,” Alessi says, adding that “we’ll need to augment the amount of space and staff we have dedicated to this segment in the near future.” It goes without saying that expansion in this segment is very demanding, in the light of the quality standards firms have to adhere to.
Lamprecht is now also in the process of launching a major digitalisation project. “We’ve just signed a contract with an external service provider,” Vargas points out. “Now we’ll conduct an analysis that will show us how to invest most constructively, in order to further improve our operational efficiency.” Besides aiming to optimise processes, the undertaking has also been designed to ensure that Lamprecht remains an attractive player in the market. The project is set to run through to about 2025.
All in all Vargas and Alessi believe the firm has good growth opportunities. Alessi describes the firm as “one of the few that can actually offer the entire range of services.” Lamprecht will soon offer new solutions – they’re currently in the process of being established. The continuing outsourcing strategy practiced by many shippers also plays into Lamprecht’s hands. The SME’s flexibility is one advantage it offers; another one are its personal relations with customers.
This is one of the set of family values that Vargas, a member of the fourth generation of the family to run the enterprise, wants to keep going as well as she can. With her tongue slightly in her cheek she formulates an ambition. “We’ve added 100 employees every generation. Perhaps that’s an approach for the future.”