Expanding all its activities
Militzer & Münch, a company domiciled in the Swiss city of St Gallen, intends to further step up its activities in Morocco. Diversification occupies a prominent place in the investments it is making in order to effect this expansion. In a conversation with the ITJ’s Jutta Iten, Olivier Antoniotti gave a detailed presentation of some of the planned moves.
The situation in the Maghreb has undergone continual change over the past few years. What impact has this had on your activities – sea, air and logistics?
First of all, the Moroccan economy has experienced a highly satisfactory upswing in the last few years, largely due to developments in certain sectors, such as the automotive, aviation and textile industries. The automotive segment, to mention one example, has notched up considerable growth, expanding in concrete terms from EUR 2.3 billion in 2012 to around EUR 5.2 billion in 2017. It is aiming to grow to EUR 9 billion by 2020. More than 300 subcontractors are already active in the field, and contracts with 26 new firms have been concluded for 2018.
Over and above this I’d also like to mention the potential growth connected with the start-up of Peugeot PSA in 2019. The dynamic Moroccan economy has an automatic positive knock-on effect on our transport as well as our logistic activities in the region, which is why we invested in a new logistics platform in Tangier, close to the Tangier free-trade zone, in 2016.
What are your core activities, also in terms of the financial results? Is it still the groupage field?
According to studies by M & M Maroc, there has been a progressive shift of interest towards complete and part loads, alongside our road groupage activities. However, groupage operations are still very important, with an estimated share in 2017 of around 15%, or more than 45,000 consignments in the duty-free warehouse business. All in all our road transport activities retain a dominant position, accounting for 80% of our turnover, but there has been substantial growth in the air and sea freight and logistics businesses too.
What changes do you need to make to keep abreast of the challenges – not the least of which is the ongoing digitalisation process? In other words – what new activities are you planning?
Our plan of action for 2017–2019 focuses on two points. One is the digitalisation of the documentation chain with our customers and partners, as well as with the customs authorities, as part of our global vision that envisages the complete elimination of documents, and a commitment to greener logistics. 50% of this aim has already been achieved. Incidentally, in January we were awarded the ‘OEA Sureté-Sécurité’ certificate by the Moroccan customs authority.
How are things going for you in Tangier?
M & M Tangier is currently notching up growth rates of around 25%, a trend that reflects the development of the economy in the Tangier region. We’re already considering the implementation of phase 2, which envisages the addition of a further 2,000 sqm of storage area to our existing platform.
How was business for M & M Maroc in Casablanca and Tangier in 2017?
We ended the year 2017 with growth of 9%, in line with our budgeted target. All of our activities made a positive contribution to this result. This development is also partially due to our 20 road transport groupage routes on both the import and the export side, with a special focus on our new partnerships with Italy as well as with the United Kingdom.
We also owe this good result to the contributions of our traditional routes to and from France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Turkey and Belgium, and to the good development of more peripheral partners, such as Switzerland and the Netherlands. We’ve also observed a positive trend in air and sea freight and logistics in our platforms in Casablanca, Sapino Nouaceur as well as in Tangier.
What are the future prospects for M & M Maroc, in your opinion?
I can say that 2018 began very well, with growth of 12% to the end of March. All our services contributed to this result. We’re particularly interested in developing the fast-growing automotive and airfreight sectors, as well as our traditional activities, of course.
Our focus is not only on the transport sector, but also on logistics, where we concentrate on one service in particular, namely the commercialisation of a magasin avancé fournisseur (MAF, forward supplier warehouse).
In this context we’re currently carrying out studies and investigating suitable options for the best location, which may also be in customs-free zones, such as TFZ, TAC or the Kenitra Atlantic free-trade zone. All in all we’re very optimistic about the further development of M & M Maroc in 2018.