Per Bondemark, Chairman of the Swedish Shippers’ Council, as a buyer of transport services, what’s important when it comes to ensuring transport that is both safe and environmentally efficient?
“When we purchase transport services, we consider a number of different parameters. One of them is cost, of course. Another is sustainability, and here we are talking about sustainability in its widest sense, in ecological terms, in a social perspective, but also about whether it is economically and commercially sustainable. And another important parameter is time, in the sense that we are building a logistics chain which means we can deliver to our customers on time. And when tender procedures of this nature are carried out, these parameters are always considered together, and we often work with several different alternatives.”
When you examine these different alternatives, what becomes the final determining factor in most cases?
“Well it depends really. Some things are hygiene factors, for instance if we don’t get the items in time, then that alternative is rejected. Or if something is not proven sustainable. This could happen if an unprofessional bid were to be submitted; that alternative would then be eliminated. If a bid is too expensive that will also be rejected. It’s very hard to rank them, but I don’t really want to do that anyway. Instead we consider all the parameters together. However, it’s clear that we can’t get away from cost being important.”
So even a buyer of transport services thinks that different types of incentives are important for allowing us to take this step towards more environmentally efficient transport?
“Absolutely, and with the introduction of the Sulphur Directive on the first of January, we can now see that matching the cost for shipping freight by sea will be incredibly important. And then of course we have to identify new logistics strategies, cost-effective fuels and efficient approaches to everything really. Something else that could fall under the category of time, although it’s actually about frequency, is having frequent enough deliveries. There is a major difference between sending things daily and every 14 days. That is another fact we have to bear in mind.”
Many thanks for answering our questions, Per!