MercedesServiceCard: Della Santa AG has clever fuelling
Della Santa AG is a highly successful haulage company for the recycling business. Personal contact to customers plays a key role. The Swiss firm has a lean administrative structure, which is partly attributable to the MercedesServiceCard*.
Romano Della Santa is a man of few words. “We must score points with our customers through punctuality, reliability and personal contact,” he says when asked what is characteristic for his company. Yet the company Della Santa AG, which is based in Landquart in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, definitely has a lot more to offer than abiding by the fundamental virtues of logistics.
It has, for example, made a name for itself as a haulage specialist for recycling materials. “Waste paper, plastic, waste wood, scrap – we transport a wide variety of substances to recycling sites,” says Della Santa. A big decision, considering that, in an international comparison, the Swiss have a very strong position in the recycling business. “The companies that operate in this market have invested heavily in the infrastructure, and we as transport service providers also benefit from this fact.”
Romano Della Santa, whose grandfather founded the firm as a timber trade outfit, has around 100 employees. When he took on the company in 1994, he only had a team of 20. The fleet has expanded steadily too. Today, it includes about 85 heavy-duty trucks, all of which have white paintwork. Just under half of them are Mercedes-Benz Actros. A wide selection of walking floor trailers are available for the recycling freight.
The recycling business in general may be buzzing, but the company’s success did not simply develop by itself. The operating margins are continuously low for classic palleted goods, a field in which Della Santa also does haulage work. This applies to an even greater extent in Switzerland due to the strong franc, where international haulage is transacted in foreign currency. This increasingly limits the range of activities for the haulage operators there to their home country. Della Santa is fortunate to have its Italy operations, where the company traditionally has a strong position.
Small card, big benefit.
Wherever the Swiss company operates with its Actros, it benefits from the MercedesServiceCard. “We use it in particular when refuelling,” says Romano Della Santa. It enables cashless payment on 37 000 filling stations across Europe. A further advantage: the MercedesServiceCard partner UTA takes care of value added tax refunding. For operators this particularly simplifies matters when a truck has to refuel outside of Switzerland. “As we very often refuel in Italy, we’re talking about large amounts of money that would otherwise have to be reimbursed through complex procedures.”
A further advantage of the card that is much appreciated by the operator is the assistance in the event of a breakdown. If a truck should be unable to continue its journey, the repair work can be coordinated much more conveniently and much faster thanks to the MercedesServiceCard. “This is also very practical abroad, as there’s no need for advance payments,” explains Della Santa.
So one thing has now become automatic for this Swiss operator: whenever he integrates an Actros into his fleet, he uses the MercedesServiceCard for the truck. And what do the drivers have to say about the small card? They would also appear to be men of few words. “But if you don’t hear anything,” says Romano Della Santa, tongue in cheek, “everything’s OK.”
Photos: Jürg Waldmeier