28 October 2017 16:10
Why the new Actros is the perfect truck for Ecotrans
Economics & Logistics
Ecotrans was born out of the fusion between two companies. The aim of the company is to guarantee sustainable transport of fodder.
Transportes Ojechar and Traginers del Vendrell – specialists in the transport of raw materials for fodder and ready-to-use livestock feed – have united their customer base and now have a collective aim: making ecological transport cost-efficient. In 2013, the two companies decided to fuse in order to optimise synergies and strengthen their national presence. Since then, the two have continued to grow.
Managing Directors Félix Ojeda and Josep M. González explain that their market requires large quantities in order to achieve the required margins. As they both confirm, the fusion – and thus the establishment of Ecotrans – brings only advantages: a greater trade power in the face of suppliers and customers, lower operating costs and a larger territorial presence – Transportes Ojechar's activities are focussed around central areas of Spain and Castilla-La Mancha, while Traginer's main locations are Catalonia and Aragón. And that's not all: they have even bought up other transport companies and don't exclude the possibility of buying even more in the near future. "Nowadays it's all about eating or being eaten," confirms Félix Ojeda.
The ecological conscience of both Managing Directors was decisive for their coming together: "We wanted to do something for sustainability and decided to offer as environmentally friendly a transport solution as possible," explains Josep M. Gónzalez. When it came to renewing the fleet of vehicles, they didn't hesitate for a second: they opted for the Actros. "The consumption is extremely low; much lower than with other brands," affirms Ojeda. But that wasn't the only argument in favour of Mercedes-Benz: "Without good customer service, you're lost nowadays, and the Mercedes customer service doesn't leave any questions unanswered," adds González. From June 2017, Ecotrans has set itself the task of making sure that the entire company fleet – 100 trucks of their own – bears the Mercedes star.
Félix Ojeda and Josep M. González have the same business vision. At Ecotrans, they propagate their policy of re-investing any profits back into the company, just as they did in their previous respective family businesses. What's more, they are both keen leasing fans: "That way, we know what we pay each month and have a fixed rate. Fixed costs make the book-keeping much easier," explains González. And as all of the vehicles are swapped every four years, they are able to guarantee their customers a continually renewed fleet of vehicles. As a transport company hauling raw materials for the manufacture of fodder as well as ready-to-use livestock feed, the bosses at Ecotrans are very much aware of their responsibility in relation to the foodstuffs chain. "The feed for livestock is the first stage of the foodstuffs chain. The production of safe foodstuffs depends to a large extent on the use of safe fodder by the livestock farmers," explains Ojeda. Both the raw materials they transport and the ready-to-use products are 100% plant-based – wheat, barley, corn, soya or sunflowers.
"The Spanish agricultural sector is gaining in importance across Europe," assures Félix Ojeda. And according to the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Nutrition and the Environment (MAGRAMA), national production of fodder for all productive livestock accounts for 30 million tonnes annually. Ecotrans transports around 7.2 million tonnes per year, and majoritarily within Spain – 90 % of the business activity. But the company also exports to France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK. It is fodder for the silos in poultry, pig, cattle and even fish farms! "Fish farming is growing at a dizzying speed," explains Josep M. González.
Foodstuff legislation is strict. Both the Spanish AICA foodstuffs authority and the European agency for food safety have, among other things, set up complex regulations concerning hygiene, additives, traceability and the use of fodder. "In light of the work we do, you can safely assume that we eat more healthily today than we once used to. We are very satisfied with our work," concludes González.
Photos: Begoña Tremps