Mercedes ServiceCard: In constant use on the Actros of Albert Schuck
Albert Schuck is active around the clock on behalf of major forwarding agents. With its 110 Actros, the Stockstadt-based business operates finely tuned scheduled and integrated network transport systems. On board all these trucks: the Mercedes ServiceCard.
Glancing over the empty slots where the truck keys are kept, Albert Schuck pauses suddenly. “There is one here!” But the confusion only lasts for a second. “Ah, it’s got a yellow tag, which means it’s just a spare.” Which means all 110 trucks in his fleet are right where they should be at this time, on a Friday morning: out there on the road, somewhere in Germany or anywhere in Europe. Business is booming for this company in Stockstadt, in the far northwest of Bavaria, the company that takes its name from its managing director: Albert Schuck.
“We will do everything to make sure our trucks are in operation six days a week, 24 hours a day,” says the man in his mid-forties, a third-generation transport entrepreneur. The average service life of the trucks is about three years. The mileage clocked up over this period: 680 000 to 700 000 kilometres. The vehicles, usually articulated trucks pulling two swap bodies, are almost always fully laden. The people who make it all possible are the over 250 drivers – often working in teams of two – on the one hand, and the dispatchers on the other. They oversee a dense network of scheduled and integrated network transport systems.
The family company acts as a neutral transport services provider for many well-known forwarding and logistics services providers. “What we do is sell loading space,” is how Schuck’s wife Anja sums it up – the married couple run the company together. They transport just about anything, short of refrigerated goods and fresh produce. Due to the sustained boom in eCommerce, parcels play an ever-increasing role. “We also do well in the airfreight spare parts traffic.” This is where the proximity to Frankfurt International Airport is beneficial. Munich, the region’s second-ranked airfreight hub, is also nearby. Much of the way the business operates has evolved over a long time. “The foundations for the transformation from a forwarding business into a neutral freight carrier were laid by my father at the end of the 1970s,” says Albert Schuck.
“The Mercedes ServiceCard perfectly complements the Mercedes-Benz truck true to the motto ‘Trucks you can trust’.”
The existing network, which features roundtrips, drop & hook routes and a total of 60 transport hubs in Germany and in several neighbouring countries, is the result of many years’ work. What is more, the company has been relying on trucks bearing the star for many years. The entire fleet is made up of Actros model 2542 trucks. “We use identical vehicles, with identical equipment. This allows drivers to hit the road at any time, in any one of the trucks.”
Another important standard: a Mercedes ServiceCard is issued for every new truck. “It perfectly complements the Mercedes-Benz truck true to the motto ‘Trucks you can trust’,” says Schuck. The drivers use the card, which is issued in cooperation with UNION TANK Eckstein GmbH & Co. KG (UTA), for cashless refuelling on a daily basis. And on the rare occasion when a truck does break down, they know that as Mercedes ServiceCard users they can rely on Service24h. “What I find particularly useful are the toll service and the tunnel service, for paying road tolls for motorways and tunnels in many countries in Europe.”
Albert Schuck explains that reliance on strong partners and their products forms an integral part of their corporate philosophy. In addition to the Mercedes ServiceCard, he mentions the telematics solution that allows his dispatchers to locate the company’s swap bodies. “It means that we don’t need to re-invent the wheel – the best solution is often to make use of the options that are already available.” Looking at those empty truck key slots, he has a point.
Fotos: Alex Kraus