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Consulting project: Systematically utilising overcapacity for sea freight

LEDER & SCHUH optimises sea freight imports

LEDER & SCHUH AG is one of Europe’s biggest shoe retailers. It sells branded shoes and own creations via platforms such as HUMANIC and SHOE4YOU.

Effcient logistics are essential to the company to enable it to present the latest shoe trends to customers at all times. Sea freight plays a parti cularly crucial role. Due to increasing volatility on the sea freight market, the company decided to use a structured approach to outsourcing its requirements in this area.

The market for sea freight has been in a state of ux for a number of years. Until recently, shipping companies were still making considerable investments in ships. Today, small shipping companies are struggling to survive and large companies are feeling the pressure of lower margins and loss-making operations as a result of massive overcapacity.

Creating market transparency and intensifying competition

With the help of INVERTO, the executive board and logistics management team of LEDER & SCHUH AG decided to tender sea freight imports including onward transportation to a central warehouse in Europe. In doing so, the concept, conditions and service providers were reviewed. This proved to be a complex process requiring consolidation at port of origin for direct deliveries to branches and the use of the company’s own logistics management system.

“In recent years, we have focused on optimising logistics in line with our considerable expansion. As part of this, we have also introduced our own logistics management system”, says Maximilian Kummerer, Head of Supply Chain Management at LEDER & SCHUH. “We actively negotiated conditions with our suppliers, but would not have been able to proceed alone with the same intensity as INVERTO.

The tendering process and workshops with potential suppliers highlighted current market developments and the major differences between suppliers. What’s more, the detailed information requested on pricing revealed that “nal prices can include various additional costs and that, as a result, price certainty cannot be guaranteed.

However, LEDER & SCHUH wanted price certainty for the entire season. INVERTO succeeded in negotiating significantly lower and fixed sea freight rates for 12 months, including all additional costs in the final price. The risk of price increases by shipping companies was therefore transferred to the forwarding company.

Kummerer adds “The market response was very positive and the high tender rate re!ected the significant interest of forwarding companies – and also the high competitive pressure they face. Almost every solution we received was tailored to our needs and of a high quality.”

Sustainable, customer-oriented logistics solution

In addition to cost optimisation, concepts tailored specifically to LEDER & SCHUH were developed with the forwarding companies. LEDER & SCHUH now benefits from the choice of several ports.

Sea transportation times have been reduced thanks to direct routes to the southern port, while the northern port offers greater flexibility due to the higher number of services departing from the port of origin. The shoe retailer can therefore make use of an intermodal solution that is more eco-friendly and cost-effective than onward transportation by truck. The rail terminal for container handling can also be used as buffer storage for deliveries to the central warehouse.

In addition, there is now spare time in the port and for the return transportation of empty containers. This creates greater flexibility without extra costs (demurrage, detention)

With the help of INVERTO, LEDER & SCHUH created high market transparency by implementing various logistics concepts and not only significantly reduced sea freight rates and follow-up costs, but also agreed on a fixed price for 12 months, including all surcharges and additional costs. What’s more, by making use of a second port the company was also able to introduce an intermodal solution to make the logistics chain more efficient and flexible.

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