Overcoming Logistics Challenges
Over the past few years, companies have been forced to navigate container shortages and long lead times to move goods around the globe. Located in Greece, our EMEA Customer Service Manager, Chrysa Soulantoni, has been invaluable in our efforts to supply Europe with product and keep our warehouse in the Netherlands stocked. In addition to supporting our European customers, she has assisted in moving containers worldwide. We were able to speak with Chrysa about the current state of logistics, the outlook for 2023, and key decisions that helped Brilliant address significant challenges.
What is the current state of logistics globally, and across Europe specifically?
Globally, patterns are similar to 2021 before the 2nd major COVID lockdown. There are more containers available, which means shorter lead times. This allows for more avenues of shipment which create more efficiency, such as port clearances and transit times. For the EU, the logistics are running smoothly again with on-sea times leveling at pre-COVID levels.
Why did Brilliant choose to warehouse goods in the Netherlands?
We chose Holland for a few reasons. It is close to a major seaport, so times are shorter to get material into the warehouse. Also, its location allows us to serve the continent effectively with transit times around five to six days via truck. Another advantage: shipments from our U.S warehouse are significantly faster to reach us. Materials are able to leave the U.S. from the East Coast and hit the European continent in around two weeks. This has helped to shorten lead times for our fluorescent ink base customers.
Why is having someone in Europe vital to the effective movement of goods?
Having a Europe-based team offers us the ability to provide same-day service and support to customers across the region. We are able to respond to customer inquiries quickly and even ship goods on the same day. Also, the fact that I am located in Europe has helped us foster relationships with our logistics partners. The speed and ease of communication have been vital over the past two years to provide our customers with on-time deliveries and reliable service.
Outlook on global logistics?
Overall, I think the outlook for the future is positive. We have worked to create systems and processes that maximize how effective we are as a logistics team. Struggling through COVID lockdowns and shortages forced us to be creative and work to build new solutions. From this we have learned and modified our thinking to offer our customers the best possible service.