Global transport solutions integrator, digitalisation on the move

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To ensure that their goods are transported in the best possible way, companies often have to call on freight forwarders who have a real knowledge of the various modes of transport (road, air, sea and rail), costs, deadlines, market players, legal and administrative rules, etc.

This assignment is governed by a service contract signed between the two parties. In parallel, transport contracts are also signed between the freight forwarder and the carriers.

International transport: towards the digitalisation of the profession

The international freight transport market is highly regulated by law and the freight forwarder must comply with strict rules to gain access to it:

> Professional capacity: they must hold a certificate of professional capacity

> Financial capacity: they must have at least 100,000 euros in the form of equity, reserves or bank guarantees to fulfil their professional obligations without making their payments dependent on those of their own customers

> The conditions of good repute: to be declared honourable, the freight forwarder must not have been banned from exercising industrial or commercial professions following a conviction, a disqualification or an administrative or commercial sanction

> The obligation to control subcontractors: they must check that the transporters they select are registered in the public transport register. It is also their duty to keep an up-to-date register of freight operations.

"In the international land transport sector, we have seen the emergence of digital freight forwarders," says Nicolas Petit, Director of Transport Operations at Viapost.

transport, international, TMS

The digitalisation of the profession makes it possible to remove certain operational constraints and make transport management and monitoring more reliable: "At Viapost, we have taken this digital approach to collect regulatory documents and check their legality. We also have a TMS[1] which provides our customers with a real-time view of the routing of their goods. The drivers we work with use a PDA[2] , which is a digital mobile solution that allows the PODs[3] to be uploaded into the TMS", explains Nicolas PETIT.


In addition, European regulations have become more onerous in recent years with the "mobility package". Dating from 2020 and applicable for 4 years, it tightens the rules for international transport:

> Mandatory tachograph registration of all border crossings

Appropriate working conditions and social protection for seconded workers

> Extension of the obligation to obtain a permit and a licence for the international transport of goods by road

> Return of vehicles to their operational base every 8 weeks

> Mandatory 4-day grace period for cabotage

> Extension of the financial capacity of transport and logistics companies


Using its freight centres in several regions of France and working with a base of strong national and international partners, Viapost is increasing its share in Europe and is developing significantly internationally. Nicolas PETIT explains that "as a freight forwarder, in order to have the most optimised management of transport flows, we have to see the bigger picture - outside France. This international vision allows us to take advantage of the paths taken by carriers to optimise costs, lead times and routes".


Thanks to its historical business of managing universal services, Viapost has an operational infrastructure that enables its freight forwarding divisions to monitor its national and international customers' shipments in real time 24/7. “This enables us to anticipate and act constantly, making us agile and responsive, a real plus," points out Nicolas PETIT.



Groupage, freight and transport organisation services

At the beginning of 2022, in a complex geopolitical context, the French Red Cross is looking for solutions to transport essential goods across Europe for the benefit of the Ukrainian population.

"Thanks to its European network of partner carriers, Viapost was entrusted with this large-scale mission within a timeframe constrained by the humanitarian situation," says Nicolas Petit.

148 convoys are set up from Spain, Belgium or France to Romania, Hungary, Moldova, Austria and of course, Ukraine.

"We also manage the entire distribution of 60 points of sale in Italy from a logistics site in Spain, on a just-in-time basis, on behalf of a retail chain," explains Nicolas PETIT.



Viapost offers various international services depending on the needs, constraints, characteristics of the goods and deadlines:

> Freight: direct shipments with no interruption of the load, transported by an overland carrier

> Groupage: grouping of several individual shipments into a single batch, on our postal platforms in France and Europe, and transported by an overland carrier

> Transport solution integrator and management: tailor-made integration solution using several operating techniques (freight, groupage, dedicated transport, etc.) in France and Europe



[1] TMS = Transport Management System

[2] PDA = Personal Digital Assistant

[3] POD = Proof Of Delivery



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