What certificates are worth investing in when running a transport business?
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Shippers increasingly expect carriers to certify supply chain security and high quality of transport services. Without this confirmation of credibility, it will become increasingly difficult to keep up with the competition in the fight for lucrative contracts.
The decision to obtain certificates related to the transport industry is made by more and more transport companies, who want to compete on the European market not only in terms of price but also in terms of quality of services. The acquisition of these benefits brings the carrier a number of strategic, organisational and operational benefits throughout the supply chain.
ISO 9001 – quality first
ISO 9001 is one of the most popular standards on the market. The standard defines the requirements which should be met by the Quality Management System in the company.
ISO 9001 is focused on improving overall performance and providing the basis for sustainable business development. The popular “nine” is particularly common in the automotive industry, which, by its very nature, has a major impact on the life of the average user. Ensuring the proper quality of vehicles is the goal of most car manufacturers. Quality translates into the level of road safety and is an important element of building a competitive advantage.
The advantage of ISO 9001 is that it can be applied to almost any type of company. More and more often the “nine” is being replaced by the ISO 28000 standard. In contrast to ISO 9001, which focuses on process management, it places great emphasis on the flow and safety of goods.
ISO 28000 – protecting the entire supply chain.
ISO 28000 is available for Polish transport companies since 2005. The certificate confirms the organisation’s ability to ensure a high level of safety of the goods entrusted to it. Such a document gives the carrier a better position in negotiations with customers. At the same time, it allows for higher rates and, consequently, higher income generation.
The aim of the system is to ensure an adequate level of safety, through the implementation and maintenance of safeguards, by each actor in the chain, so as to ensure the safety of the whole.
Although ISO 28000 is five times less popular in Poland than in Germany, the awareness of carriers about certificates is growing. Mainly due to the requirements of the manufacturers, whose needs to shape the transport market. This can be seen, among others, in the very demanding automotive industry, in which the carrier at the stage of placing a tender for transport services must confirm that it holds an ISO certificate.
The interest in this certificate began to grow in Poland, especially in 2017, when IKEA began to require it from its subcontractors.
IKEA has asked all business partners (…) to certify their business with one of the following standards by 31 August 2020 at the latest: C-TPAT, AEO or ISO 28000,” said Mattias Hennius from the IKEA of Sweden AB press office.
This document is a guarantee for the customer that the transport company is reliable and can, among other things, minimize the risk of unwanted incidents in the safety system and ensure trouble-free and timely delivery. Importantly, ISO 28000 is also available for small transport companies. Transauditors.eu determines the cost of the certificate depending on the size of the fleet.
Among Polish carriers and operators, the AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status is also popular, often mistakenly called a certificate. This is the status of an authorised economic operator that any economic operator established in the customs territory of the European Union, who is part of an international supply chain and who is involved in customs-related processes, can apply for.
In order to be granted the status of the authorised economic operator, certain criteria need to be met. The company is obliged to fully control the trade in goods with countries outside the European Union and should have a solid financial background. One of the necessary conditions for obtaining AEO are competent, qualified employees.
The status is granted by the customs authorities (Tax Administration Chamber), and the basic benefit for the company that will obtain it is the simplification of customs procedures.
TCC Elite – award for transport leaders.
TCC Elite is a special award given to the best carriers on the Trans Platform during a process called TransAudit. In this case, certain requirements have to be met. Light transport companies can apply for TCE Elite certification, the equivalent of TCC Elite for companies with a fleet of vehicles up to 3.5 tons.
Companies with internal Trans.eu certificates are distinguished primarily by the following:
– solid insurance, which thanks to 14 key provisions in the operator’s liability insurance policy (OCP) gives the certainty of compensation payment,
– modern fleet (low failure rate vehicles meeting European environmental standards),
– integrated telematics (all vehicles are equipped with a GPS system allowing, among others, to monitor the fleet on the Trans.eu platform),
– experience in the transport industry (certified companies have at least two years of experience),
– positive customer reviews.
Certification marks – TCE Elite and TCC Elite – appear next to the user profile. Both awards are becoming more and more recognisable also among customers outside the Trans.eu platform.
It’s very difficult to convince customers with so much competition. Certification, among other things, encourages the client to choose the offer of a given company out of many other companies. The advantage is built on the basis of price, quality of services, and proven elements of the supply chain. TCE ELITE helps us in the fact that our business partners know that they are dealing with a reliable and proven carrier,” says Krzysztof Szylar from the transport company TB Logistics, one of the certified carriers.
Also, Paweł Wójciak from the transport company Xantos had no doubts deciding on further participation in the TCC Elite certification program.
We decided to continue the TCC Elite program because the certificate confirms the high quality of our services. It is also a value for customers who appreciate this award and are asking for it ever more often,” he explains.
Benefits of TCE/TCC Elite
Serious players among shippers value not so much the low prices of services as their quality. Therefore, each of the documents confirming safety in the supply chain, timeliness and reliability will be a bargaining chip in negotiations with a potential customer. However, these are not all the benefits offered by TCE/TCC certification.
Certified carriers are specially positioned on the Trans.eu Platform. In order to gain orders even more effectively and promote themselves as awarded companies, they receive a special package for the promotion of the company, including the following:
– a special, multi-page post-audit report, which certifies that the company has undergone an audit (the only one of its kind on the market),
– certificate in pdf format to be inserted on a website,
– additional references from the auditor (in three languages: Polish, English and German),
– a set of vehicle wraps for your fleet,
– a set of banners to be placed under the footer, a business card on the certificate website and in publications for shippers.
The certificates are also of strategic importance for the operations of carriers on Trans.eu. Transport companies that have successfully passed the audit are also distinguished by Smartmatch, a special recommendation algorithm. It is a new tool whose aim is to match offers from the platform to the profile of a given company. The mechanism estimates the quality of the carrier’s services on the basis of data concerning the company’s activity on Trans.eu, actions taken, the quality of the operator’s liability insurance policy (OCPD), reputation and certificates. It then compares these values with other users and only then is the freight offered to the carrier. The algorithm offers the best orders to holders of Trans.eu internal awards, so they will gain time. This is one of the key arguments for which it is worth having Trans.eu certificates.
Additionally, certified companies are also presented in a new TFS application specially built for shippers (Trans for Shippers). They are presented there as companies recommended for cooperation.