What have been the major developments at eps in the past 12 months?
Alvaro Molina: 2017 was a very important year for us with two major milestones. In December the company celebrated its 25th anniversary. Our story began in 1992, when three packaging pools, part of the cooperative auction houses in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, put an end to the logistics impasse of inefficiency in the packaging of fresh produce.
In the last 25 years, Euro Pool System has become the primary player in the European chain for fresh and packaged foods with its reusable and folding trays providing innovation and synergy throughout the entire supply chain. The second milestone was the accomplishment of 1bn rotations a year with our trays.
What are your key services? What new services have you added?
AM: Euro Pool System is a unique combination of logistic services and reusable packaging based on rental and return. Our trays are the perfect solution for fresh and packaged food, ensuring efficient and reliable transportation.
We also provide logistical services to our partners across Europe, from integrated service centres where Euro Pool System provides all the needed reverse logistics to automated order picking projects. Every year we invest in washing capacity, service centres, traceability, automatic order picking and E-web registration of our packaging.
In the last year a new service has become available, with benefits for all our customers: Smart Return Logistics (SRL). SRL is an improved level of transparency on return logistics – this management system gives our customers end-to-end insight on their packaging stock return flows. With this service our customers fully outsource the sorting when returning used trays to Euro Pool System. This means they can mix all different tray models on one pallet, creating great savings on storage space, labour and equipment at their premises, on top of keeping a perfect traceability of the assets.
Where are your key markets? Are you targeting any new markets in 2018?
AM: From our different branches we manage our European network with 56 service centres in 14 European countries. Benelux, Germany and Spain are our key markets followed by our growing markets in central and eastern Europe.
Upcoming projects are in the UK and France. 2018 will be the year where we will consolidate our presence in central and Eastern Europe and come to agreements with relevant retailers in France and the UK.
How is the market for your products or services currently?
AM: Very positive! Our position is growing every year, not only by successfully adding new accounts to our portfolio, but also by increasing the use of our trays or increasing the services we provide within the customers’ supply chain. It’s part of our dna to improve the benefits for our customers year by year, maintaining the leadership on innovation as the largest logistics service provider of reusable standard packaging in Europe.
What long-term goals do you have?
AM: One of the most important goals for Euro Pool System is to contribute to CO2 emissions reduction, making the European fresh supply chain more sustainable. Our trays can last for ten years, are fully recyclable and are therefore much more durable than single-use packaging. In addition, our innovative logistics solutions contribute to CO2 reduction and sustainability in the fresh supply chain, both for our customers and all the stockholders within their supply chain.