DSV: Against the grain

From the July 2015 issue.

Opposing the OEM-driven service contract boom that is currently taking place in the global trailer industry, Danish transport and logistics firm DSV has started to set up a company-owned service network.

Overseeing a fleet of 8,000 trailers that are constantly on the move between Spain and Scandinavia, Søren Lund is a powerful man in the European road transport scene. Serving as Equipment Manager at DSV Road, one of the three leading logistics providers in Europe, his job is to keep an eye on each and every piece of equipment entrusted to his care.

To handle the mammoth task, he has begun setting up a whole network of company-owned workshops across Europe. In February, DSV opened a new branch in Gorinchem, The Netherlands, followed by a Finnish one in April and a Danish one in June. But the system is still not lean enough for the seasoned equipment specialist. The next step, he says, is tackling the ever-present tyre management issue.

Tyre consumption has an “immense impact” on a big fleet like DSV, Lund explains, which is why he opted for bringing the whole management process in-house – from procurement to pressure testing. “It’s a money saving exercise for us. We’ve done our homework and we believe that not entering into a service agreement for all of Europe will be the least costly option. But that doesn’t mean we won’t sign local service agreements with individual suppliers in different countries. All we want is a centralised structure with full transparency, supported by experts on the ground.”

While putting DSV into a strong purchasing position is one reason for the move, he says a centralised tyre management approach will also simplify trialling new technology. “One example of that new R&D edge is the implementation of Ultraseal technology across the board,” he says. “The sealant will prevent pressure loss and immediately seal the tyre in case of a puncture, which means we avoid expensive breakdowns down the line.”

Also on the technology front, DSV is open to using remoulded or retreaded tyres if the price is right, with a company-wide policy to never go below two millimetres of tread depth. However, Lund is no fan of re-grooving a worn tread. “After the tyre is worn, we can remould it once more, but we won’t re-groove it. We just don’t think there’s enough expertise out there and not enough to gain from re-grooving a tyre. The risk of damaging the casing is just too big.”

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