SKOPJE (Macedonia), December 11 (SeeNews) – The Macedonian unit of Austrian transport and logistics services provider Gebruder Weiss (GW) plans to introduce new connections, primarily to ex-Yugoslav countries, next year, a company official said.
Skopje-based Gebruder Weiss DOOEL is linked with the GW logistics centres in Sofia, Budapest and Vienna, operating two or three regular transport lines per week, or five to six arrivals and departures per week, GW Macedonia’s branch manager Saso Dimoski told SeeNews.
Links to these destinations will also allow connections with other logistics centres of GW in Europe and elsewhere. Gebruder Weiss has 135 branches worldwide, Dimoski said.
In Macedonia, Gebruder Weiss started operations two months ago and has already established regular transport links to almost all cities on a weekly basis, he said.
Gebruder Weiss has entered Macedonia because of the country's strong economic performance and its favorable geographic location at the crossroads of major European transport corridors in the Balkans.
“Gebruder Weiss is following the needs of its global and local clients, who are moving towards Macedonia, which is a sufficient sign that the country goes in the direction of stronger economic growth,” Dimoski said.
Macedonia should invest more in infrastructure projects since “there is no progress without infrastructure”, he added.
Unfortunately, Macedonia is lagging in this field, especially behind its neighbors Albania and Kosovo, which have made significant investments in improving their road networks.
In Macedonia, there is still a difference between transportation and forwarding services, with the latter often associated with customs mediation, Dimoski said.
"Unlike here, the world is using terms such as 3PL (third party logistics), which is a complex logistics service offered to customers according to their needs."
Such global clients with global needs are the main customers of Gebruder Weiss, including HP, Daikin, Bosch, REWE, Danfoss, Makita and Hitachi, said Dimoski.
GW’s investments in Macedonia are relatively modest and tailored to the size of the market. It is too early to say what portion of the 100 million euro ($147 million), which GW plans to invest in Central and Eastern Europe, will be allocated to Macedonia. The experience from other countries shows that a construction of up-to-date logistics centre may follow the launch of GW business in Macedonia, Dimoski said.
Currently, Gebruder Weiss operates a business office and a warehouse of 1,000 square metres near Skopje.
The Macedonian unit of Gebruder Weiss offers the entire range of logistics services: transportation, storage, service representation, distribution, door-to-door delivery, but the most important thing is that the company’s network would establish links with other centres worldwide, Dimoski said.
Generally, Gebruder Weiss uses its own vehicles only for national distribution services but outside Austria it operates through long-term contracts with reputable transport companies.
In addition to the Macedonian dealers of Gebruder Weiss’s global customers, the company's Macedonian unit expects to find customers in local small, medium-sized and big companies that are in need of such services.
The Gebruder Weiss Group (www.gw-world.com) has over 4,500 employees at 137 locations worldwide. Outside its home country, the group is also present in Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. Its turnover totalled 985 million euro in 2008.
($= 06783 euro)