FERCAM Serbia: building a strong team means achieving great results
Increasingly more Companies are choosing FERCAM’s solutions to transport their goods to and from the Balkan region. In Belgrade, one of our youngest Branches is collecting success after success, even though the uncertainties of the pandemic period. We interviewed Marko Kambic, Country Manager, to get to know them a little better...
Can you tell us about FERCAM Belgrade?Our Branch was founded in 2017, in the month of august, so it is almost our 4th birthday. I was the first and only employee at the time, but shortly after that, my colleagues started to join me one by one. Our growth rate was steady: currently we have a team of 26 people and we are looking to reach 30 by the end of the year. We are organized in three departments: Transport Planning, Sales and Administration.
We can be very flexible and this is certainly one of our best assets. Our core business is FTL transport, covering the Serbian territory and the Balkan region, for transport within the area and to and from Europe. We also provide LTL services and employ smaller vehicles like vans and sprinters whenever necessary, such as organizing fast deliveries. We are relying on hauliers and subcontractors mainly from the region, with 80% of them coming from Serbia or Bosnia. We provide specialized service for the automotive sector, but we handle goods of almost every product category.
Your Branch has recently been awarded an unusually high number of tenders: what is the secret of your success?That’s true, in less than a month we got to sign contracts with quite a few renowned and important Clients, it was very gratifying. We build a strong collaboration with FERCAM’s Tender Management Department in Bolzano and we have a colleague on our team that is dedicated to this task. The process is of course handled together with the Sales team, to draft our best business offers. We see a big potential in participating to these tenders, to win lines from EU to Serbia or from Serbia to the Balkan region.
The key to our success? Taking risks! We try to find a way to lower our prices, to be competitive, even if it means slightly reducing our margin. In addition, being able to maintain a stable capacity is crucial. One of our biggest Clients for example asks for 100% capacity year-round. Guaranteeing this means again taking a big risk because you never know what could really happen. However, we are certain that we can rely on skilled transport planners that are up to the challenge.
We have very high-quality standards and we can count on an extensive haulier network. By planning strategically, we always try to maximize haulier efforts, organizing round trips whenever possible. This makes it possible to contain costs and it is more environmentally sustainable.
Regarding sustainability, what is the current scenario?Since Serbia is not yet part of the EU, hauliers from our country need a special permit to enter European territories. To obtain it they need to drive trucks with at least Euro V engines, so they often renew their fleets, opting for less polluting vehicles. We are seeing many Euro VI trucks and even some alternative traction, but the latter is rare since the region is still lacking the appropriate infrastructure. We hope that this will be improved in the future to take this important step towards greener transport can be taken.
We know you are collaborating with the University; can you tell us more about this project?We recently signed a partnership with the University of Belgrade, namely with the Transport & Traffic Engineering Faculty. It was a natural development for us, since most of our team followed that same academic path. This strategic partnership will be actualized through various programs, such as student internships, guest lectures by managers from the Company at the Faculty, visits to the Company, cooperation on joint projects, organization of scientific and professional gatherings, support to student's seminar, masters and doctoral theses.
We wanted to invest in our future employees, so we launched a scholarship program for final year students of the Faculty, for which three of the very best students were chosen. This is an opportunity for them to get to know the job and their soon-to-be colleagues. With us, they can do mandatory internships, collect information and materials for seminars and diploma theses. And after graduation, they will find secure employment in FERCAM.
This program will certainly be renewed for next year, and we intend to increase the number of available scholarships. By actively reaching out to the best talents in our field we are building a skilled, winning team and we are confident that this is the primary cause for our success.