Last month we spoke to Robert Mulders, one of the freight managers at IDS. He told us more about his efforts to keep supply chains running smoothly in these challenging times. Today, we would like to introduce one of his newest colleagues: Jamie van de Kam.
Jamie is 24 years old and has recently joined IDS as a freight management specialist. In 2018, he spent some time at IDS doing his thesis on the consolidation of goods flows and the potential efficiency benefits that can be achieved. It was a very insightful study exploring questions such as: What savings can be achieved by consolidating shipments and shipping them a little later?
When formulating the questions in your thesis, what were your expectations?
“I expected that it would be possible to consolidate some shipments, and I was right. In theory, smart consolidation can reduce costs by between 10% and 20%. However, it can be challenging to actually achieve that percentage in practice. There can be all kinds of reasons not to consolidate shipments: changing customer requirements, the specific characteristics of a shipment, and so on. But it’s very rewarding when it works.”
What struck you about IDS’s customers during your research?
“The majority of IDS’s customers have large shipments with a wide variety of characteristics and different volumes. What struck me most was the high number of internal transport activities. It can be easy to overlook internal shipments, yet it is an area where many valuable gains can be made. So that was actually a surprising additional insight from my research.”
As part of the IDS team, Jamie will have two different roles. Firstly, he will be focused on operational freight management tasks – ensuring that customers’ supply chains continue to run smoothly. Besides that, he will be involved in various stand-alone strategic and tactical projects. “I’m keen to play a part in helping IDS’s customers to achieve optimal results, even in these tough times.”
What is your goal at IDS?
“After completing my thesis, I did another master’s degree in Spain and then spent some time travelling in South America,” says Jamie. “The coronavirus outbreak meant I had to return home sooner than planned, but thankfully I was able to start at IDS sooner than planned too, which made me feel very welcome. I was keen to come back here because I felt very at home while doing the research for my thesis – there’s a pleasant atmosphere, friendly colleagues and, above all, interesting work. Most of all, I’m looking forward to getting to know the customers and getting stuck in. In the longer term, I hope to support smooth-running logistics so that our customers can focus on other areas of the supply chain.”
In your view, what is the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on IDS’s customers?
Jamie: “I think it will take a while before all the consequences become apparent. We have already seen some of the effects, but the situation is changing all the time.”
- Some production and supply chains completely shut down in Italy and Spain, for example, and were severely disrupted in other countries. But it isencouraging to see that the freight flows are gradually starting back up again.
- We’ve noticed some instances of stockpiling here and there – and not only among consumers, but also by businesses too. That is now causing a temporary drop in demand.
- Many companies are now looking for alternatives: different suppliers, different routes, different types of shipments, and sometimes even different raw materials.
It’s a very dynamic time and I’m eager to see how things will develop – not least because IDS is involved in helping companies to find logistics alternatives so that production can continue without delay. I’m keen to play a part in solving that puzzle.”