“Leading a company means managing a set of people with different expectations, sensibilities and variating, and at times, contrasting ideas of what really constitutes the company’s value,” says FRANCO AZZOPARDI, Chairman and CEO of EXPRESS TRAILERS.
“It is true that our business depends a lot on consumption and as long as there is public consumption, business will remain steady. But our growth is not only in terms of business activity. We seek growth based on three important and distinctive pillars namely space, equipment and people. As a CEO, I have made it my mission to constantly bring our people together to work as a team without ever losing focus of our main purpose: that of adding value to our shareholders. At Express Trailers, our people are the heart of the organisation.
Franco Azzopardi joined the company as non-executive Chairman in 2011 bringing with him long years of experience in corporate strategy, risk management, quality control, knowledge and people development.
“One of my first tasks was to action an already drafted succession plan for Express Group. I knew I was joining a family business but what I found was a highly evolved company, whose founders, the Vella brothers, had built meticulously with passion, commitment and goodwill. Eight years down the line since my appointment, I look at Express Trailers as an amazing success story built on a strong and reliable set of services and a unique customer centricity.
“Today Express Trailers is not only Malta’s largest logistics company but a pioneer and a game-changer, a company that continues to withstand the test of time as it supports Malta’s economic evolution by connecting it to the rest of the world. Our mission remains that of acting as a vital link for hundreds of importers and exporters operating to and from Malta.
Communicating the Value of the Express Brand
“It’s not easy to communicate value to shareholders when a company is not listed. What we do is we work very hard to sustain and to keep improving the perceived value by investing in our three main business enablers namely, our equipment, our space and our people, something which Express Trailers has been doing since its earliest days.
“Our fleet was always at the forefront of any long-term investment and whenever the company looked at growth, this was always in terms of fleet resources because an upgraded and diversified fleet enables better and more efficient logistics operations that satisfy clients’ increasing demands. Therefore, as long as we keep investing in new transportation vehicles in tandem with the best drivers, we will keep operating in the safest and most reliable manner.
“The company’s value is also reflected in the people it attracts. In fact, an indicator of the perceived value of the company is the rate of feedback we receive when we announce vacancies. We focus a lot on our people and we are investing a lot to offer them continuous training and education to turn them into true logistics specialists. The launch of our Express Training Academy last year and our recent huge investment in our new and modern The Logic Training Centre reflect the importance that the company is placing on its employees. Ultimately, they are the ones who can return most value to our customers and our shareholders.
Employees’ Experience and Expertise to Mitigate Logistics Risk
We have been building the Express Trailers brand on a number of pillars but perhaps one of the most important pillars is the management of risk. The idea of risk management in logistics might not be as sophisticated as in other financial sectors such as insurance and banking but this does not take away from the fact that logistics is a sector that attracts a lot of risk.
Some risks can be mitigated and others can be transferred, whereas certain residual risks will remain with the owner and the transport operator. It all boils down to how capable a transport and logistics company is at mitigating the risks involved.
At Express Trailers, we are constantly looking at the perceived risk at all levels of our service delivery and from a governance perspective, we have invested a lot to borrow from and emulate other sectors such as banking, finance and investment operators in this regard. In fact, we have one tone addressing risks through a board committee. We are equipped and experienced to give the highest level of confidence and peace of mind that if operators need a sound and reliable logistics operator, then they can come to us. As logisticians, we operate under the CMR convention, to which Malta is also a signatory, we have most quality charters in place, and we invest regularly in the top-most equipment to reduce risks of failure.
The level of the extent to which we are capable of mitigating risk is one of our strong points. Businesses find a solid partner in Express Trailers. It comes at a price, but that price is reflected in the value and risk mitigation that we offer which ultimately contributes to businesses’ peace of mind.
The Year Ahead.
In 2020, Express Trailers remains committed to keep focusing on developing its people further especially in view of how the sector is developing in terms of technology and a quest for more sustainable operations.
“In fact, as operators, we will keep focusing to address the trade gap between imports and exports as we will be seeking to also harness the opportunities of big data by using smarter technologies, more mobile applications, automation of technology and workflows. We also plan to renew our focus on sustainability, an aspect which we know, should be driving our sector in the coming few years.
“We have come a long way and it was no easy task. The going was tough, but the tough kept everyone going. Hard work, courage, passion, dignity, determination and attitude were, and will remain the main ingredients for this company’s future success.”