“The current international situation has brought a lot of disruption to the way we operate. However, I’m proud to say that together with my team, we have managed to rise to the challenge to reshape the way we work,” says Mark Vella, Head of Express Trailers’ bond operations.
Located in Ħal Far, the bond depot consists of warehouses and an unloading area for the operation that involves all trailers and containers that arrive from across Europe and beyond.
“Basically, the depot in Ħal Far sees all our trailers and containers which would be carrying products from different customers and various destinations. This is why this service is called ‘groupage’ – because it groups together various customers’ loads into one delivery. So when the trailers and containers arrive in Ħal Far, our job is to segregate the different consignments so that we maximise the efficiency in their distribution.”
Trailers and containers containing different customers’ goods come from all across Europe but also from the Far East namely China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Turkey.
“Our activity used to be much more systematic, we knew when the consignments were coming in and we could plan the work more easily. However, the current situation which is causing constant delays has been making life a bit more difficult for us. Before, Mondays and Tuesdays used to be the busiest days and then, the rest of the week used to be dedicated to minor operations.”
“Nowadays, although the bulk of the work still happens on Monday, trailers and containers keep flowing in throughout most of the week. But like everyone else, we too have adapted to this situation because ultimately, our aim is to give the best service to our clients,” added Mark.
Life at the Ħal Far bond depot, nonetheless, remained exciting, triggered mainly by all the new activity related to the shift of the ShipLowCost operations from the Qormi warehouse to Ħal Far.
“Increased activity required us to explore ways how we can improve our operations to work better and more efficiently. Our administration office is still located inside a container but we gave it a total revamp because we felt it was high time to have more modern and better-equipped facilities. We are also about to start working on the installation of a brand new structural tent which will allow us to work whilst being sheltered from the elements.”
“Of course, another challenge was to adapt to the new CarLo system. In fact, all the team which is made up of around 36 people had to undergo training on the new system.”
“Today we know that operations are more seamless and I am proud to see my team responding so positively to all these changes,” concluded Mark.
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