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on the hunt for six thousand empty trailers

Hauliers don’t like to talk about it, but there are about six thousand empty trucks on the Dutch roads every day. We can compare that to a 90 km traffic jam. Erik Roelevink and Hans van Wieringen search for those empty spaces of the transport sector on behalf of their customers.

Erik and Hans are the two partners of airhunters and are basically ‘transport brokers’. The company started in Velp, the Netherlands in December 2013. Both gentlemen seem young and energetic, but they have over twenty years’ experience in the transport sector each. Inspired is the word that suits them best. They’ve known each other since they were colleagues at an international transport company in ‘s-Heerenberg.

killing three birds with one stone

What’s going on? A haulier won’t fill his truck every day. The load factor of an average truck in the Netherlands is 85 %. Airhunters locates those empty spaces for its customers. That’s where the name comes from. Transport requests vary from small shipments that can hitch a ride, cargopooling, to complete shipments filling an otherwise empty return trip. This is positive for the customer, because he has less expenses and a solution for his transport request. It’s positive for the haulier, because his trip is more profitable. But most of all, it’s positive for the environment, because CO2  emissions decrease significantly. “It’s crazy that there are so many trucks on the road while there is so much capacity left,” explains Erik Roelevink. “We strive towards transporting more with less trucks.” Also shipping containers and cargo aircrafts often have excessive space. Air France-KLM’s cargo flights are filled for 80 %. “By focussing on the empty spaces, we work towards sustainability for our customers,” adds Hans van Wieringen.

‘the crazier, the better’

Both Hans and Erik have ample experience in the logistics sector. Looking back, Hans explains: “at my former employer’s I was mainly busy with trouble: damages, traffic violations, illness etc. Only 20 % of my time was devoted to the customer. This created a distance between the customer and I. At airhunters’ the percentages are reversed.” Large transport companies tend to lose customer contact: they come up with all sorts of cost saving internet solutions at the expense of personal contact. The customer is key at airhunters’. “I’ve never had to tell no,” says Hans beaming, “I enjoy complex assignments. The crazier, the better.” It’s clear that they would take on any challenge. “We have fun in our jobs, enjoy arranging sustainable transportation,” adds Erik. “For this we use our network. In every country, we know the right person who can help us locally. This network is our added value.”

from Arnhem to Canada

Airhunters has customers all over Europe, but relatively few in the Arnhem-region. “Because we work demand-driven, we can help out any company with a transport request. So also companies in the Arnhem-region,” tells Hans.

We like to be inspired by the members of OKA (Ondernemers Kontakt Arnhem – Entrepreneurs in Contact Arnhem) and in turn we’d like to inspire our colleagues.” No matter how complex the assignment is, where it has to be delivered to or how often, airhunters takes on the challenge. When companies struggle with finding a solution for their transportation issue or prefer a more sustainable transport solution, they should call airhunters. “We are passionate about transport. We are driven, distinctive, solution-minded and innovative. On business level we’d like to combine success with sustainability,” concludes Erik.

Tekst: Dick Leseman, Ondernemers Kontakt Arnhem
Translation: Judith Oudkerk

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