Nokian Tyres is a globally recognised tyre manufacturer and a pioneer of the Finnish tyre industry. Established back in 1897, the company manufactured its first passenger car tyres in the small town of Nokia in 1932. Two years later, it produced the world’s first winter tyres.
Today, Nokian Tyres is listed on NASDAQ, employs more than 4,200 people worldwide and generates a turnover of some EUR 1.4 billion. The company’s key market areas are Nordic countries and Russia while market shares in Central Europe and United States are continuously growing.
Besides what have been praised as the world’s best winter tyres, the company makes several other types of passenger car tyres and is one of the leading manufacturers of heavy-duty machinery tyres worldwide.
Tyres are shipped to destinations around the world from factories located in Finland and Russia. With both production facilities manufacturing tyres for all market areas, frequent transportation within and across continents is required. Storage facilities are located in 13 countries, providing storage capacity for several million passenger car tyres at a time.
The company relies on the services provided by Contrainerships, particularly in exports within Europe and between Russian and European countries, explains Jussi Juhola, Corporate Logistics Manager at Nokian Tyres.
“We work with several logistics companies, and Containerships is one of our long-term partners. Our annual export volumes equal around 12,000 full container loads.”
Container shipments growing
Container shipments account for around one third of Nokian Tyres’ export deliveries, and trailers for the remaining two thirds. However, as Jussi Juhola points out, the number of container deliveries has grown dramatically over the last year.
“One of the key reasons for this is the shortage of haulage vehicles in Russia, but other factors include the suitability of container deliveries for stocking our new storage facilities and for transoceanic shipments to North America.”
According to Mikko Niininen, Logistics Manager, the truck shortage has opened up new horizons for intra-European container shipments.
“Because our business is seasonal, we need to be proactive, think ahead and react quickly. By pooling our resources with Containerships, we have been able to develop novel inter-modal systems for transport between Finland and continental Europe, such as direct container truck deliveries from ports. These arrangements accelerate delivery during peak seasons, and have made container shipment an even more attractive option for us.”
Jussi Juhola believes that Nokian Tyres will need both container and truck deliveries in the future.
“Our customers place their orders before the high season begins, and we make the deliveries well in time. Since our customers do not necessarily need or even want the tyres early, containers – with longer delivery times – are the perfect solution for such deliveries: the goods can be packed efficiently and remain safely and securely stored inside the container. A full container load of tyres weighs relatively little and is therefore an economic choice for shipping companies.”
Finland is the main export logistics hub for Nokian Tyres deliveries, where all of the firm’s international transport agreements with suitable partners are negotiated and concluded. Export service providers include dozens of logistics companies.
“Although price is an important consideration in a partnership, other issues such as continuity, lack of interruptions, reliability and punctual shipping are also important. Punctuality is crucial, because we need to have 2–3 people on site to load and unload the tyres. We expect the truck to be there as agreed. What sets us apart from many other sectors is the fact that we set a specific date and time for our deliveries,” Mikko Niininen elaborates.
“We pay close attention to staying on schedule. We promise door-to-door delivery – Containerships is the perfect fit in this respect, as their services cover both road transport and sea freight. The delivery may also involve container storage in a port, or transport by rail.”
“Containerships offers a full service package which covers every step of the transport process. Our key concern is that the goods are loaded and arrive at their destination on time. Naturally, we want to be informed of all transport-related details, risks and other, similar factors.”
Mikko Niininen is satisfied with the frictionless, long-term cooperation between Nokian Tyres and Containerships.
“Having been partners for such a long time makes things easier. Containerships knows our business and policies, which makes it easier for them to offer the right solutions for our needs. Although they are not the biggest player in the business, we have entrusted them with some of our key routes, because they have always been able to react quickly to our changing needs and to answer our questions without delay. Being able to trust in Containerships is a major issue for us.”