Lithuania is a rather small Baltic country located at the crossroads of Western Europe and the vast Eurasian region. Forwarding agent Ingstad & Co UAB is capitalizing on this particular geographical interface.
Receiving shipments, consolidating them, sending them out to their final destination: that’s presumably the routinely process experienced day by day by thousands of forwarders around the globe. The same applies to the staff working for Ingstad in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. They however have a particular selling point: arranging all sorts of transits no matter if by air, road, ship, or rail. Says their Managing Director Julius Beinoravicius: “After having consolidated the incoming shipments at our warehouse here in Vilnius we dispatch them to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan or any other of the CIS countries.”
And what about remote places east of the Ural Mountains for example?
Julius: “If required we provide transport services even to the Siberian hinterlands of Russia.”
This is done mostly by air due to the vast distances between the Baltic region and places like Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk or Tomsk that need to be bridged.
Julius points out that all customs formalities are arranged at his firm’s consolidation center at Vilnius according to consignee’s requirements. A highly important and much desired service offering since customs issues are anything but clear in most parts of the Eastern European hemisphere. That’s why special knowledge combined with a well tuned network is needed to speedily get the job done. Otherwise shippers face the risk that their goods might get stuck for a while, missing their onward flight or scheduled road transport.
“With our nearby ice-free port of Klaipeda, Vilnius airport (VNO) just around the corner and plenty of highways connecting different countries, Lithuania constitutes a perfect and natural international distribution area for beyond shipments,” Julius explains. Their amount are increasing since the economy of the three states at the Baltic Sea region Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are experiencing a modest upswing. Latvia also joined the euro-zone on 1st of January this year. Trade and transports are also stimulated by growing purchasing power and hence consumer demand from people living in nearby St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, the former German Koenigsberg, or Minsk in Belarus.
“We here at Lithuania are perfectly situated atthe crossroads of these very big markets: Western Europe with a population of 340 million citizens, the Baltic Region counting 110 million people, and the CIS countries with roughly 250 million inhabitants,” the manager states.
Founded already in 1873 (!!) in the Swedish city of Malmo, his firm can look back on an extremely long tradition. In addition to all daily logistics services offered to customers the Swedish office have specialized on transporting racing horses, a task that requires high expertise and broad handling knowledge.
The Vilnius-based Ingstad branch was established in 1998 for capitalizing on the growing trade and flow of goods. Meanwhile Lithuania’s Ingstad has been assigned the highest credit rating which only three percent of all firms doing biz in that country have been accredited. Because being located at the intersection of west-east traffic their employees are fluent in English, German, Russian, and Polish and of course their mother tongue Lithuanian.
IATA accredited agent Ingstad & Co is member of an array of international organizations, among the Global Freight Forwarders Group (GFFG), the Swedish and Lithuanian Association of Forwarding Agents or the alliance Worldwide Cargo Marketing (WMC). “Actually, these and our membership in some more organizations broaden our reach enormously and provide us with additional knowledge,” Julius notes. But these cross-industry alliances don’t only add to his firm’s biz, they sometimes relieve his staff of some work. This is the case when deciding to exhibit at large transportation fairs with WCM offering its members to participate in the booth booked by the alliance. A considerable pecuniary benefit since renting space at large trade fairs for displaying your service offerings costs big money.