time:matters Speeds up its Business

According to figures presented today (25 April), 2015 proved to be another successful year for the firm that specializes on extremely urgent transports and customized logistics solutions. Revenues increased 8 percent to just over €64 million, with Q1 seeing a continuation of this growth trend. However, the role of classical air freight solutions for time:matters’ daily doing particularly on long-haul routes went south once again.

Writing on the wall at the t:m headquarters  -  picture: hs
Writing on the wall at the t:m headquarters - picture: hs

“Yes, we are well in the black,” assures Franz-Joseph Miller, the Neu-Isenburg near to Frankfurt-based MD of the 2001 incepted company. Financial specifics, however, he doesn’t reveal since t:m is a limited liability company that is not obliged to present gains or losses in public.

Solutions Factory
However, even without precise balance sheet information, there are plenty of indications that the special speed logistics firm dubbed “Solutions Factory”, is developing extremely well. This is evidenced when taking a closer look at the 2015 performance of the individual segments subsumed under their “Sameday Delivery” product, that went through the roof. For instance, customized transports for Life&Health grew impressively by 67 percent over the last two years, followed by Machinery & Components by 46%. This led to a 74% leap, in the segment of Emergency Logistics since 2013 and a 21% increase of Sameday Air.

Sameday solutions gain fast ground
The figures, emphasizes Franz-Joseph, indicate a clear long-term trend in his company’s core business of extremely time-critical transport solutions: While classical airline express solutions more or less keep their market share, the segment of door-door Sameday and Special Speed Logistics be it by rail, truck, car, air, including on-board couriers, moves ahead much more rapidly. With €52 million, it contributed the lion’s share of his firm’s turnover of €64 million in 2015, while “Airline Express” accounts for the difference of 17 percent. “Back in 2006 both businesses stood head to head at 50/50 in revenues,” recalls Herr Miller.

Large customer portfolio
The question arises, which success formula the unprecedented advance of Sameday and Special Speed Logistics is based on, outperforming time:matters’ traditional Airline Express market activities year after year. The answer Franz-Joseph delivers is both simple and convincing: “Our very specialized and customized transport solutions are increasingly becoming an integral part of the industry supply chain.” This way, constant flows of shipments are guaranteed, upping revenues, enlarging the field of activities step by step.
Sudden emergency transports, although still important, have long been surpassed by regular shipments on behalf of either shippers or forwarding agents. States Miller: “There are no priorities; we offer our customized solutions to all market participants, including private persons in case of urgent need.”

MD Franz-Joseph Miller of time:matters  -  courtesy: t:m
MD Franz-Joseph Miller of time:matters - courtesy: t:m

Constant flow of information
To this he adds three important aspects: his firm’s performance record of nearly 100 percent, the digital network enabling constant visibility of all processes from pick-up to final delivery and the direct information exchange with his company’s customers. Clients can book their Europe-wide transports online, including requests for onboard couriers, which are confirmed within 15 minutes. Globally, “we have a pool of currently more than 500 on-board couriers in over 30 countries available for rapid assignment,” states Miller.
The digital exchange of information becomes particularly relevant if transports are facing delays for reasons of unfavorable weather conditions or other mishaps. “Given that case we figure out a number of options to best get our client’s goods from A to B the fastest possible way, by including him in these decisions right from the beginning,” he explains.
Alerts are indicated on the screens of the time:matter staff at their Neu-Isenburg HQ or in one of its international offices that are constantly monitoring every single shipment from beginning to end all around the clock.

Relying on selected partners
Currently, the list of clients includes 5,000 firms, with most of them belonging to automotive and machinery, life & health, the semiconductor and aviation sector and medical services, but also includes shipments sent on behalf of some diplomatic corps.
“We have an asset-free peer-to-peer network of 600-plus partners worldwide, including over 25 airlines we closely collaborate with,” tells the manager. The local partners are hand-picked, including training of their staff to meet the specific t:m requirements, in order to guarantee the market consistent quality from A to Z. In average, each single day more than 3,000 customers do business with t:m, most of them demanding customized transport solutions. “Without our state-of-the-art IT system we would be unable to secure a performance of nearly 100 percent.” In a nutshell, “we are a service and technology platform offering the market enormous flexibility to match the customized transport solutions our clients expect us to provide,” Franz-Joseph explains. This high performance is reflected in a Net Promoter Score of 70 percent, thus confirming the appreciation of the firm’s clients.
The NSP measures the customer’s loyalty on a scale as low as -100% to +100%. A positive NSP is perceived as good, any figure above +50 percent is regarded as being excellent. It is noteworthy to say that time:matters’ score is comparable with results achieved by Apple and the Ritz Carlton Hotels.    

Security comes first
Touching the security topic, he assures that all shipments booked under the 'Sameday' label are X-rayed - without exception. “No matter if provided by a single individual or a company that obtained the status of regulated agent we screen them all,” he stresses.
Most of his firm’s business is still conducted within Europe, but will be increasingly internationalized, he announces. To guarantee timely transports particularly for spare parts, capacity provider Businesswings, a small German airline, operates exclusive cargo flights each night between Monday and Friday, deploying two of their Dornier 228s and a Saab 340. This way, time:matters connects major European destinations like Brussels, Oslo, Bologna or Paris.
The specialist for ultra-rapid transport is owned by investor Aheim Capital in combination with the firm’s top management holding 51 percent, followed by Lufthansa Cargo that accounts for the difference.

Heiner Siegmund 

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