“VLANTANA” celebrates the 25-year anniversary: the secret of the company`s success
One of the most innovative companies in the country of freight transportation – “VLANTANA” – already celebrates its 25th anniversary. The company, which began its activities from a single truck, after a quarter of century has more than 1.5 thousand modern environmentally friendly trucks in its fleet, and more than 2.5 thousand employees work in it, and its representations have already been operating in five countries . What is the secret of success? „Quality. Innovation. Sustainability,” answers the General Manager of UAB “VLANTANA” Tomas Stonys.
Most significant facts in the company`s history
The Chairman of the Board of the company Vladas Stončius, one of the founders of the company, when he was asked to refresh the memory on the beginning of 1996, says that they began with the search for one truck: „Then, both a lot of passenger cars and trucks have to be brought from Germany. After a few weeks of intensive search, the first cargo vehicle of “KAMAZ” make was purchased, which carried out the first cargo transportations. Soon we had already four trucks, later – ten, and now – 1,500.“
Initially, the main artery of the cargo transportations took place to the East, later the direction was expanded to the Central Europe and Scandinavia, and already in 2010 the company earned the nomination of the best cargo carrier of the year, which was nominated for 6 years. The company continued to expand its activities and already in 2013 opened new warehouses of excisable goods and customs warehouses.
Last year, despite the COVID-19, the company`s history was supplemented by significant work. Almost near the Klaipeda seaport, by the main transport artery highway of the country connecting the city-port with the capital, the development of one of the largest „VLANTANA“ logistics centres in Western Lithuania was performed (construction was fully completed at the beginning of 2021). The modern places for storage increased in two and a half times, the range of services was significantly expanded. Now the storage area will reach 55 thousand sq. m, so it will be the largest logistics centre in Klaipeda district and Western Lithuania.
Sustainability is an integral part
The “VLANTANA” team emphasizes that the company`s development was carried out, not forgetting the responsible attitude towards the environment and sustainability.
„Respectively referring to the environment around us, we strive to reduce the destructive impact on the environment,“ said the General Manager T. Stonys. „Vehicles are constantly updated or replaced by the least polluting fuel vehicles, and their specifications contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution. With the help of rail and ferry transport, we strive to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions – more than 30% of all freight transportation carried out last year with the help of intermodal lines, excluded emissions for more than 35,000 tons of CO2 to the environment. We are constantly interested in and use in our activities the technology with the lowest harmful effect on the environment, and we continuously improve the prevention of pollution and environmental condition. The company participates in new technologies development programs and tries to introduce environmentally friendly means in its activities.“
All trucks in the company complied with EURO VI standards in 2017, and after year the company first in the country began testing acargo vehicle operating on a compressed natural gas (CNG). In 2019-2020 an even more environmentally friendly cargo transport is tested, which is operated on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) – these trucks emit to the environment by about 20% less CO2. The first company belonging truck, controlled by eco-friendly fuel, was sent to the planned route in the autumn of 2020 and is currently managing one of the largest vehicles controlled by alternative fuel, not only in Lithuania, but also in the Baltic countries. According to representatives of the company, the number of such trucks, friendly to the environment, using liquefied natural and bio-methane gas should grow in the company this year. True, the new trucks will work in foreign markets, where the net of gas stations is better developed.
Constant striving for improvement
To the question of what goals the company has put forward to the future, the company`s head primarily mentioned the introduction of innovations.
“Over the past few decades, the cargo transportation has changed significantly and the greatest impact on it had the development of digital technologies, which particularly quickly changes the face of the logistics sector. In the future, the process of appearance and implementation of innovation will only increase, therefore, in order to remain competitive in the market a special attention is planned to focus on digitization and innovation”, emphasized T. Stonys.
Secondly, the most important, according to the General Manager, is the creation of workplaces. „VLANTANA“ is one of the largest employers in the country, and after the opening of a new warehouse in the near future, about 60 new workplaces will be created (about 2,500 employees operate in the company).
„The vision of the company`s activities is based on respect for the family, colleagues, the environment and society,” said the head of “VLANTANA”. – “Respect is one of the main values of the company, so we are guided by both in everyday activity and in communication and behaviour. The organization provides decent and respectful behaviour, respect for the right of a person for confidentiality is guaranteed.
The relationship between employees of the company in the activities of the enterprise and in relations with partners is based on mutual respect, decency and trust. Communicating with representatives of various institutions, organisations, when fulfilling duties, we act respectfully, correctly and subjectively, in accordance with the standards and requirements of certain behaviour, as well as respect for the rights of others. Our partners appreciate the same or similar values, are interested in innovation, they are leaders and professionals in their sphere who value the quality, principles of sustainability and responsible attitude towards business. The company appreciate mutual respect and full cooperation. All this is reflected in the Code of Ethics.“
According to T. Stonys, a significant attention to the environment will be given in the future too. Many EU countries support and expand the initiative of bio-methane production. Lithuania also approved the strategic goal and conditions for encouraging companies to acquire trucks operating on liquefied gas, as well as the installation of gas stations. „There is no filling station in our country, on which the trucks would refill the LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuel. A long-term business strategy is focused on an environmental aspect, and in territory of our company next to Klaipeda, at the main motorway A1, we plan to establish a LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) filling station. Currently, next to our operating filling station a certain place is provided, and a project is developed by us already. Also, in the nearest plans is the installation of a solar power plant on the roof of warehouses in order to obtain energy renewable by 100%,“ stated T. Stonys.
The importance of digitization
The head of UAB „VLANTANA“ does not imagine the future without digitization. It is inseparable from the company`s daily activities, and all processes in the company digitized or currently pass to it to facilitate business processes, reduce the cost of maintenance, environmental pollution and promote more efficient work.
„The telematics used to ensure a secure transport process is the integration of computer service information into the company`s daily processes and planning,“ explained T. Stonys. – „Digitized vehicle technical data, drivers` task management occurs using a professional transport management system. The means on the management of warehouses and workflows are also inconceivable without integrating digitized processes management programs. Currently, business processes management is transferred to a professional global business management system (ERP), the digitization of infrastructure and territory management processes begins. Systems of management of warehouses, transport, orders making help employees to make rational solutions, carry out the right analysis and planning.“
To optimize the processes and activities of employees the promotion of artificial intelligence is used. The freight and orders management system allows both employees and customers to track all cargo in real time, helping to optimize the routes of trucks, to quickly monitor the situation and respond to the problems arising. It simplifies and automates the control processes, reduces the loading of employees, and also helps manage customer requests and provide quality service. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) means, often used in daily activities to fill documents and provide in various institutions, help to save time and resources.
By the way, last year „VLANTANA“ created and patented e-lock. Who had such an idea?
”The author of the idea and the inventor of this e-lock is Vladas Stončius, Chairman of the Board and a shareholder, who is an integral part of the company from the first days,” said the company`s General Manager. – ”Since the creation, considerable attention was paid not only to environmental protection, but also to the development of logistic innovation, ensuring the safety of the cargo transportation. In 2017, when considering various ideas, how better and more effectively protect the cargo, there was an idea of creating an e-lock. A new locking model was developed, which after several improvements was produced and adapted to the trucks of own fleet. The advantage of this device is that it can be unlocked only by the responsible person (manager), making sure that the cargo is safely delivered and is in the planned place.” The company establishes these e-locks on all refrigeration trailers of its fleet and has already launched the sale of these locks, offering them to other transport users. The company is engaged in improving this lock, and in the future we will continuously take into account renewable technologies and opportunities.
Article in Media: Kauno diena