N+P Group ships tons of different types of non-recyclable waste streams crisscrossing Europe. Where there are surpluses in one country, strange as it may sound, there is sometimes a "shortage" in another country. So we can cautiously say that the world is changing with us, as more and more industries are shifting from fossil fuels towards waste-derived alternatives.
Our unprecedented growth in recent years proves this. Not only growth in terms of new locations and tonnages of materials, but also the expansion of our logistic activities.
A logistic showpiece within N+P Group
Where it all started? Rick Martens, our Development Manager Logistics remembers the exact day: "September 22, 2007. The day that is known to me as the day that N+P Group independently chartered and shipped a shipment of SRF in bales by coaster for the first time". Previously, we could only dream about the tonnage we transport today. For example, we recently shipped 15,000 tons to various corners of Europe in a relatively short time (12 days).
Our list of trusted (overseas) logistics base routes is expanding at a rapid pace. Whereas the route from the Netherlands to England previously was our base flows, N+P Group is now expanding to countries like Latvia, Sweden and Cyprus. "And the good news doesn't end there, because recently we had a scoop: the first intermodal shipment of waste from Italy to our Subcoal® production location in Farmsum Delfzijl (NL).
At this location we will produce alternative fuels with this material," Rick explains. He was here to witness and co-guide this logistical masterpiece with his own eyes. As Development Manager Logistics, he is behind the ‘logistics buttons’ of N+P Group and ensures that the entire logistics process is streamlined. Whether by train, truck or ship... "N+P Group simply never misses the boat", says Rick with a laugh.
‘Fix’ ships for alternative fuel production
As Development Manager Logistics, Rick ensures that there is always stock, or material to load into a vessel. N+P Group draws its stock from two sources: trading and our own production. In the critical process of our own production, it is important that we arrange our own shipping, or in technical jargon: “fix our ships”. When our loads set their "first foot ashore," the logistics process doesn’t end there. From then on it is time for on carriage and handling.
The shipping market is in rough waters
Shippers have to spend heavily to organize a ship. This low has been going on for 1.5 to 2 years. Simply said: shipping rates are skyrocketing. As a result, N+P deals with several positioning challenges. "Ships are simply not on every corner of the street. That is why it is so impressive that we shipped six cargoes with significant tonnages within two weeks," Rick says.
Of course, N+P Group is much more than just shipping. We also transport tons across European borders by train, inland vessels, containers and trucks in different types. These logistical processes go hand in hand with collaborations. For instance, we have great collaborations ongoing with DTC and the partnership with Henk Smid Transport; they help us get a better grip on logistics and sustainable solutions by deploying trucks.
This puts us in a position to combine freights even more efficiently, thus reducing our CO2 footprint. Want to know more about this partnership? Read it here: N+P Group & Henk Smid Transport join forces.
Trading: communication is key
Our customers or producers in Italy produce waste-derived alternative fuels like SRF and RDF as end products. Before these fuels are produced, their exact final destination is already known; this is because Rick has established this contract in advance in close cooperation with, among others, the development team. A typical example: from A to B.
Even though it is difficult, we always try to find a way back from B to A as well. Internationally, this is not easy, but we try to aim for no empty kilometres. "When we talk about logistics, communication is the ultimate point of interest. As Development Manager Logistics I am very keen on this.
Communication is key. Not only with our customers, but also with the stevedores and brokers. And this can sometimes be very complex due to commercial and operational factors such as availability of quays, notifications, Brexit, calculating the intake and so on", Rick explains.
Under Rick’s watchful eye the logistics process became larger
"When I started at N+P in 2006, N+P Group was not a big international player as it is today. Nowadays, N+P Group operates effortlessly on the international playing field. And yes, that certainly makes my logistics heart beat faster.
I have seen N+P's portfolio grow bigger and bigger. We are serving more and more countries (and industries). If I look back to where we came from and think about how I have seen N+P Group grow not only in logistics, but in so many other areas... then I only can be incredibly proud”, Rick concludes enthusiastically.