TRS started operating in Africa & South America and through the years they have made themselves stronger in these continents. They've been a member for over a year now and one of our sponsors for the X2 World Cup.
Please enjoy the interview with the Business Development Manager of TRS-Michael Auf der Maur. Let's get to know him more before you meet him at the upcoming 6th Annual X2 Conference 2019.
How long have you been in the freight forwarding business?
MA - I started in the freight forwarding business back in 2004. So I am working already more than 14 years in this industry.
How did you get into the freight and logistics industry?
MA - My father is working in the industry since more than 40 years already. I grew up with him telling me stories about the freight forwarding business and international business relationships. When the time came for me to decide what I am going to do in my future business life there was no question for me but to start an apprenticeship in International Freight Forwarding and Logistics.
What are the current difficulties or challenges you are facing in your country when it comes to shipping?
MA - We are currently facing a very long period of dry weather with almost no rain since Spring time. Since Switzerland is a land-locked country we have to use tri-modal services to and from all major European seaports. Without rain we see a dramatic shortage of space on barge and rail services creating high extra charges (storage, detention, low water surcharge) for all involved parties.
Another aspect are problems of all smaller or mid-sized forwarding and logistics companies: The global players are creating an environment in which it is becoming more and more difficult to grow or even to keep the business and clients you have on hand. It's more than ever a time where you have to make sure that your company is keeping up with the speed of technical development and global trends.
For customs clearance in your country, any advice or guidelines you can provide to your future partners?
MA - Switzerland is not part of the European Union (E.U.). We therefore have our own customs regulations and it's mandatory to check with us what is needed before sending a shipment to Switzerland.
If you can change anything about the freight forwarding industry, what would it be?
MA - I think a lot of small or mid-sized forwarding and logistics companies are spending or have to spend a lot of time into personal relationship development with customers, carriers and international business partners. It would be nice to see more credit for the personal approach when it comes to choosing a freight forwarding and logistics provider. The money aspect is more than ever a problem for us, as it's almost impossible for the smaller companies to compete with the global players when it comes down to the money factor. What we can do and what we always have to improve is our personal approach to the customer and our personalized solutions which we are offering.
What advice would you give to a person who is considering a career in the freight forwarding industry?
MA - It is probably one of the best industries to start building your own working experience. You learn day by day even if you are working in the industry for more than 10 years. You meet a lot of very interesting people from various cultures and from all over the world. Keep on being open minded for changes and new ideas. Always pay attention while you are at work as you even learn only from listening to what is happening around you every day.
What is something you would like to us to know about your company?
MA - No challenge is too big for TRS. Try us!
We are a small but very service oriented freight forwarder in Switzerland. Located in the heart of Europe, we are handling sea and air freight shipments to and from all over the world. Be it a food production line that needs to be loaded into several containers, or with special equipment, or just a small aircraft part that needs to be at its destination even before it has been produced. Our dedicated team is there to help and assist with the best knowledge of the industry.
Please tell us about your company. Where are your headquarters and when did you first establish the company?
MA - TRS was founded back in 1996 and has it's headquarters in Therwil just outside of the city Basel in Switzerland. Both founders (Toni and Rudi) are still working in the company and are sharing their valuable knowledge daily with the TRS team.
In your career, have you seen some very poorly executed shipments? What would you have done differently?
MA - I can't pick any shipments out of my mind. What I can say about the project logistics business is that a lot of people do use the word "project" for larger shipments. 40 containers on the same BL are a project for them as well. But when it's really coming down to project business, break bulk shipments, RoRo shipments with heavy machinery, they have no clue what to do. X2 Projects is therefore a good platform to unite project shipping experts from all over the world and to really help out and support with their expertise.
Lamborghini Countach shipped by airfreight from Switzerland to Bahrain.
Flat Rack container stuffing in Switzerland for Senator Jakarta, X2 Elite Partner.
2 large crates (1x 711x260x329 cm / 59'000 kg and 1x 571x265x294 cm / 15'300 kg) shipped as break bulk from Switzerland to Chile.
Our special networking event is about smart freight forwarders coming together to grow and develop business within the group by providing an opportunity for all members to gather in one place to form and extend personal relationships.