Value added services are becoming more and more important in the logistics business: the products most in demand include the handling of customs services. The managing directors of the Rhenus subsidiaries, ALS Customs Services and Revival Express, spoke about the challenges of working in the customs business on the opening day of the 29th German Logistics Congress. The press conference in Berlin focused on security, initial and further training for customs specialists and the efficient organisation of flows of goods, particularly in the light of Russia’s membership in the WTO.
“The best planning work for transportation and warehouse concepts for international supply chain management is of no benefit if the raw materials and goods cannot overcome the hurdle of customs clearance promptly. In the light of the general conditions in different countries for specific products, companies should rely on specialists for these processes,” suggested Thomas Müller, Managing Director of ALS Customs Services GmbH, and Olaf Metzger, Managing Director of OOO Revival Express, who spoke with one voice in Berlin.
Customs clearance requires specialist expertise on account of the variety and breadth of the legal stipulations in national states – and this is just what the Rhenus Group is able to offer through its subsidiary, ALS Customs Services, which is responsible for Germany, and through the individual national companies. “ALS has been one of the most adept providers of customs services related to importing and exporting goods for many years and was one of the first services companies in Germany to obtain certification as an Authorised Economic Operator in 2008,” Thomas Müller explained. “We have a huge pool of employees, some of whom have specialised in the requirements for individual groups of items and who are receiving more training all the time.”
Olaf Metzger provided a glimpse of the complex customs structures in the Russian Federation during the press conference. “As our company has a customs broker licence there, we can offer our customers more extensive services compared with our competitors. For example, we can use what is known as block customs clearance. This allows us to import goods, which are distributed on as many as 20 different transport units, into the country with a single customs declaration.”
The standard business for the more than 70 Rhenus employees who deal with customs matters in the national company remains rapid and error-free customs clearance for goods, which reach Russia by truck and do not have to undergo the time-consuming process of being placed in storage at bonded warehouses at the border because the paperwork has been prepared carefully.
Rhenus was the first western logistics services provider to open a new customs and logistics terminal on the Russian/Belarusian border in May 2012 in order to optimise the rapid distribution of goods in this enormous country. “We’re planning to reinforce our commitment to the border area in the next few years,” said Olaf Metzger, “not least because we’re expecting increases in the volume of imports and therefore in logistics and customs services as a result of the recent entry of Russia to the WTO.”
The Rhenus Group is one of the world‘s leading logistics services providers with annual turnover amounting to EUR 3.3 billion. Rhenus employs over 19,000 people at more than 350 business centres. The Rhenus business areas – Contract Logistics, Freight Logistics and Port Logistics – manage complex supply chains and provide innovative value-added services.