The motto for TPG Logistics is "Europe is our home, Slovenia is our homeland." Strategically located in southern Slovenia, or more accurately in Koper harbor, TPG has been quietly building a strong business on moving cargo in and out of Europe through the Adriatic Sea. Eastern Europe has been an especially robust target, giving Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Beograd a lucrative window to the global markets. In this corner of the world, TPG is building a new vision for logistics.
An important gateway, the Port of Koper in Slovenia connects Central and Eastern Europe with the Mediterranean countries and the Far East. It services all of the major carriers, who understand the port's importance and its potential for growth. Connections through the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal allow Koper to cover almost any port in the world with enviable transit times.
"Our region is growing very fast and more and more people are coming to see Koper and ask for solutions via the Koper Port," says Tilen Pahor, commercial manager, TPG Logistics. "This is mainly because of our strategic position in the middle of southern Europe. We are one of the closest ports to countries like Austira, Hungary, Italy and other Balkan countries."
Several major pulp and paper mills are well positioned to take advantage of Koper, including Mondi, Smurfit Kappa and Stora Enso. Roundwood, sawnwood, panels and biomass are healthy markets in the area, with the regional industry seeing growth of over 8% during the last five years. Although the wood and timber market is expected to decelerate slightly, the region should still see more than 6% growth to 2015, giving that market alone a value of nearly $100 billion.
This geographical position is the top of the list for benefits when Pahor talks about TPG and Koper. Southern Europe can hold its own when it comes to forest products cargo for a region many analysts perhaps unfairly count as second tier.
"Why go north if we can be just as fast and cheap enough to handle the cargo here," says Pahor. "Here we have a big potential and, without a doubt, we will develop and grow."
"Our region is growing very fast and more and more people are coming to see Koper and ask for solutions via the Koper Port," says Tilen Pahor, commercial manager, TPG Logistics.
New approach, new logo
December 2008: TPG decides it is time to renew their approach to business. It is time, as TPG proudly tells the story, for new relations. TPG Logistics now stands for Trust, Personal care, and Global presence, and a dedication to a new commitment for a new world reality and a new world of economic opportunities.
"We are not special," says Pahor. "We are just putting a lot of effort into the things we do and we do our business with love."
To complete the new approach, a new logo was unveiled. A symbol of combining the various modes TPG works in, sea, air, road and rail, the TPG logo highlights that transport and logistics is their core business. A dynamic white curve against a blue background represents TPG's constant motivation toward the sky.
"One of our advantages could be that we are directly present in Koper," says Pahor, explaining how TPG's location at the port makes a difference in how they do business. "Our competitors are usually represented by agents or joint ventures, which makes us more flexible in our decisions and faster in our actions."
Flexibility is important for TPG, as a company value and as a specific way of doing business. The logistics provider has been known to say ‘No' at times, believing that loyally serving their existing clients comes before recruiting new customers. Instead flexibility means being ready to pay attention to partners and customer's requests, working to satisfy their news and requests that best serves them, rather than TPG. This requires a high level of trust between TPG and their customers and partners, a level of excellent in building long-term relationships.
"We can offer a full range of service to our customer in chartering a vessel, or be the agent for the vessel, or whatever our customer needs," says Pahor. "Our team is well focused on our customer needs and their satisfaction. We could say this is our main goal. So trying to be competitive and flexible, and have top service is how we do business."
In 2008, TPG Logistics created a new logo, emphasizing its dedication to a new commitment for a new world reality and a new world of economic opportunities.
Proving and improving
Operating at the Port of Koper, contracting on a yearly basis, TPG has an operative quay of 840m with six berths and sea depths of 7 - 10m. This can be extended to 12.5m with special arrangements. Adjacent to the quay, TPG has 134,000 square meters of multi-purpose closed warehouse space and an additional 40,000 square meters of open storage space.
Working with paper in reels as well as pallets, pulp and wood, TPG uses a full range of equipment to manage the cargo within their facilities. Loading and unloading cargo is nothing new for TPG, from wood and rice to coffee and metal products, but there is a focus that not all dry cargo is the same. To transport and warehouse paper and cellulose, TPG offers a specialized department offering its customers an integral service solution, with their team present from arrival to departure from the port.
"Koper is small but a fast growing and very professional port, and we are very professional logistics providers," says Pahor. "It's especially important that we prove that everyday to people who don't know Koper and our possibilities."
As part of their efforts to prove, and improve their operations, TPG has recently been certified ISO 9001-2008 in October 2011. With Europe as their home, the company has also acquired the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Certification from the European Commission. The certification is granted to show European operators who meet criteria in customs compliance, record keeping, financial solvency, and security and safety standards.
Value-added services are another integral part of the TPG way of doing business. The TPG Agency Koper is a neutral shipping agency at the port focused on the sea freight business, capitalizing on years of experience in moving cargo around the world. Complementing their dry bulk cargo, TPG also works with container shipping and trucking, as well as project cargo and heavy lifting.
These efforts are part of the whole for TPG. They call it 100% business. While nothing is ever perfect, and there is always room for improvement, TPG aims to be 100% in their enthusiasm and commitment to their customer and clients.
"For mills which are present in the southern part of Europe we are surely a good option on the costs and service side," says Pahor. "And it's also very important that people know that today almost all the shipping companies are coming to Koper and that we cover all the world ports."
The TPG vision is a new approach to logistics. They are not dedicated to become the biggest logistics company in the world. Their goals are definitely attached to the idea of a new economic reality. TPG wants to stay consistent in who they are and the service they provide, the best service to new and existing customers. And TPG never wants to lose that vision.