Investing in gas for the future10/24/17
More than 25 per cent of Transnugon’s trucks are gas-powered. Managing Director Pablo Bordils Montero sees many advantages – both in terms of fuel costs and opportunities to find new customers. “Our goal is to have a fleet of only gas trucks, with the new Volvo FH LNG making it possible.”
Transnugon is based in a nondescript industrial area just outside Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Visitors are welcomed by a discreet sign on the fence, and early in the morning the trucks are sparsely parked in the large asphalt yard. The office is housed in a few barrack-like buildings, and nearby there is a truck washing facility and a small workshop.
In fact there isn’t much around to suggest that Transnugon is a fast-growing transport company with high ambitions. In just two and a half years, the company has gone from being a small family business with a few customers and about 50 vehicles, to having a modern fleet of 250 trucks. And the number of trucks is increasing every day.
“The reason we have grown so much is that we have dared to take risks and are flexible. We never say no. If a customer demands a new truck, we buy it without thinking so much about the future. Due to our high capacity, we can always live up to our clients’ wishes. And if a client wants us to drive 25 deliveries to Madrid tomorrow, we’ll do that,” says Pablo Bordils Montero, Managing Director and one of three owners.
Most of their customers are active in the food sector, and Transnugon distributes frozen, fresh and dry foods to stores and supermarkets, mostly in the region around Valencia, but also to other parts of Spain.
“We operate the same routes almost every day and offer service to our customers 24 hours a day, every day of the week, all year round. Because we work with food, it is extremely important that our vehicles are in good condition and that we arrive on time,” says Pablo Bordils Montero.
Before Pablo started working at Transugon three years ago, he was one of their customers. His wife’s family runs a company that supplies mineral water to one of Spain’s largest food chains, and Transnugon was their transport carrier. When Transnugon had difficulty growing at the required pace, the owners turned to Pablo and offered him the chance to take over. “I had a good relationship with Transnugon, but did not know much about how logistics worked. It all culminated in me buying a third of the company and going in as a shareholder.”
Today, Pablo Bordils Montero owns the company together with the two brothers Jorge Núñez González and José Maria Núñez González, whose father José Maria Núñez Romero founded Transnugon in the late 1990s. “We don’t belong to the same family, but it feels like we do. We all know what to do, we all work and earn as much as each other. Working very well together has been a prerequisite for getting where we are today.”
A period of major change began when Pablo joined the business. In a short time he replaced all the old trucks with new ones. “With modern vehicles, we could offer our customers a better service and it gave us more assignments and the opportunity to buy more trucks.”
I’m driven by trying new things and constantly improving.
Transnugon also tested its first gas trucks at the same time as the old fleet was exchanged. The tests went well and led to one of the company’s most important investments – the purchase of 30 gas trucks and their own gas station.
“I’m driven by trying new things and constantly improving. I’m also easily bored, this makes me want to keep planning and moving forward. Our gas station is an example of this. I found it one night when I was browsing the internet. It’s all about being curious,” says Pablo Bordils Montero.
The investment in gas trucks was made for purely economic reasons. At that time, the diesel price was high and gas was much cheaper. Their own gas station was a profitable investment. Although diesel prices have dropped, gas is still 35 per cent cheaper for Transnugon. By purchasing large volumes, they get a much better price than by filling the trucks elsewhere. In addition, it saves a lot of time.
Today, Transnugon has 58 gas trucks, which represents more than a quarter of their total fleet of vehicles. And while there were financial incentives behind the investment in gas trucks, Pablo sees many other benefits to offering more environmentally-friendly transportation to customers.
“The gas trucks are highly appreciated by our customers and it gives them added value that they can use in their marketing communications. Urban pollution issues will in the future lead to tougher restrictions and more businesses will demand transportation by gas trucks,” says Pablo.
The Volvo FH LNG is the first gas truck that has the same performance and driveability as a diesel truck.
Pablo’s future goal is to have a fleet made up entirely of gas trucks. And after testing the Volvo FH LNG for a few weeks, this vision has become a possible reality. “The Volvo FH LNG is the first gas truck that has the same performance and driveability as a diesel truck. It works just as well for a return trip to Madrid as for shorter transportation.”
Transnugon is now planning to expand its fleet of vehicles with several Volvo FH LNG trucks. In addition to the truck being used for all types of transports, the low fuel consumption is a big plus. The margins for transport companies in Spain are small and for Pablo’s company, each percentage unit is important.
“Fuel consumption for the Volvo FH LNG is seven to eight per cent lower than in other gas trucks. And compared to similar diesel trucks, the difference is 15 per cent,” he says. For Transnugon, the focus on gas trucks has made the difference between them and their competitors, and Pablo is convinced that the company will continue to grow.
“When we started, we said we would have 100 trucks, now we have 250. When I think about where we are today and all the possibilities there are, I do not see any limitations. If we can attract good personnel and new partners, I think we can become the largest distributor in Spain.”
Transnugon in short
Established in: 1998
Transport: Mostly regional transport for different food companies
Managing director: Pablo Bordils Montero
Owners: Pablo Bordils Montero, Jorge Núñez González and José Maria Núñez González
Turnover 2016: 12 million euro
Expected turnover 2017: 22 million euro
Number of employees: Approx. 288
Vehicle fleet: Approx. 250 trucks, of which 34 are Volvo Trucks and 58 gas trucks
Retention time (usage before selling): Three–five years