SŽ – Tovorni promet is part of the Slovenian Railways Group. One of Slovenia’s leading logistics companies and one of the largest exporters of services, it transports more than 90 per cent of its cargo via international transports
Here the company’s managing director speaks to us about the challenges confronting the company and the importance of working with Serbian companies, noting that the company will continue developing high-quality and competitive solutions for the Serbian market.
The year 2020 brought unimaginable challenges on a global scale. How did it impact your business?
– We finished last year successfully, but of course we didn’t fully attain the results planned. Already in the last quarter of 2019, the first signs of recession began to appear in the automotive and steel industries, where we perform a lot of transports.
The pandemic only deepened those negative trends. At the same time, we faced numerous line closures in Slovenia and abroad, and the competition of course didn’t rest. No less than four new carriers entered the Slovenian market. Due to the pandemic, we had to react quickly. We immediately took measures to protect the health of our employees and adjusted work processes accordingly. In addition, we were in constant contact with our customers and adjusted to their expectations.
Together with customers, we have significantly streamlined domestic transports. Despite many optimisation measures, we managed to retain our transports, which didn’t stop even for a day. Although we haven’t achieved our goals one hundred per cent, we can be satisfied.
What are the trends for 2021? Are there already signs of economic recovery?
– Our customers always come first for us and we constantly adapt our services to their expectations. We are forming new products and opening new transport routes. Independently and together with long-term partner carriers, we are constantly developing modern products with which we bring the countries of Central Europe and Southeast Europe together.
We have the excellent cooperation with Srbija Kargo, which is one of our key business partners in the region
We are therefore expanding our production and marketing activities beyond the borders of Slovenia, where the potential for further growth is limited. We are developing our business abroad with many long-term partners, and we are also connecting transport routes with our own traction in Austria and Croatia. We will support our development with a modern fleet and IT support.
How important is the Serbian market for your company?
– Serbia is very important to us. Serbia’s most important foreign trade partner is Italy. Therefore, the Alpine-Western Balkans European Corridor, which also connects Slovenia and Serbia, has extremely high potential for increasing rail transports. We have many long-term strategic partners in the Serbian market, with whom we work well. I would like to highlight in particular the excellent cooperation with Srbija Kargo, which is one of our key business partners in the region.
We established the company SI-Cargo Logistics in Belgrade back in 2015, which ensures that we are even closer to our customers and their needs. We have developed the Sava Express product for the Serbian market. It is a regular freight train between Ljubljana and Belgrade that connects goods flows from the countries of Western and Central Europe with transit through Serbia. The Sava Express also showed its potential during the pandemic, when it carried almost 12% more cargo than during the previous year. We are grateful to our long-term customers in Serbia for their loyalty and trust. We will continue developing our comprehensive services for them in the future, providing them with high-quality and competitive solutions.