Frigo Group copes with corona

Like everyone and everything in the world, the Frigo Group faces many constraints and challenges due to the outbreak of the corona virus.

According to Margreet van Elderen, the health and safety of employees and customers is of paramount importance to the logistics service provider in frozen foods. “We adhere strictly to the RIVM regulations and go a little further if possible,” says the managing director of Frigo Group Transport and Frigo Nieuw-Vennep. “Inside and outside the company the distance of 1.5 metres is sacred and no hands are shaken. There is minimal staffing at the office; the other employees work at home. The meeting room has been set up as a waiting room for visiting drivers; that is all they are allowed. And the frequency of cleaning has been stepped up considerably; we’ve even freed up one member of staff entirely for this.” (photo)

Frigo philosophy
According to Marco van Acquoij, the fact that the cold stores in Nieuw-Vennep and ‘s-Heerenberg have a constant stream of refrigerated vehicles and freezers, some of which come from Frigo Group Transport, is due to the ‘Frigo philosophy’. “We have always profiled ourselves as ‘fast, customer-friendly, sustainable, efficient, flexible and safe’. Well, we can now put that added value into practice all the more,” says the operational director of Frigo Group Transport, who, just like his colleagues, is sorely tested by the Corona troubles. “Business as usual is out of the question. The logistical puzzle that we normally solve on a daily basis is much more difficult because import and export are completely out of balance.”
Frigo Group Transport maintains a daily transport connection with France (especially the Paris, Rouen and Lyon regions): “Because many Dutch companies have closed down, the goods flows in that direction have largely dried up. For fear of a lockdown, Dutch companies are simultaneously stocking up on steel and machines, another of our specialities. It takes a lot of creativity and improvisation to meet this customer demand, especially since loading and unloading is less smooth due to all the RIVM guidelines and the fear of corona.”

Being inventive
Conditioned transport to and from the Frigo cold-storage warehouses in Nieuw-Vennep and ‘s-Heerenberg also causes more headaches, according to Van Acquoij. “You have to be inventive. Because the catering industry is closed, for example, no deep-frozen snacks go that way. In combination with the fact that some of our customers’ staff also work at home, we have to change gear even faster and be even more creative than usual. The goal is minimal downtime. The challenge for us is to organise the logistics in such a way that our customers do not notice that our operational management has also become much more complex because of corona.
According to managing director Henk van Veen of Frigo ‘s-Heerenberg, for example, there is daily contact with regular customers in order to coordinate stock levels. “Because while production continues, there is temporarily less demand. It goes without saying that we don’t leave them out in the cold.” Van Veen already dares to look cautiously ahead to the ‘post-Corona era’. “It is precisely now that we as the Frigo Group can show our added value. Our customers see what we can do for them. We will take all that with us into the future.”

A ‘corona employee’ has been appointed at all Frigo sites, who is working non-stop on cleaning and compliance with RIVM regulations.