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Knauf Insulation Turns to DHL Freight for Flexibility and Personal Service

Knauf Insulation sells insulation products throughout Sweden - and that the deliveries work is crucial for the company.

They decided to test DHL Freight. 

"I was skeptical - but it seems that DHL is breaking the code for how deliveries should work in Sweden. We have not experienced a single problem with delays since May when we hired them," says Ronni Bjørneler, CS & Operations Manager, based in Gothenburg and responsible for logistics in the Nordic region.

Knauf Insulation is a fast-growing global company that is a leader in insulation products. The company is part of the Knauf Group, which has a total turnover of over EUR 10 billion.

"We have expansion plans in Sweden which makes it crucial for the logistics to run smoothly," says Bjørneler.

Flexibility Is the Key

The company sells insulation products to, above all, retailers and construction contractors all over Sweden, but also delivers to private individuals who will build, for example, a summer house.

"Our business demands flexible logistics. It can be everything from a big delivery to one of the main construction material resellers to some packages for a small construction project on top of a mountain in the ski resort of Vemdalen," Bjørneler explains.

Bjørneler, a 10+ years logistics veteran, knows how easily problems can arise – and what issues and costs they can bring.

"You might have a building crew expecting the goods at a certain time on a specific day. A delayed delivery can cause them hours of non-production, which is of course very expensive. If the truck is delayed, the building site could even be closed for the day so that we can’t unload which causes great pains, and costs."

'Afraid To Be a Faceless Number'

Knauf Insulation went searching for a new partner for transports and deliveries in Sweden during spring 2021 due to a warehouse relocation to Gothenburg.

"I was contacted by DHL Freight but honestly didn’t believe that was the right partner for us. DHL is a global company doing business in over 200 countries - I was afraid that I would just be one more faceless number among all of their other customers. I also expected it to be too attractive in terms of price," Bjørneler explains.

Despite his apprehensions, Bjørneler still decided to try out DHL for a couple of months, tasking them with some of his most complicated deliveries to remote and hard to reach locations which had previously often been marred with delays.

"Things worked out like clockwork, not a single miss. DHL also gave us a very good price picture. For the smaller deliveries, it was 25-40 percent cheaper compared to other suppliers. But also the total price we were offered for all deliveries was good."

Surprisingly Personal Service

Bjørneler was also impressed by the personal service given, causing the cooperation to be ramped up in August. DHL Freight will be responsible for some 1 200 deliveries on a yearly basis.

"There are three people in the DHL dispatch center whom we can contact directly, regardless of the topic. They have come to know us and our business and are almost like my own coworkers. One person in particular is dedicated to us and we can call her about everything. Say that we have ordered a delivery to Jönköping the day after tomorrow but the customer have gotten in touch asking for earlier delivery. She will check it out and get back to us right away. Such service and accuracy is a scarce commodity and gold worth to us."

'It Seems Like DHL Has Cracked the Code'

Bjørneler says that in his role as responsible for logistics, the default state is to expect problems with deliveries every single week.

"We have worked with DHL since May 2021, and so far everything has worked perfectly, something I have never experienced in the logistics and transport business during such a long period of time," he says, continuing, "It seems like DHL has cracked the code on how to make deliveries in Sweden work. Actually, I have only had one single delay. But then DHL called the recipient well ahead of time and they could agree on a new delivery time slot the following day, so that never became a problem.

Bjørneler is now looking forward to growth in the Swedish market. "DHL has given us the perfect foundations to be competitive," he finishes.

Knauf Facts

  • Knauf Insulation is a leading supplier of high-performance and durable insulation solutions with glass and stone wool, with more than 40 years of experience.
  • As part of the Knauf Group - a multinational family-owned manufacturer of building materials and construction systems - Knauf Insulation employs more than 5,500 people and has 27 manufacturing facilities in 15 countries.

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