People Who Move the World: Merzario
Merzario has gone from strength to strength in the past decade thanks to a round-the-clock commitment to customers and a focus on the latest technology.
If you’re in logistics, it’s almost a 24-hour job,” says Merzario Sales Director Mark van Zunderd. “It’s part of your life.”
It’s a familiar refrain in the industry, but everyone at Merzario, from the Chief Executive Officer to the warehouse operators, really lives and breathes logistics. Their passion for the industry, combined with a customer-focused attitude, have produced an open-hearted culture that fosters high performance.
“It’s like a family feeling here in this company, I think that’s what makes it,” says Mr. Van Zunderd. “The people here are really looking into the solution and fighting for the client. These people are going 24/7 to find the way to ship the container for the client.”
Arnold Verzijl is both an example and a product of this environment. Having worked in the logistics industry since he was 16, starting on the floor of a local warehouse, he joined Merzario in 2006 and is now Director of Import Sea Freight. The biggest change he’s witnessed during this time has been how technology has changed customer expectations.
“The problem nowadays is that customers need to know the information yesterday,” he says. “11 years ago, if customers are booking containers, ok, let’s wait a month and then the container arrives in Rotterdam. Nowadays, you see a change in the economy; everybody needs the cargo yesterday, so therefore correct information, correct data input is our main focus.”
CEO Nico de Ruiter agrees. “Information technology, I think that’s the battlefield for the future of the forwarding business,” he says. “We have a big emphasis on CargoWise because it’s a perfect tool to develop your company.”
Mr. De Ruiter bought out Merzario from its Italian owners more than a decade ago and has grown the company from 25 people in two Dutch offices to over 100 staff in 16 locations around the world. Having a powerful global system not only became a necessity as the business developed, but also formed a vital part of Ruiter’s growth strategy going forward.
“We wanted to have a good, workable, user-friendly system which could give us the management tools to develop the company.”
“[CargoWise One] helps to expand the company even further, even our Chinese offices that’s been recently opening,” he says. “A shipment in Qingdao is immediately also a shipment in Rotterdam. It’s very user-friendly.”
For Mr. Verzijl, the comprehensive platform that CargoWise One provides excites him. “It was quite difficult to find a good system where we can work with logistics, warehousing, customs handling. The whole company must be put in one system,” he says. “Bottom line, it was CargoWise who fit the best.”
Merzario has been using CargoWise for two years now and has developed its offerings to include track and trace functionality. Customers are now able to check in with their container from wherever they are in the world. “It’s easy to handle, you log in and you can do nothing wrong,” says Mr. Verzijl. “It’s easy to switch, easy to check some internal sheets, so the customers that are using the track and track are quite happy.”
The next step will be allowing customers to book online, “like you book a holiday”, he explains. “I think we must go further and further. I think if you visit us in two years again, we will be much further with CargoWise.”
Ultimately what the staff at Merzario love is not the technology itself, but what it enables them to do.
“Our CargoWise system and WiseTech solutions can be really personalized for the client. We listen to the clients, and then we build a solution around their wishes,” says Mr. Van Zunderd. “I like the personal approach we have and a lot more service, to be a little bit more dedicated for the people, and give them a personal touch, instead of a huge machine going through the world.”
With big plans and a strong foundation, Merzario will be working tirelessly to provide their customers more, anytime, anywhere.