Innovation & technology

80 professionals manage 18,000 postal vehicles

From the west of the city of Berne, 80 Post Company Cars employees manage Swiss Post’s impressive fleet of vehicles. The SME recently purchased electric delivery vehicles for PostLogistics.

Anita Suter

(Copyright: Post Company Cars)

It’s quiet on this oppressively hot July afternoon in the used vehicles hall of Post Company Cars. In what used to be Swiss Post’s own vehicle workshop – which was a hub of activity for repair and maintenance work until around 15 years ago – the vehicles are now checked over at the end of the leasing period and sold as used vehicles. The rear section of the former large-scale workshop hall has been rented to a third party for some time. “We no longer repair anything ourselves – instead we have a network of highly skilled partners,” explains Marcel Ingold, Head of Sales and Market during a tour of the PostLogistics subsidiary’s premises.

22,800 vehicles

The visit to the three-storey office building illustrates what has been said: the real heart of Post Company Cars lies here, not in the workshop. 80 employees mainly carry out advisory and administrative tasks for the roughly 22,800 vehicles that Post Company Cars manages. 18,000 of them belong to the Swiss Post Group, 4,800 to third-party companies – and they range from electric scooters to forklift trucks and delivery vehicles. Fleet management is the specialist term used for the services provided by the Swiss Post subsidiary. In practice, it is a full service package for companies with a vehicle fleet.

“A particular set of specialist skills is required to manage a fleet in line with its fair value,” explains Marcel Ingold. “It’s more efficient and cost-effective for customers to acquire this expertise on the market,” he adds. The range of services includes the handling of around 9,000 damage claims a year and the verification of over 100,000 invoices which are rejected in the event of errors by Post Company Cars. “We provide our customers with a complete package,” says the Head of Sales and Market. Depending on the service package, Post Company Cars takes over responsibility for everything that is part of vehicle management – including financing – and then simply sends the customer a monthly invoice.

Consulting expertise – also for eco-vehicles

The emphasis is placed on customer requirements – and that starts with the choice of vehicle, explains Marcel Ingold. “Our advisors need to know exactly what the customer needs the vehicle for. How is it used? Does the vehicle need sliding doors – if so, only on the right or also on the left? What engine capacity is required? Only with this information can the correct advice be provided.”

In keeping with the spirit of the times, Post Company Cars also has an interest in eco-vehicles. “It’s still the overall costs that matter,” explains Ingold, putting the situation into perspective – and costs for electric-powered vehicles are still very high at the moment. Especially in this case, consulting expertise is important – can the customer provide the infrastructure for charging stations? Is enough power available? When Swiss Post put 11 new electric delivery vehicles into operation in mid-June, Post Company Cars played a key role behind the scenes. “We were constantly in close contact with PostLogistics, ensured that the building was fitted with power supply in good time and that delivery was made when the infrastructure was available.”

written by

Anita Suter

Logistics market and innovation