We helped Haglöfs improve cash flow and logistics by providing smart and innovative warehousing

We helped Haglöfs improve cash flow and logistics by providing smart and innovative warehousing

By Anders Wahlund, 26 February 2019

The relationship between Greencarrier Freight Services and Haglöfs started over a decade ago. It all began with a fruitful conversation and resulted in a long-lasting relationship that has only grown stronger over the years. Derived from shared values and engagement, Greencarrier Freight Services helped Haglöfs with two main challenges. The result? Increased liquidity and sustainable logistics.

One of the world’s largest suppliers of outdoor equipment

More than a century ago, Wiktor Haglöf designed a backpack for local workers in the small Swedish town of Torsång. The creation of this durable, practical backpack would mark the beginning of what has now become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of outdoor clothing, footwear and hardware. The Haglöfs brand is currently marketed to the Nordic region, Europe and Asia, and has been owned by ASICS Corporation since 2010.

Tied up assets due to regular transactions of goods across the borders

When Greencarrier Freight Services and Haglöfs first met, it was all about discussing possibilities. Haglöfs was experiencing tremendous development and strong growth.

Haglöfs was collecting goods from multiple suppliers across Asia. The goods were shipped by sea on a regular basis to Haglöfs’ warehouse in Sweden. At the warehouse, the goods were picked and packed based on customer demand and delivered to stores across Sweden and the rest of Europe.

However, when the goods arrived at the seaport in Sweden, Haglöfs had to pay for customs duty and VAT (Value-Added Tax), just like all importers are obliged to do. Rates for customs duty varied from zero to 16 per cent and the VAT was up to 25 per cent.

With the regular transactions of goods across the borders, this meant Haglöfs had a lot of their assets tied up.

Long lead times to the Chinese market

Around the same time, the customer demand for Haglöfs’ products on the Asian market started to really take off. Soon they could see a drastic increase in orders from Asian customers.

At this point, Haglöfs still collected goods from suppliers in Asia, shipped the goods to Sweden and had them picked and packed – only to transport them all the way back to Asia for delivery to Asian stores.

This resulted in long lead times for the Chinese market and unnecessary transportation costs, not to mention the negative impact on the environment.

And so Haglöfs was faced with yet another challenge.

Bonded warehouse solution to improve liquidity

To help Haglöfs deal with the tied up assets, we introduced an, at the time, entirely new concept: A bonded warehouse. Actually, we were among the first freight forwarders to offer a bonded warehouse solution.

With our bonded warehouse solution, Haglöfs could postpone the payment of customs duty and VAT. Instead of paying for these expenses at the time of import, Haglöfs could transport their goods directly to their warehouse in Sweden. The goods were then stored until it was time for delivery to stores – only then were they cleared for import.

This greatly improved Haglöfs’ liquidity and had a positive impact on cash flow. Greencarrier Freight Services also started taking care of the ocean freight between China and Sweden, and also some of Haglöfs’ few air freight shipments, to ensure that the goods flow and administration ran smoothly and efficiently.

“With Greencarrier Freight Services bonded warehouse solution our costs decreased significantly and liquidity was greatly improved. To us, it is important to have a partner who can provide the transport and logistics solutions we need to ensure goods supply at a competitive price”, says Anders Holm, Logistics and Planning Manager at Haglöfs.

New warehouse in Hong Kong to reduce lead-time, transportation cost, and environmental impact

To solve the issue with the unsustainable shipments of goods to the Asian market, Haglöfs wanted to establish a new warehouse in Hong Kong and asked for our help.

With this solution, Haglöfs’ suppliers across Asia were able to drop off their goods at the warehouse in Hong Kong. From there, the goods were picked and packed and could be delivered directly to the Asian stores.

This greatly improved lead times to the Asian market. Not having to ship the goods back and forward between Asia and Sweden also contributed to a much more cost-efficient and sustainable logistics flow.

“The establishment of the new warehouse in Hong Kong provided a sustainable solution with shorter lead times. Today, we use Greencarrier Freight Services’ solutions for sea, air, and road. And moreover, they continue to develop new sustainable transport alternatives”, says Anders Holm, Logistics and Planning Manager at Haglöfs.

A relationship based on shared values and engagement

At Greencarrier Freight Services, we are really happy to have Haglöfs as our customer.

Haglöfs is a responsible brand that, just like us, put sustainability at the core of what they do.

They have made a strategic decision to integrate sustainability into their business development and their efforts target their entire supply chain.

“Sustainability is part of Haglöf’s DNA and we work continuously with minimizing our ecological footprint. Reducing the environmental impact of transportation is part of our sustainability goal. Therefore, it is a given choice to use a freight forwarder like Greencarrier Freight Services that puts sustainability on top of their agenda”, says Anders Holm, Logistics and Planning Manager at Haglöfs.

Our long relationship with Haglöfs is also derived from sharing the same values and taking responsibility for the world we live in. In 2015 Haglöfs donated a large amount of sleeping bags, clothing and boots to the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. Greencarrier Freight Services decided to sponsor their shipment between Sweden to Nepal to support Haglöfs in their effort to help others.

To sum it up: For a customer like Haglöfs, we are simply prepared to walk that extra mile. What started as a conversation about possibilities turned into a long-lasting relationship, which we look very much forward to continue to nourish and develop together.

“Greencarrier Freight Services is a great organisation with knowledgeable staff who takes really good care of us. We look ahead for new possibilities to improve and simplify our day-to-day operations”, says Anders Holm, Logistics and Planning Manager at Haglöfs.

Greencarrier Freight Services provides more than 15 000 customers with sustainable logistics solutions every day. Visit our website to find out more.

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