FLSmidth Ludowici depends on Russian ice truckers to ensure customer deliveries during the freezing winter months when the northern parts of Russia experience temperatures below -55°C.
Similar to many people in these regions, FLSmidth Ludowici’s remote mine site customers also depend on these transporters for their supplies.
Robert Mold, FLSmidth Ludowici Sales and Marketing Manager explains the goods need some major organising to get payment, production and logistics sorted so that they can get there on time within the tight delivery windows.
Wayne Horn, FLSmidth Ludowici’s Fire Assay Product Manager and local agent in Russia, Andrew Guba work with customers and the company’s manufacturing plant in China to get the fire assay crucibles to customers in the northern reaches of Russia.
FLSmidth Ludowici’s Russian customer orders three to five containers of fire assay crucibles annually, which need to be delivered in one shipment during the winter months as the trucks can only travel on ice to secure deliveries. During the warmer months, the ice is too soft, making transporting goods via road difficult.
Mr Mold says it is critical that the order is received well in advance to ensure sufficient time for the goods to be manufactured, paid for, and then transported to and around Russia before the ice starts to soften.
According to FLSmidth Ludowici Product Manager for Fire Assay Wayne Horn, considerable effort is invested by the team to secure a purchase order from their Russian customer with even a repeat order requiring at least 30-50 emails to negotiate, and confirm terms of payment and delivery times to close the deal. The goods are required to leave China around Christmas/Chinese New Year time, when transport companies are extremely busy or closed. In spite of all these challenges, FLSmidth Ludowici has been able to secure this repeat business, time and time again from their Russian customer.
Mr Horn attributes this repeat business to the high quality of the product and service levels provided to the customer, as well as competitively priced products, favourable payment terms and assured delivery times. FLSmidth Ludowici employs a team of committed staff who are involved in all the negotiations and logistics on-hand to close the deal, each one dedicated to providing operational excellence to all their customers.
FLSmidth Ludowici Australia represents the group in Australia.