The Portuguese company Euroatla was founded in 1980 and has been established in the logistics and transportation sector worldwide. A market approach based on the fact that the company offers customers a door-to-door transport service.
“We offer the whole route and we also provide transversal services to the transport”, highlights Sandra Ayres the general manager of Euroatla. Ana Gonçalves, business development manager, adds another peculiarity: “we are really experts in the transportation of food and beverages because we have a long-standing experience.”
Euroatla presents itself as a reference company in the organization of international freight transport …
Sandra Ayres: The offer is essentially the maritime transport but we also have air and land transport. We offer a door to door service. We offer the entire route and we also provide transverse services such as documentation services, certificate issuance, customs services, warehousing if necessary, cargo consolidation. That is, we have a series of services that complement the transport. The goal is thus to offer the customer an integrated service.
What is the core business of the company? And what range of products does the company carry?
Ana Gonçalves: We mainly transport products from the agro-food and beverage sectors. We are specialists in this type of transport as we have a longstanding experience. Although we are not only limited to transporting products from these sectors. Historically, we have clients with decades of working relationship with Euroatla, many of them are present at SISAB Portugal (International Salon of the Food and Beverage Sector). We were molding ourselves to the specialization that was required by these clients and ended up becoming specialists in the transportation of agrifood products.
Sandra Ayres: Euroatla’s core business is shipping by focusing on areas where Portuguese communities are present. Hence our relationship with SISAB Portugal. Our traditional clients represent a Portuguese community abroad, such as in the United States. And this is a market that has become sophisticated.
The company has a door-to-door offering in the transportation sector and something differentiating as well …
Sandra Ayres: Yes, even because the transportation of agrifood products has its complexity. When a company like this becomes a specialist, it can give a customer advice that stands out from what the market in general can offer. We know what the conditions are, what kind of care the customer must have and the necessary licenses to export to a particular country, etc.
Is Euroatla’s customer obliged to carry a minimum volume?
Ana Gonçalves: We do not require a minimum volume of transportation. We operate from parcel transport which we started to do through a partnership with an express transport supplier, to the air cargo of more volume; we make the full container and the container parcel. And we can do it in different strands. For example, we can make a parcel that then shares space with others in a container, as we can also carry goods together for a customer to a specific destination, even if he asks us for loads from several exporters. We offer transport solutions tailored to the needs of customers. And we also work with imports.
From what ports do you operate?
Sandra Ayres: From the ports of Lisbon, Sines, Leixões and Setúbal. Because Euroatla covers the whole country.
What are the main markets of Euroatla?
Ana Gonçalves: We do operate in all international markets. In this sense our service is very comprehensive. But we have some destinations that we work harder on because they are the ones our customers most use.
Sandra Ayres: If we have to mention the main ones they are the United Kingdom and the United States. We also have a very close relationship with China, in a sector other than agrifood because we work with a Chinese multinational, just as we work with the Middle East. That is, our offer is global.
Is there any new market in perspective?
Sandra Ayres: The Canadian market is very interesting to explore in the transport of goods from the food industry, also by the strong presence of a Portuguese community.
What challenges does Euroatla face for the upcoming future?
Sandra Ayres: There is a very important challenge for this sector that has to do with the competition that is beginning to emerge in the transport sector from technology-based companies that allow online markup, service sharing, etc. It is something we have been following and studying very carefully. To realize how these small and medium Portuguese companies can evolve with the necessary technological tools to satisfy the needs of the clients without, at the same time, losing the characteristics that we have today of a very personalized service.
Ana Gonçalves: It is a ‘revolution’ that includes a series of technologies, but we are very attentive to this reality. We made an application to the 2020 Program and part of the funding for this application was dedicated to the modernization of the company at a technological level because we believe it will allow leverage the company in the medium and long term.
There is another movement: the one which there are more and more microenterprises dedicated to this sector but that doesn’t necessarily offer specialized services and don’t add much value to the client. But doing the real mediation is not being a freight forwarder, because the transportation mediator adds value when you can add services, give options, and even when you can provide some customer service.
Is the future of freight transport in the sea?
Sandra Ayres: I think so. Undoubtedly, despite the online trade motivating the air travel. First of all the size: the great revolution in transport was the appearance of the container. When you stop having a ship where you collect the cargo and you have the goods packed in a container, there is a major revolution in global trade.
Ana Gonçalves: And maritime trade allows for scale. I think that air travel should grow in complexity and solution level, but long-haul transport is, by excellence, maritime, when talking about scale, it is the only way of transport that can allow it. Of course, there is need for complementarity, the so-called multimodality. And we cannot be afraid to build a solution with terrestrial, air and sea if necessary.
How far does Euroatla want to go? Knowing that without transport there are neither exports nor imports…
Ana Gonçalves: The premise of continuing to treat customers as we have dealt with, from being a business partner to customers, has to be there always. Regardless of what might exist around it.
Sandra Ayres: We want at least another 38 years as prosperous as the previous ones. And we want to maintain this excellent service that we have achieved. Without damaging the development of technologies and other types of customer service.