Founded 22 years ago, Lviv-based company Bei-Trans carries out transportation of all kinds of cargo in 48 countries. With a multilingual staff and a network of valuable connections around the world, Bei-Trans has long been a trusted partner of many international partners, including German companies Leoni, Beiersdorf and Rehau. With technology and innovation at its heart, Bei-Trans is flexible and committed to the timely development of logistics decisions for the fastest fulfillment of clients’ transport needs. Here, its co-owner and director of development, Maria Bei, describes what makes the company stand out in the competitive international transport market
How would you describe your company’s evolution and current position?
We started with nothing except willpower and today we work on three continents transporting goods. Our core competence is to organize the transportation of goods for our clients and fulfill all their needs in terms of imports or exports. What makes us really different from others, is that because of our location in Lviv, in western Ukraine, we are mostly multilingual. Many of us know Polish, Ukrainian and Russian, just to begin with. That’s allowed us to find a lot of commonalities with both Western and Eastern clients. That makes our business really special – building bridges between Eastern companies and Western companies. We are like a translator between both needs and mentalities. A lot of our transportation runs from Europe to CIS countries. We are in Lviv, but we work online so we organize a lot of transportation to Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. We are very flexible and can find the best solutions. We started as a transportation company, and we had trucks until 2002. It was always such a conflicting issue, between the needs of our trucks and the needs of our clients. We had to depend on border crossings, ferries and so on, which could have caused problems and delays. Now, we use a big database. We work with a lot of transportation companies, big and small, and use different warehouses that best suit our needs.
What is the potential of the German market for your company?
In Germany, we’ve worked with Beiersdorf for around 10 years. Their main office is in Hamburg and we’ve been working with them transporting goods to Ukraine and CIS countries. We also work with Leoni, which has a plant near Lviv. We started with them from the very beginning and we’ve successfully worked alongside them ever since. Most of our services for German companies revolve around transporting goods from Germany to Ukraine and other CIS countries. We’ve also worked with Rehau. The German market is very special and holds a lot of potential. Many of the companies work in manufacturing, which means the products need to be exported, but they also have a lot of plants and warehouses in Poland, where we also provide our services. We are constantly trying to find new clients on European tender platforms.
What image do you want to transmit to German clients?
We can fulfill the client’s needs. It’s like this – you won’t have to worry about the details; you just get a great result in the end. You don’t have to worry about the chain that deals with customs, border crossings, and all of the red tape.
How is your company innovating?
We’ve invested in a startup whose main goal is to decrease the empty runs of trucks, which is currently around 24-25 percent. It’s a project that can unite different players in the transportation market. Of course, technologies and our database are critical to our operations.
How would you describe the business climate here?
I believe it’s very good. And what I have heard personally from Western investors, such as Leoni who came 15 years ago, is that they have been very successful. For them, I think it’s even easier to work here because they’re supported by our government. I’ve heard many such stories, from small and midsized businesses as well. They have protection from embassies and the local governments are highly appreciative of them. I believe we have to do many things to appear more interesting for Western companies, but those who are brave enough to come can find great success. Our geographical location is also fantastic. It’s close to the EU border, and we have well-educated people who are multilingual. I also believe that, compared to other areas, the western part of Ukraine has really progressive governments.