For the return of the annual face -to -face conference after two years of pandemic, Rui Pereira, CEO of Sofrilog spoke about the stability of the refrigerated logistics and transportation specialist. A resistance allowed by its multi-activity and multi-customer positioning (the latter is shared at 40% in mass distribution, 40% in the food industry and 20% in RHF). During this health crisis, the company was particularly driven by the frozen food market, thanks to one of its key customers, Picard, as the fresh market suffered more and RHF activity ” stopped overnight at the beginning of the pandemic “said Rui Pereira. And the busy season is not over, with rising energy prices and shortage of raw materials. In the face of this situation, Sofrilog reaffirmed its position as a family business:” Obviously we need economic performance, but not outperformance. We want to support our market and be with our customers “. In the will to go through this crisis with them, where” we are in the early stages, with a significant rupture rate for everyone “. This commitment to its customers leads the company to seek solutions to” find savings to compensate for the increasing cost of energy: Route optimization, over service limit, delivery delay …“, counts Sébastien Bossard, commercial director of Sofrilog.
Approaching the balance between transportation and logistics
With this changing landscape, Sofrilog recorded 148 million euros in turnover in 2021. The company, which has 1,100 employees, 40 warehouses, a fleet of 220 vehicles and 1.4 million m3 of storage, has continued to grow its business in the past. years. And it’s mainly in the transportation activity that the company is focused, with an ambition, ” to become a prominent player in the world of bi- or tri-temperature distribution “said Rui Pereira. As its logistics activity has almost reached maturity, Sofrilog now intends to base its development on its transportation offer:” In 2021-2022, we developed this offer, always with the goal of supporting our customers to get involved in the distribution business. On this perimeter, we have a historic fort on the Ile-de-France, and we thrive in Normandy, the Pays de Loire and a little to the South-West. “. In 2021, Sofrilog acquired two agencies, one in Châtellerault (86), one in Villeneuve-sur-Lot (47), allowing it to strengthen its network. The company now has significant transportation coverage in two-thirds of the country: “ We have doubled this coverage in these recent openings and most recently, in 2022, with the acquisition of the Panalog agency in Mâcon (71) in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté “.
100% neutral gas cold production in 2025-2026
Relying on its subsidiary Oofrais (specialist in last mile distribution in light refrigerated vehicles), Sofrilog is also committed to developing PLUs (urban logistics platforms) including BtoB and BtoC in Caen, Rouen in 2021 and Strasbourg through of the opening of an Oofrais agency on June 1, 2022 ” with the ambition to provide our customers with multi -format solutions – LV, HGV – in all major cities while meeting the barriers of ZFE said Sébastien Bossard. Oofrais platforms are also present in Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, Avignon, Bordeaux, Lille and Rungis. While transportation transfers will represent 23% of the total in 2021, ” the goal is to gradually approach the logistics balance with the ambition of at least doubling the transfer of transportation over the next three or four years ”, says Sébastien Bossard. All through organic growth but ” also in external growth, if it appears “, Continued Rui Pereira.
These goals occur in a particular context, between excessive oil and gas bidding, as well as a lack of equipment: ” Now, we have to make choices, to position ourselves on the right fuel to use – B100, gas, hydrogen, electric. Because it is also the future of transportation to be a great actor. And we have shown that we know how to be in logistics from 2025-2026, 100% of our cold production will be gas neutral “said Rui Pereira. Sofrilog is driven by the same ambition for transportation, investing significantly in clean ways, with economical fuels, making it possible to enter ZFEs on January 1, 2025.
Developments in 2021
In 2021, the refrigeration specialist has allocated more than 17 million euros to investments, specifically related to the environmental aspect. A dedicated offer for taking one’s own way with the driver, at HGV, also saw the light of day in the same year and was formed in 2022: “ We will provide vehicles with a driver, for customers with a vocation to radiate nationwide, even if they do not have the transportation capacity “. An existing offer in Rouen, Lille and Strasbourg. Digitization is also progressing using the Truckonline tool, which will be distributed to all agencies, on its TMS GPI interface,” to meet the expectations of our customers in the aspects of monitoring and dematerialization said Sébastien Bossard. If transportation is the subject of many developments, the logistics component (which now represents 80% of its turnover), is not left out. In March 2021, the company completed the 18,200 m² extension of its Vire site (14) for Normandy, with a new room dedicated to storing raw materials. The Verrie site in Normandy was also extended in July 2021, where the warehouse increased from 3,800 m² to 9,200 m. In the same month, the company, as part of its partnership with Picard, expanded the Villeneuve-sur-Lot (47) and Bédée (35) platforms.
In 2022, Sofrilog aims to continue this development in the world of distribution. One of its other areas of work is e-commerce, where the company is able to support its customers with BtoC activity. On this topic, Supply Fresh, launched in April 2021, with the ambition to become a temperature-controlled e-commerce player, is “ still at launch “but want to move forward” without confusing speed and haste “. Another project: a transport commission offering to and from Morocco, regarding the distribution of food products, through the LMFL (La Marocaine Frigorifique et Logistique). This project also includes to set up in Morocco a new tri-temperature platform in Casablanca.If the project is delayed by Covid, it is still relevant and the refrigeration specialist aims to inaugurate it as soon as possible.