‘The value of trucks taken out of use is huge’

‘As European market leader in the trailer market, we are responsible for the life cycle of our products. We are developing new products based on re-use,’ says Harald Vorbrink, Senior Account Manager of Schmitz Cargobull Finance, a financing company and joint venture between DLL and Schmitz Cargobull.

‘Our trailers see many years of continued use in emerging markets such as Russia and Africa. These old trailers often end up on the roadside or in the scrapyard, as countries increasingly have the capability and resources to acquire new products. We therefore had to find a solution for our used trailers, in both local and export markets. That meant finding other forms of re-use that can also be applied in local markets.’

Refurbishing

‘Our search has led to two new products, which we are currently introducing in the German market in a pilot project. The first product is the refurbishment and leasing (contract hire) of used trailers — including a repair and maintenance contract. The idea is to give the refurbished trailer the look and feel of a pre-owned trailer. This is an attractive option for businesses seeking flexible solutions. The refurbished trailer is only available in conjunction with a financing agreement and is not sold separately. This allows us to retain control of our trailers, which is essential within the circular economy.’

Recycling

‘Our second product is the recycling of used trailers. This means using raw materials, such as metal and aluminium, in the production of new trailers. This creates a fully closed raw materials cycle, with which we are actively withdrawing volume from the market. The quality of the average trailer in the market will rise as a result. And that creates opportunities for sales of new trailers.’

Changed approach

‘Together with the team from DLL as our strategic partner, we analysed the life cycle of our product, developed new propositions and learned to look at our product in new ways during this journey. Where we initially thought in terms of problems, we now think in terms of solutions. This enables us to offer our customers greater choice in the products and services they buy from us.’