Investing in the future
20 new lithium-ion trucks now in operation
V1000 from the city of Roeselare in West Flanders is now operating 20 new STILL EXU low lift pallet trucks with lithium-ion technology. As well as expanding and modernising its fleet, the logistics company also wanted to opt for a clean and low-maintenance drive type. The future-proof technology underlines V1000’s commitment to being the logistics expert of the future.
V1000 – they have a new name, but they enjoy a long-held reputation in the industry. The company has been transporting goods since as long ago as 1883, though back then under the name A.J. Veurink. The company has been operating in Belgium since 1989, where its client base is also growing constantly. V1000 specialises in the transport and distribution of general cargo. “Mainly in Benelux and France. And in fact for B2B as well as B2C clients,” says owner and Managing Director Sandro Paravizzini.
Logistics expert of the future
Paravizzini took over the company in 2019, with the aim of elevating it to the next level. “I firmly believe that our company has a future. And the new name is another part of that." That’s why A.J. Veurink was renamed to “V1000 – The next step of Veurink”. According to Paravizzini, “1000” is a nod to his Italian roots. “We often say ‘mille grazie’ to our customers. That means ‘a thousand thanks’ for allowing us to work for them. V1000 may not be a traditional name, but it fits in perfectly with our goal: to become the logistics expert of the future.”
Invest money to save money
The green light for this grand vision was the new corporate image. On top of this, V1000 is constantly analysing and optimising its processes. The company’s own investments are also going under the microscope, in line with the motto “Invest money to save money”. “As a company, we have survived a number of crises,” explains Paravizzini. “We have learned a lot from these crises. Among other things, we now know that, if you want to save money, you often have to invest it.”
The latest investment was in 20 new STILL pallet trucks with lithium-ion drives – ordered in the midst of the Covid crisis. “When others were choosing to postpone their investments, we pushed forward because we saw an opportunity,” says Paravizzini.
“Especially in the B2C market, we are noticing significant increases in demand,” adds Operations Manager Karel Van der Beken. “Garden centres and builder’s merchants were closed, yet people were keen to get going with home improvements. With our new trucks, we were able to supply goods quickly and reliably.”
Advantages of lithium-ion technology
V1000 took on the new STILL EXUs partially to replace their old trucks, but also to expand their fleet – and each one is fitted with a lithium-ion battery and integrated charger. “Thanks to the built-in charger, we are able to charge the trucks whenever necessary at any 230-volt power socket,” says Van der Beken. The pallet trucks are not V1000’s first lithium-ion trucks, with five other STILL EXU-16s in operation, as well as three versions with a stand-on platform – the EXU-S type.
“The lithium-ion technology offers us nothing but advantages,” says Van der Beken. “Replacing the batteries is no longer necessary. We can charge the trucks up easily during breaks, which allows us to guarantee their availability. Including for international transport. In addition, the batteries are maintenance-free and offer greater energy efficiency than lead-acid batteries.”
Although the investment costs for lithium-ion batteries are around 30 percent higher than for conventional batteries, Van der Beken stresses that the advantages of the technology quickly offset the cost difference. “Charging periods of eight to ten hours are no longer necessary. Half an hour of charging is plenty. This reduces the number of incomplete orders, as well as the level of frustration. As a result, customers are more satisfied and costs are lower.”
The new trucks are being leased by V1000, which also has a preventative maintenance contract. “STILL has been a reliable partner for 20 years. The service that STILL provides was a major reason why we decided to go with STILL again,” adds Van der Beken. “There is always a service technician on site, who is familiar with our company and our employees. This collaboration works really well.” As well as regular service checks, STILL also carries out all repairs beyond the scope of the contract.
Over the next few years, V1000 plans to optimise even more of its processes. “We will be focusing heavily on digitalisation and new digital tools for our customers. Of course, we will be doing all this without losing sight of the need for one-to-one contact with our customers”, Paravizzini concludes.
For both Van der Beken and Paravizzini, one thing is clear: The new lithium-ion trucks from STILL are helping V1000 to elevate the quality and safety of its own services to a whole new level. “If we really want to be the logistics expert of the future, we have to continue to invest, especially in our employees. They are and will always be the driving force behind our company. Investing in the best equipment is an integral part of that. With the new trucks, we have taken an important step in the right direction,” summarises Van der Beken.