La logistique au cœur des régions

STG moves 1,600 lorries per day

Société des Transports Gautier based in Noyal-sur-Vilaine, France (near the city of Rennes), is the second largest fresh produce carrier in France. The group has decided to take on a new logo and investments.

A new logo was needed for them to agree to talk about themselves, because Jean-Yves and Antoine Gautier are discreet people. They are not ones to boast about the success story of the company founded in 1949 by their father Rémy, who passed away in July 2010.

Since that time, the two brothers have dually managed one of the largest groups specialising in the transport of fresh produce in France. The Breton company, STG, with a turnover of 350 million euros, is ranked number two in the sector, behind STEF (1.8 billion euros). It has 3,500 employees, including 1,800 drivers.

It delivers 11,000 tonnes of products every day.

How did they achieve all this? By reinvesting profits to help the group grow through the purchase of other transport companies: Merret in Morlaix (1981), Legoff in Landévant (1987), and Boissel in Quimper (1989) are some examples in Brittany alone.

"We expanded through internal and external growth, at an annual rate of 5%”, explained Jean-Yves Gautier. “The money has always stayed in the business." And the capital has remained in the hands of a single family who chose to replace the old logo (comprising three interwoven letters) with a new signature "composed of three letters in the colours of the regions of France, with a lightly curved underline." It is a sleek, more modern logo that "makes it easier to read our brand name and better highlights our group's identity, which is built on a group of subsidiaries."

A new 7,100 square metre platform

In the coming months, the entire fleet of lorries will take a trip to the paint shop to be freshened up with the new logo on the sides and the name of the subsidiary on the front of the tractor. Year after year, the company buys between 200 and 250 new vehicles to renew its fleet. STG has around fifteen subsidiaries throughout France and 1,600 vehicles delivering 11,000 tonnes of goods every day.

Fresh produce (vegetables, dairy products, cured meats, etc.) represent 88% of turnover, which is logical for a carrier that expanded alongside the agri-food industry in Brittany. "It was the 1950s, 60s, and 70s... Our customers were expanding their activities according to the transport services we were able to offer them. Our growth and theirs were closely linked,” explained Jean-Yves Gautier.

The remaining 12% of turnover is generated by industrial parcel and freight delivery activities: parcels, packs of water, food packaging boxes, tyres, soya and seed in bulk, etc. "We want to develop this part of our business, not at national level but within our region, where distribution plays a greater role than dispatch."

The group modernised its platforms in Saint-Brieuc, Brest, Nostang, and Nantes with Wi-Fi hotspots on the loading docks, drivers equipped with PDA terminals, and more. Everything is designed to optimise handling during loading and unloading and to ensure real-time tracking of deliveries. Next step: the opening of a new parcel delivery centre in Noyal-sur-Vilaine, France, during the first half of 2013, an investment worth 4.8 million euros.

Laurent Le Goff - Ouest France

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