Restaurateur Elias Grigoriou set up Portioli Caffè Nederland in 2011. It is the Dutch distributor for the Italian brand of the same name as well as the Silkenty brand of tea from Sri Lanka. They also distribute GIME coffee machines.
The primary targets are restaurants, hotels and cafes. The products can be bought separately or as part of a total tea and coffee solution.
Comparing apples with apples
All the coffee products are imported by road from Italy. Tea is imported by sea and air freight from Sri Lanka.
As we’re small and focus on fresh products, we have a number of logistical challenges. It’s important to keep our warehouse stock levels low – that keeps products fresh and capital outlay low too
Elias Grigoriou, Restaurateur
"The low stock levels are a challenge when a large order comes in unexpectedly. It used to be our buyer who arranged shipment to the Netherlands for us. That meant we had no influence on the transport, and things often went wrong," explains Avinandha Ramsoedh, office manager at Portioli Caffè Nederland. Avinandha is also responsible for transport within the Dutch company.
Importing tea from Sri Lanka has its challenges too. "The tea only gets produced to order. As we don’t want to store in bulk because tea needs to be fresh, there can sometimes go up to three months between order and delivery", adds Ramsoedh.
"I’m responsible for transport, but not an expert", says Ramsoedh. Transport quotes are a complex area so it’s very difficult to compare apples with apples."
In 2014, the company decided to re-assess its logistics. "We wanted to manage the transport from Italy ourselves and so we looked for a supplier who could help. Our previous supplier’s service wasn’t good. You got the feeling that they didn’t take small companies seriously. I searched for a new supplier on the internet and found DSV", says Ramsoedh.
We’ve been using DSV for a while now and service has taken quite a leap forward. "We only deal with one customer service team so the number of people you speak to is limited."
Operations have also seen a quantum leap since the switch to DSV. "Our warehouse is in the centre of Utrecht with lots of narrow streets, so it was difficult to get a big truck in. DSV solved this with no fuss with a smaller truck."
"Thanks to the open, direct contact with our customer, we can also learn how to improve our service even more", says Patrick van Ulft, Commercial Manager at DSV Road.
About Portioli Caffè Nederland
Portioli Caffè Nederland is the Dutch importer of Portioli coffee. In 1958, Giorgio Portioli bought a tasting-bar in Via Eustachi in Milan, where he started using a roasting machine to produce and sell high-quality coffee blends. The success achieved lead him to sell his blends to others bars and cafés in Italy. In 1989 the company moved to larger headquarters and started exporting worldwide. Learn more at www.portioli.nl.