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Collaboration proves key to Continental’s long-term relationships

Continental claims its “multi-solution, customer first approach” to its specialty tyre portfolio has secured the brand’s position as preferred supplier for Maritime Transport’s rail and freight terminals.

Though the relationship with the intermodal transport operator is owned by Continental’s strategic service and distribution partner, T&C Site Services, the account benefits from the direct input of both supplier and producer.

It’s this high level of collaboration and co-operation, as well as the products and services offered, that has made the partnership stand-out ahead of the competition, according to Continental.

Maritime Transport, one of the UK’s leading providers of integrated, low-carbon road and rail freight logistics, boasts eight rail freight terminals including Northampton Gateway open for business next year, each managing daily services to and from the UK’s major ports and across the main logistics routes.

Given the scale and prominence of Maritime Transport’s specialist operations, the company rightly expects the very highest standards from its suppliers.

“Value and efficiency are critical to the success of our business,” said Tom Glenn, national plant manager at Maritime Transport. “The directors of the company trust me to find the most cost-effective solutions to our needs. That doesn’t automatically mean the cheapest option – it’s about the overall return on investment, being the right fit for our requirements and the value-added benefits.

“When I joined the Fleet department,” Glenn adds, “I began the process of looking at our Off the Road (OTR) provision so that we could fully understand the operational costs. The T&C Site Services team are great to work with, and I’m now pleased to be engaging directly with Mike Leedham, OTR Sales Manager at Continental, too. It’s a very productive and successful three-way partnership.”

Following Continental’s selection as the preferred tyre fitment for Maritime Transport’s plant fleet, customer tests have shown that the radial and v-ply tyres deliver an increase in overall performance when compared to the previous supplier. As a result, the tyres have a lower service cost – a major benefit when multiplied across the substantial plant equipment fleet.

To coincide with the switch to Continental rubber, Maritime Transport also began trialling the ContiPressureCheck tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on a number of its machines.

“After a year of operation, the results were staggering,” Glenn says. “Before the system was implemented, and when we were running the previous supplier’s rubber, we had a 14-week period at one site where we changed 10 tyres. Covering long distances is normal at the site, which was causing the tyres to overheat and fail.

“With Continental tyres and TPMS installed, we fitted just one tyre in the same period, and that was due to driver error. Over the course of the year, it was a significant saving, and this was the success I needed to gain approval for a full-fleet install.

“Having a clear vision of how our tyres are behaving has been a game changer for us,” he adds. “The insight and data analysis provided by the Continental and T&C Site Services teams has been eye-opening, too. We have in-depth monthly reviews of the data, which informs a bespoke plan of attack for the weeks ahead.

“I encourage any fleet operator looking to understand more about their OTR tyres to engage with the experts at Continental.”

Speaking of the collaborative partnership, Trevor Adams, managing director at T&C Site Services, added: “We’re delighted that, through our strong relationship with Continental, we’ve been able to maintain our high service standards and stay at the forefront of tyre maintenance innovation within the specialty OTR tyre sector.

“Continental’s enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to their partners helps us to build strong customer relationships that bring lasting benefits to all involved.”

Mike Leedham, OTR sales manager for Continental, said: “The collaborative, consultative approach that we continue to deliver alongside T&C Site Services is allowing Maritime Transport to maximise its fleet utilisation, which both reduces costs and facilitates a higher return on investment.

“Education is vital to the success of our multi-solution approach, so by working closely with Tom, we’ve been able to prove each benefit every step of the way.”