Founded in 1948 and based in Lézignan-Corbières, France, the Express Marée company, which is part of the STEF Group, specializes in transportation and logistics for seafood products in France and abroad. Technical Manager Philippe Barbier describes his experiences with ContiPressureCheck™ and ContiConnect™ in a business that is driven by extremely tight timings of the food industry.
With a fleet of 140 vehicles and 250 drivers, Express Marée loads fish and seafood in the ports of Brittany and Pas-de-Calais, subsequently packaging and delivering the goods to its platforms in Bordeaux, Lézignan and Toulouse. They are then shipped to sector specialists (fishmongers and fish counters in medium and large supermarkets) for retail trade.
“Our profession as a transporter specializing in the cold chain involves significant delivery constraints. Once out of the water, we have 24 hours at most to deliver the packaged fish to the various platforms,” explains Philippe Barbier, technical manager at Express Marée. To optimize the management of its tire fleet, the transporter has decided to equip its entire vehicle fleet with long-distance Continental tires from the Conti EcoPlus range featuring the ContiPressureCheck™, the digital tire pressure and temperature monitoring system from the German manufacturer.
“In 2016, when we did not have technical vehicle monitoring technology, we had a look at all the different solutions on the market. We very quickly turned to the solutions offered by Continental. We chose a product providing ‘fuel-efficient’ tires combined with ContiPressureCheck™ and ContiConnect™, an already operational solution. The main objective was first to enhance driver safety, and second to improve service quality and our carbon footprint. The tires were delivered pre-equipped with sensors, and the casings were installed by our Scania dealership. At the end of 2017, 80% of the fleet was equipped with these tires and breakdown repairs quickly went down by half. We hope to reduce this figure even further before the end of 2018, once the entire fleet is equipped,” adds Philippe Barbier.
The implementation of Continental solutions to pre-empt tire incidents and avoid unexpected downtime was combined with driver awareness campaigns. These campaigns focused on reading of the cab screen for the ContiPressureCheck™, the importance of tire pressure and what to do in the event of a pressure warning. Continental rounded off this training with the publication of a best practices guide. A genuine partnership was established between the company and Continental, one of the objectives being to make drivers want to come and work for Express Marée thanks to the excellent working conditions.
The second step, which has already been implemented at the head office in Lézignan, was to install the yard reader station to automatically compile tire data when vehicles pass through the transporter’s sites. This data, transmitted through the sensors fitted inside the tires, will then be accessible to the fleet manager on the ContiConnectTM web portal.
The digital platform gives the fleet manager immediate access to the condition of the fleet, enabling him to attend to urgent issues without delay and schedule ongoing vehicle maintenance thanks to the generation of specific reports that can be shared with the provider.
Additionally, the platform can automatically send e-mail and SMS notifications to different parties (operation, tire service providers, etc.) so that they can act immediately if any serious tire pressure or temperature defects are identified.
The renewal of the tire fleet, the installation of ContiPressureCheck™ and the subsequent installation of the yard reader is now enabling Express Marée to optimize the utilization of its fleet.
Express Marée has seen the following advantages compared with 2015:
“The partnership developed with Express Marée supports the quality management policy that the company has been committed to, particularly since its ISO 9001 certification in 2013,” concludes Stéphane Guyonnet, large accounts manager at Continental. “Our customer is working on continuously improving transportation methods. The technical solutions provided by Continental are helping it to achieve this objective and are in line with its CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy.”