Vladas Stončius has been at the helm of Vlantana for over 20 years now. Today his company Vlantana operates almost 1,200 vehicles and 1,360 trailers. More than 600 tractor units are from Mercedes-Benz – with more to come. “In the early 1990s we took over transport assignments from Lithuania to Russia using 15 trucks,” recalls Stončius. “Today Vlantana has become the second-largest logistics company in the Baltic States. With our 1,800 employees, we operate routes throughout Europe.” Vlantana’s success is based on the core values sustainability, safety, quality and innovation.
“It was our good fortune that at the beginning of the 1990s, we were able to start out as budding entrepreneurs with an empty backpack, unencumbered by any baggage, without any of the structures inherited from the past. We were then able to gradually equip ourselves with the latest technologies and process innovations,” explains Stončius. “Flexible structures, leading-edge procedures and highly networked information technology: they all result in definite competitive advantages, not only in the logistics sector.”
The Vlantana corporate headquarters, consisting of a modern glass building complex, warehouses, the company’s own driver training facility, refuelling station and workshop, lie on the outskirts of Lithuania’s port of Klaipeda on the Baltic Sea. In the course of its 25-year history, the company has come to specialise in intermodal transports from the Baltic Region to Scandinavia and Europe.
Destinations across Europe.
To spare his drivers and their cargo the long trek through Poland, Vladas Stončius takes advantage of the ferry link from Klaipeda to Kiel. From the capital of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, the Vlantana trailers are taken to Duisburg, Germany, by train – and from there they take to the road and head for destinations throughout Europe. “We operate routes from the Caspian Sea all the way to Cabo de São Vicente in Portugal,” says the entrepreneur. “Around 200 of our trucks carry freshly caught salmon from Norway down to Greece. We use intermodal transport wherever it offers the most efficient solution.”
Focusing on efficiency.
Vlantana is optimising cost efficiencies in other areas in order to succeed in the tight competition. One of these areas is the fleet’s overall fuel consumption. At present the company purchases around 48 million litres of fuel for its tractor units. In future Stončius would like to achieve a significant reduction in this cost item – at the same time as growing his business. And so Vlantana is set firmly on new Mercedes-Benz trucks for the renewal of its vehicle fleet. “By switching from the tried and proven Actros to the new model, we were able to lower the fleet’s average consumption from 32 to just under 29.1 litres per 100 kilometres,” says the managing director.
400 new Actros.
“In 2016 alone 400 new vehicles have arrived, and more are on the way.” Vlantana mainly uses two Actros models: the 1845 version as a workhorse for long-distance transportation in Europe, and the 1851 version for deployment in Scandinavia. The latter has about 300 Nm additional torque compared to the 1845, and this helps it negotiate the particularly hilly terrain in Finland, Norway and Sweden with ease, even when carrying demanding loads. Both versions are fitted with the powerful OM 471 engine, the BigSpace driver’s cab, Predictive Powertrain Control, Attention Assist and Lane Keeping Assist as well as Active Brake Assist 3.
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