40 million kilos of coffee, quality packed
Every year, 40 million kilos of green coffee arrive at Paulig's Finnish roasting plants in the Vuosaari harbour area. In addition, Paulig roasts coffee in Russia.
Each container is sampled in its country of origin. This is part of Paulig's quality assurance. Once the quality is verified, the container leaves the factory.
Coffee is mainly transported in whole containers, where the whole container is lined with a single sack of 20 tonnes. Smaller batches are transported in either a big bag or a jute sack weighing one tonne.
On arrival at the port, the coffee is quality checked a second time before it continues its journey to the silos in the roasting plant. Each type of coffee is carefully stored in its own silo. A third sample of the coffee is taken just before it is roasted. Samples are also taken during the roasting, grinding and packaging process.
"A recipe-based blend is selected from the silos, roasted and packaged," says Terhi Liukkonen, Head of Indirect Procurement at Paulig.
There are two main types of coffee, arabica and robusta. However, Paulig has 60 silos, each of which stores coffee beans from different countries of origin before roasting and grinding. All Paulig's green coffee is certified or otherwise certified as responsible.
Logistics in the hands of an expert
Paulig started outsourcing logistics to Transval five years ago. Over the years, the partnership has grown and expanded, based on positive experiences.
"In the past, we had different operators for internal and external logistics. A couple of years ago, we also transferred the management of green coffee from the port to the roasting plant to Transval. Transval also helps us manage spare parts for coffee equipment," says Liukkonen.
Outsourcing logistics to Transval is part of Paulig's strategic choice to focus on what it does best - coffee production.
"We get the best logistics service when we buy logistics operations from an expert in the field. Transval constantly brings us development ideas that they have tested in the past in other companies. Our business evolves without having to constantly seek in-depth understanding of the logistics market ourselves."
Paulig used to manage the shifts of warehouse staff. Transval suggested that they could take over the management of the work. With their help, Paulig was able to flexibly optimise the number of staff in the warehouse.
"The model works much better because Transval's workforce management can see the workload required all the time," says Liukkonen.
The flexibility in staffing levels is facilitated by the fact that Transval has several offices in the Vuosaari area, between which employees can move flexibly.
Transval employs between 10 and 20 people at Paulig. The seasonal variations are determined by the central stores' seasons and campaigns, as coffee is one of the most important in-store throw-in products.
The logistics of customer deliveries are straightforward on the retail side, with only a few central stores as customers. On the other hand, over the last couple of decades, Finnish coffee tastes have diversified considerably and this has led to quite a lot of variation in the batches delivered. Therefore, improving the efficiency of the warehouse layout is constantly on the development list.
Seamless cooperation between production and logistics is of paramount importance in the coffee chain. That's why Transval and Paulig experts discuss on a daily basis what measures can be taken to make things run more smoothly.
"Our most important customer promise is that our customers get coffee when they need it," Liukkonen reminds.