Luxetrans, doing business on wheels
Woman at the wheel
Together with her husband Filip Broucke, Ann Degroote is at the helm of the transport company Luxetrans bvba. "I am responsible for planning, administration, accounting, invoicing and oh, yes, I also regularly jump behind the wheel of a truck for an urgent delivery. Nowadays, more and more women are driving in this sector. That gives me the necessary variety in my job."
"In May 2000 we took over my parents' transport company. Luxetrans nv did the transport for two mousse-processing companies; Luxemousse nv and Luxefoam nv.
From Ghent to Paris
"In 2005 we bought 2 additional tractors to transport the trailers of a regular customer. So we drive here and there through the country with their tippers, platform trailers and concrete mixers. In 2007 the time was ripe for a combination semi-trailer/tractor that we took over from Intravik in Wervik, an international transport company, owned by my parents-in-law.
Luxetrans is responsible for the daily transport of all kinds of goods from Belgium to France and back. From Ghent to before Paris. "We transport coils of steel to France and possibly return with grain or other goods. We have a rather small company with 5 drivers and we both drive ourselves. Luxetrans is known for the different types of transport we can offer. In 2010 we purchased a 2nd tipper truck for the transport of crushed stone to France."
"The acute shortage of truck drivers makes it difficult to find the right man in the right place. Indeed. Starting drivers have a hard time, as it is quite expensive to get your C and CE license."
"We always want to provide the best service for about 20 to 25 regular customers. We are committed to service daily and can switch quickly for a very urgent call. We mainly take care of customers in our own region, our local presence, the service and the quality of the transport, that makes the difference."
Ann has a jovial personality, is good at customer loyalty and optimizes where necessary for the customer's benefit. "If it's cheaper to combine a transport into a single trip, I communicate that honestly and openly. I am the only contact person and have a strong relationship of trust with our customers."
The eldest son of the family is studying bachelor car technology at Vives in Kortrijk and is very interested in getting into the business. The youngest, aged 14, is also not hiding his interest.
"We want to continue to do empathetic business, small in scale, with personal service, close to our customers. Just like Titeca does. We want to make sure we can continue to serve our customers well."
'In the Blood'
"I grew up in my parents' business. My parents employed over 100 people. My interest in transportation was born primarily from meeting my husband. He, too, came from an independent background, and that immediately created a rapport.
Titeca, a trusted one-stop shop
"What I really like about working with Titeca is that we can always count on the same contact person, Sharon. I find that top, that personal one-to-one contact. A confidant at your accounting firm is important. I know Titeca from my childhood years. We also arranged the acquisition of nv Luxetrans with Emmanuel Titeca.
Sharon is also from Geluwe and if I want to give her documents, I just hand them to her at home. This local anchoring of Titeca is very important to us. We have been working with Titeca since 2000 and my parents for many years before that. When we took over, it was a huge advantage that they knew my parents' business inside and out. For all the entrepreneurial advice we need, we can go to Titeca at one address."
"I'm working on the business day and night and sometimes leave my sleep for it," smiles Ann. "We are also already thinking about the future and expanding our business to include truck maintenance. Luxetrans is a real family business and will remain so in the future. My father and father-in-law still work here every day. That togetherness with the family, that's what I enjoy."