Can you tell us a little about your company? (date of formation, number of employees, number of vehicles, geographical reach, type of customers, special features)
I run L2S, a goods transport company that I founded in 2014.
Today, we have 8 employees and 8 3.5-tonne vehicles, with a capacity of 20 m3 and tailgate. We carry all sorts of goods, pallets and small boxes, except for foodstuffs. And half of our trucks run on natural gas! Within the framework of our contract with Heppner, we work in Paris, Val-d’Oise (95) and Yvelines (78). We also provide service to Italy, Belgium and Spain for specific jobs. In addition, we provide door-to-door goods transport for private customers or to cover urgent deliveries.
L2S has started operating in the heavy goods business and I got my license to drive this type of vehicle last October.
Why do you work with Heppner? How long have you been working with us? What is your relationship based on?
Actually, I used to pass by the Heppner agency in Gonesse every day on my way to work, and I would always say, “One day I’ll work with them”. I’m very happy with this partnership, which is based on a strong commitment to high standards. Heppner demands a high level of professional proficiency from us, which means that we have to employ top-notch drivers, particularly in terms of punctuality. This demanding work relationship motivates us to apply the same high standards to everything we do. Heppner is always punctual in its payments and is committed to working with us for the long term. In return, we commit to having the best drivers. And if any of our drivers can’t do the job, I sometimes have to stand in for them at short notice.
Are your customers aware of the transport industry’s environmental impact? And on this subject, does your involvement in Heppner’s energy transition project contribute added value to your company? How do you leverage this?
Our customers are increasingly aware of environmental issues and want us to use clean vehicles. Regulatory requirements serve to give added force to these demands. In fact, from a business viewpoint, it provides us with a selling point and tangible added value over our competitors. My drivers support the company and they are proud to make their deliveries in clean vehicles.
Could you have implemented this transition without Heppner? If you could have, how long would it have taken you?
I was the second subcontractor to make this transition for Heppner. Without this opportunity, I would have done it anyway, but it would have taken longer. I would probably have only had one vehicle. And I know that without guaranteed work and, therefore, regular income, I probably wouldn’t have got the necessary financing.
Thanks to the negotiations undertaken by Heppner, we were given a good discount by IVECO. Heppner has helped us a lot. It’s as if they were standing surety for us because they guarantee us a monthly volume of work that pays the loan instalments. Thanks to the confidence that this successful partnership has given me, I have helped other subcontractors to get their project going.
Are you affected by low emission zones? Are the new environmental regulations for transport a threat or an opportunity for the industry?
The low emission zones, or LEZs, affect us because a lot of our business is done within the inner city area of Paris. I wouldn’t say that it’s a threat because we have customers who are very environmentally aware, especially in Paris, and the trend is to favour planet-friendly companies. However, very small companies may be threatened, and they will need to be financially sound, with pristine balance sheets and promises of contracts that they can show.
Thanks to Heppner, we benefit from a preferential rate on NGVs, which is equivalent to a 50% reduction in the normal price. I started 6 months ago and natural gas is still cheaper than diesel today, in spite of the price hikes. The problem that many professionals face is the lack of natural gas refuelling stations, and the many technical problems that these stations suffer from. As transport professionals, we are leading the trend, and it is essential that we are able to work and refuel our trucks. The energy transition is an effort that we must make together!