The quality of Velogic’s services is recognised by such major users as TNT, French textile companies and major South African retailers. It is the brand name on which Rogers relies to maintain its lead status in the handling of the logistics chain in the Indian Ocean region.
photos : rogers image bank
“Its prices are within the market range but it’s not necessarily the cheapest company. The most important thing for us is that Velogic provides a flexible service able to adapt to our company’s requirements. This year we’ll be selling some 30 million items of clothing. We can count on it to be responsive and reliable and above all it is backed by a financially solid group. That’s important to us, as it has to be able to pay customs duties up front and they can account for up to 40% of the value of the goods when in transit”.
The comments of the French Celio clothing chain’s import manager provide considerable satisfaction, particularly so as the chain entrusts Velogic (Rogers’ logistical services company) with a major part of the logistics business of their central purchasing unit, which handles the needs of more than 1,000 shops in 70 countries.
Following the textile industry
The working relationship between Rogers and the French textile company dates back to the mid-1990s, when the latter manufactured a considerable part of its collections in Mauritius. Naturally enough, therefore, and indeed almost inevitably, it turned to Rogers, which was and remains a major local operator, for various services.
Today, few, if any, of the French company’s products are made in Mauritius, but rather in North Africa, South-East Asia and China, as well as by some manufacturers in the Indian Ocean region – but not this side, rather in India and Bangladesh. Which is where Velogic is involved nowadays.
From its Delhi and Mumbai offices, Rogers’ representa-tives arrange the collection and despatch of goods manufactured in that part of the world. Transport is by sea or air, as required. Once the goods arrive on the quayside at Le Havre, Marseille or Dunkerque, or when they land at Paris Charles de Gaulle or Lyon Saint Exupery airport, other Velogic teams take over. After customs clearance, freight is removed from the container, sorted, sometimes repacked and placed on hangers, stored if necessary and then repacked to be sent on by road to warehouses: three in the Paris area to supply shops in the North of France and Europe, and another in Provence for the South of France, Spain and Italy. For other major textile chains like Armand Thierry, La Redoute and Galeries Lafayette, Velogic is also developing its expertise in providing a door-to-door service between Asia and France. The Mauritian group is also aiming to move from being simply a freight forwarder to becoming a reputed logistics co-ordinator.
Mauritius, Africa’s forward port
In recent years, Velogic has been developing its services in support of its traditional clients, Mauritian textile companies, in other manufacturing centres and in particular in Asia, the world’s workshop. Rogers logistics teams are also finding growth drivers in the growing commercial exchanges between neighbouring African countries and the resulting new clients and suppliers, as in its role as a major logistics partner for a major South African retailer, by offering to manage its stocks in Mauritius.
In general, Rogers is a major player in the positioning of Mauritius as a regional transhipment hub. As a driver of the country’s economy, and indeed the region’s, the Group is helping to perpetuate the 18th century designation of the one-time Isle de France’s as the “Star and Key of the Indian Ocean”.
There are grand ambitions but they are realistic, sufficiently at least to motivate Velogic’s 800 employees – for example its British agent and contact, who handles a major proportion of Mauritian imports coming by sea from Europe, or again TNT, a global leader in logistics and express air courier services, which has chosen Rogers to handle its operations in Mauritius and Mozambique.