Nemanja Netković, Agent Plus Group - We remain consistent with quality without compromise

Source: eKapija Tuesday, 23.05.2023. 23:30
(Photo: Agent Plus Grupa)
Agent Plus Group occupies one of the leading positions in Southeast Europe in overseas container transport, river ship transport with its own fleet, chartering of ship space, but also services in the field of multimodal transport.

Also, as noted by Nemanja Netković, executive director of Agent Plus Group, in order to complete transport and logistics services, Agent Plus Group has developed an independent forwarding agency, which has been entrusted with the status of an authorized business entity - AEO by the Customs Administration.

Netković points out that for three years in a row, Agent Plus has been awarded the AAA platinum credit rating for excellence in business, as the most reliable, credible and low-risk business entity to cooperate with. In addition, the company is a member of several professional associations and world-renowned agent networks: FIATA, WCA, PPL, as well as national chambers.

Do You have any current affairs related to Your business that You would like to share, some innovations or news related to business successes, new partnerships, branches, digitization, new services, environmental protection...?

- Our industry, by its very nature, is innovative and implies frequent changes and improvements. To be competitive, it is necessary to establish your business dynamics in this way with constant "fine tuning". Based on your question, we can be satisfied because we have achieved everything you state. Certainly, the most significant achievement for us this year is the continuity of development from previous years, which we have continued this year as well, primarily through investments in new ship capacities. This year we invested in our new convoy, with a total capacity of over 4000 mt for bulk cargo, which is one of our core businesses. In this way, we reached a total of 30,000 t of cargo capacity on the Danube, which ranks us as one of the absolute leaders on the domestic and regional market. We are sure that our new convoy - Arion will meet all expectations.

As a company with many years of experience in transport and logistics, can you compare the "heaviness" of the two major crises that hit the transport and logistics sector one after the other (the pandemic and the war in Ukraine), and which one was easier for you to deal with and in what ways?

- Those two crises could be considered one - a time-prolonged crisis, since each of them created difficulties and additional problems in logistics. On the other hand, as in the case of any crisis, whether professional or life, each crisis is an opportunity to reassess your performance and potentials and understand the given crisis as an opportunity to stand out as a capable individual with a different, new strength, additional creativity, instead of a weak one. , company or society and show with your flexibility that you understand new changed conditions, accept risks and make new victories. We fought, with the inexhaustible desire and commitment of our employees, who are excellent professionals, love their work and have been contributing to Agent Plus` progress and excellent results for years.

(Photo: Agent Plus Grupa)

From a leadership position in the domain of container transport, but also as a company that owns its own river fleet, how do you see the current situation with container transport, and also with the transport of goods on Serbian rivers. What do shippers complain about the most?

- The current recession, which Serbia is currently in, has not bypassed the container transport market either. The evident drop in demand at the global level caused enormously high prices to drop to levels we remember from before the Covid crisis. We believe that there will be no major changes throughout the year, and that a significant recovery will follow only next year. Last year, most shippers on the Danube managed to take advantage of the changed circumstances on the market caused by the war conflicts in Ukraine and the significant increase in grain prices on the world market, which also caused an increase in freight rates. Proper use of the additional profits was mostly used to expand capacity, as well as to rehabilitate the fleet itself, which in previous years, due to low prices and profit rates, could not be realized in the right way. In general, the biggest challenges in river transport are always related to the lack of adequate investments in infrastructure.

What are currently the biggest problems in transport and logistics?

- Bearing in mind the speed of changes and business conditions on the market, the biggest challenges are finding quality staff and the way a certain company and its employees will adapt to new circumstances, how quickly they will react and change the business model from one to another. It is never easy, it is necessary to invest additional energy and motivation for such changes, but it is possible and ultimately necessary if we want good results and professional employees, in whom we continuously invest, creating our group expert and ready for any challenge.

(Photo: Agent Plus Grupa)
Directorates and business units of Agent Plus Group in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia

Agent Plus Group, which has more than 150 employees, in addition to the directorate and business units in Serbia, in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Inđija, has also been operating in Croatia since 2008, with the directorate in Zagreb and the branch office in Rijeka, and since 2010 in Montenegro, with a directorate in Bar and a branch office in Podgorica. In cooperation with the Belgian partner and forwarding company Ahlers, Agent Plus founded the company Ahlers Plus in Niš in 2013.

Tell us something about the future plans and projects of the company?

- Our plan is to continue with all our strength in the direction we set at the beginning of our business in 2007, when the company was founded. Investments in convoys, expansion of business and in general organic growth of our company is not possible if that growth is not accompanied by organizational development, which is why our employees are our absolute focus and postulate of successful business. We want others on the market to recognize us as an employer that builds such an organizational culture where ambition, commitment and hard work are recognized and appreciated. We build a relationship full of trust with our employees, supporting them to initiate changes, implement new solutions, improve processes, and we are here to reward their contribution. We are most proud of all our employees who started their careers at Agent Plus and grew together with us into serious professionals, recognized on the market as credible in their work, and that is one of our most important goals now and in the future.
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