ECS  "Thriving despite turbulent conditions during and after Brexit, thanks to Montova's managed integrations"

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Christophe Vanneste

ECS – leading supply chain and transport solutions

ECS is a leading provider of integrated supply chain logistics and intermodal transport. Active in over 35 European countries and headquartered in Zeebrugge, ECS is a trade gateway between Great-Britain and the European mainland.

Sustainability and reliability are a major focus for ECS. They call it CSR logistics (Creating Sustainable & Reliable logistics), with the goal is to minimize the environmental and social impact of their business.

With sustainability in mind, ECS supports an intermodal network where forever more transport is shifted from road to rail. This reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 80%.

new containers

Thriving yet sustainable

Today, more than half of ECS’s transports run over rail, about 70 million kilometres. ECS also maximally reduces the number of empty containers on the road. And they equip many of their refrigerated trailers (so-called reefers) with solar panels, extending their battery life and reducing both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

ECS is thriving, with ever more opportunities coming their way. The milestone of 10,000 self-owned containers has been surpassed, including 2,000 refrigerated containers. The recent merger of the ports of Zeebrugge and Antwerp is a potential boost, as it grows the scale of business and will bring more and larger ships to Zeebrugge.

"We can now connect with our current ánd future customers including customs without worries. Montova takes care of the specifics and relieves us of the bulk of the hard work."

A challenge at ECS

To remain future-proof, ECS needed to redesign their custom ERP system and platform to a more efficient version. Connected to the current ERP, setting up communications with customers and suppliers proved to be labor intensive and carry a high internal cost.

In parallel with the new ERP, the integration set-up was revised to be ready to connect with a host of partners in the fast-moving logistic ecosystem and transportation chain. 




In addition, Brexit confronted ECS with another challenge that should not be underestimated. New border controls were established in the ports, and the rules and regulations were set to become stricter. Still, the delivery and flow of goods between the European mainland and the U.K. should remain as smooth and flexible as possible. Therefore, it was of vital importance that the communication and customs integration should be fast, efficient and reliable.

Montova’s solution

Because of Montova’s experience with large and fast migrations, a strategically sound and quick change plan could be proposed. A project to move from a self-managed B2B integration solution to a managed, integrated service with a predictable cost.

At the same time and in the same effort, we took care of all challenges on the table: the contact with customs and port, export declarations, and a direct integration with customers.


Stacked containers

Key advantages Montova has brought to ECS:

  • Montova’s approach is immediately scalable in line with the requirements and success of ECS.
  • The managed solution introduces predictability, a low operational cost, 24/7 support and security, and less dependence on critical expertise.
  • Montova’s signature document automation allows a very smooth onboarding for new partners, even those that don’t use EDI but send for example PDF documents. Montova requires no change at all at the partner’s side.
  • With a short communication line, ECS has found Montova to be a partner with a matching DNA.