The right place at the right time

< 2014-05-03 >

ITN: “How would you introduce your company and its products and services in brief to someone who is not familiar with it?”

Jesús Andreu: “It is an initiative of the government of Aragon aimed at positioning this region on the main transport and logistics axes of Europe. PLAZA is a corporation promoted by the government of Aragon and the city of Zaragoza, with a share capital of 47,302,706.93 EUR. The corporate purpose of PLAZA, S.A. is to plan, promote and build Zaragoza’s logistics platform.”

ITN: “If it is an initiative of the government, who is the owner?”

Jesús Andreu: “The government of Aragon is the majority shareholder with a little more than 51%. The city of Zaragoza has 12%, as do each of the two main savings banks of the autonomous region: Ibercaja and Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada.”

ITN: “Can you tell us in a little more detail what kinds of services PLAZA offers?”

Jesús Andreu: “PLAZA is the largest logistics premises in Europe with an area of 13,117,977 m². The main characteristic of PLAZA is that it is based on an intermodal transport center that unites railways, roads and air routes. This combination activates capacities which make Zaragoza one of the most important logistical cities in Europe, with connections to the most relevant European production and consumer centers. This intermodality reinforces the values of location and centrality of the premises. We are completely open to businesses that participate in activities related to logistics, and we attend to them with a series of collective installations and common services which multiply the profitability of our location. This intermodality also implies decisive synergies in the logistics chains needed by all operators.”

ITN: “What sets PLAZA apart from its competitors?”

Jesús Andreu: “Our USPs include sales of land for logistics, business and service uses; the sale and/or leasing of industrial buildings; a customs zone and a truck center. Our geographic location, intermodality, customer service and price-quality ratio really distinguish us from other service providers. Our area, our location on the European south-west diagonal and our intermodal service capacity have made PLAZA the site chosen by Spanish leaders in their respective sectors.”

ITN: “Who and where are your clients?”

Jesús Andreu: “PLAZA has two kinds of customers: the logistics operators, such as Kuehne + Nagel, DHL Express or TDN, and companies that want to distribute their own products from here to the rest of the world, like Inditex, Imaginarium or Caladero. Our customer list is quite extensive, though, and also includes INDITE, Esprinet, Carreras Logistics, Porcelanosa, Barclays Bank, B/S/H and MANN+HUMMEL.”

ITN: “Where do you see your company in the future?”

Jesús Andreu: “Our aim is to satisfy those who have already opted for us and still do, like the textile company Inditex, which already owns a warehouse of over 180,000 m² in PLAZA and this November inaugurated a large silo with the latest technology that is 30 m high with an area of 17,000 m² for hanging garments. There are also others to whom we offer the best possible conditions adapted to their needs to facilitate possible extensions. We want to be very competitive in prices, improving infrastructure and access. If the European and national financial situations improve, we will be able to recover the sales pace and return to a positive equity position. In addition, we want to submit our product to foreign investors and customers. This is a strategic commitment assumed by the board of directors to enhance the understanding of logistics as a strategic element for Aragon. The aim resides in defining Aragon as what it already is: the big logistics platform of Southwestern Europe.”

ITN: “How do aim to achieve your plans?”

Jesús Andreu: “Our priorities are to increase marketing by expanding our international contacts and to create synergies and economies of scale to reduce costs when setting a new functional organization that allows us to leverage the knowledge and experience of the logistics network created in Aragon with PLATEA in Teruel, PLHUS in Huesca, PLFRAGA in Fraga and PLAZA in Zaragoza. We maintain a number of competitive advantages that will be the basis for our development in the coming years, namely our intermodal "km 0," our geostrategic location and our excellent functional design as a center of logistics activities and services. What is perfectly clear is that the logistical infrastructure of good quality and with good access to communications networks remains of interest to operators, and PLAZA has an advantage here. The main challenge is to reactivate revenue through the sale of plots and consolidate PLAZA as one of the best existing logistics infrastructure.”

ITN: “You’re the general manager of PLAZA. Do you have any words of wisdom from your experience as an entrepreneur?”

Jesús Andreu: “You need to use caution, be flexible, know how to adapt to changes and listen to the market and the clients.”

ITN: “Thank you for the interview, Mr. Andreu. We wish you and PLAZA all the best.”