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Who delivered it?

"Who invented it?" Ricola’s ad is cult: an agent traveling to Hong Kong, Mexico or Finland, pointedly reminding people living there that it was the Swiss who invented herbal cough drops. But how did the world come to know cough drops in the first place? This is where DACHSER comes in, distributing the “Swiss-made” product in 50 countries throughout the world – including in its main market, the USA, for example.

Ricola sends some "Chrüterchraft" to the USA
Ricola sends some "Chrüterchraft" to the USA

These two family-owned companies have been working together since back in 2008. In their seven years of collaboration, the volume of cough drops with “Chrüterchraft" (herbal power) transported has nearly doubled. But it is not only the quantity that has soared – the quality has made leaps and bounds over this period as well. “Today we not only are linked to DACHSER through our partnership-like collaboration based on trust and confidence, openness and a drive to innovate. Pure and simple: we can rely on each other. DACHSER supports our processes with its IT systems so that we can supply our sales markets in an even more reliable manner,” is how Jochen Layer, head of Contract Management at Ricola, sums it up.

Door-to-door strategy for Swiss ‘Chrüterchraft’

His counterpart, Bruno Zwiker, Sea Freight Manager at DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics Switzerland, has gotten around quite a bit in his twenty years of work at stations in North, Central and South America – just like the cough drops that he is now transporting around the world for Ricola. “We have a process of continuous optimization, focusing on quality and operational excellence. Most recently, for instance, we implemented a door-to-door strategy for the Switzerland-USA route, thereby once again creating additional benefits and added value for Ricola.”

The Swiss family-owned enterprise, which in addition to its famous cough drops also exports tea and herb drops, notifies DACHSER about orders electronically using an eLogistics application known as “ordermonitor”. “Ricola attaches tremendous importance to efficient, transparent logistic processes starting with the recording of the order and ending with the tracing of the shipment,” explains Andreas Saleske, Department Head of Global Sales & Sales Support at DACHSER. “Our IT systems are not just ‘nice to have’. They are the main pillars upon which our collaboration is based.”

Ricola attaches tremendous importance to efficient, transparent logistic processes starting with the recording of the order and ending with the tracing of the shipment

After receiving electronic placement of an order, the logistics provider goes into action: DACHSER picks up the fully loaded sea containers at the Ricola plant in Laufen, Switzerland with trucks, dropping off empty containers at the same time. After going through Swiss customs, the containers are transported to Bremerhaven’s deep-sea port, from where they are then sent to the USA on a containership.

Switzerland – the home of ‘Chrüterchraft
Switzerland – the home of ‘Chrüterchraft

Through customs directly to the distribution warehouse

After arriving in the USA, John Torturo, Branch Manager of the DACHSER New York office, assumes responsibility for the last mile in door-to-door delivery: “We are well acquainted with local customs requirements and can therefore completely take charge of customs formalities and delivering consignments to the Ricola warehouse located in the Customs Bonded Area within 60 kilometers from the port.” This routing strategy saves Ricola temporary storage fees at the port, and Bruno Zwiker has attained an additional objective: operational excellence on both sides of the Atlantic. “Agile processes lead to lean cost structures and save time – that is the crucial added value that we are able to provide to a customer like Ricola with our network,” explains the DACHSER sea freight expert. This also includes an open culture of communication, which is why representatives of shipping companies are invited to meetings, just like recently at the container port in Philadelphia, in order to clarify operative expectations at all levels.

Trust and confidence are also forged through performance – Jochen Layer, Bruno Zwiker, Andreas Saleske and John Torturo all agree on this. And so it is that customers of Ricola in the USA and throughout the world can bank on one thing: they will find packages with ‘Chrüterchraft’ at the local supermarkets that not only tastes great – it also soothes their throats. And that is just what Ricola’s cult ads are all about: thanks, Switzerland, for your invention!

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