Our history began in 1953, when Giuseppe and Vincenzo Lancini started transporting goods by an old US Army truck: it was a GMC lorry with Chevrolet engine and Dodge axle, a mixture of different parts put together with good will. “It was often broken – says Giuseppe – for this reason my brother set up a kind of open-air workshop for “emergencies” in the yard in front of our house, to ensure the execution of our work”.
At that time transports concerned mostly building materials, sand and bricks, and they took place mainly in the local area.
In 1958 the two brothers succeed in buying another secondhand but more recent truck. It was a Fiat 666N7, the first model with direct injection engine, a real novelty at that time. A year later they added a trailer, but it was old and full of friction and the truck struggled with towing it empty. So they had to change it some months later.
In 1961 they bought a Fiat 682, which cab had a wood upholstery; beautiful but drafted: in winter they came back home with frosted eyebrows.
This was the situation in the early ’60s: “ We worked for ten years, we had two lorries, and we had more debts than earnings. We spent more time in repairing vehicles than travelling; luckily Vincenzo has always been a good mechanic”. So they decided to buy two new vehicles: a Fiat 682 for Vincenzo and a Lancia Esagamma for Giuseppe. In order to pay their debts, for years they spent more time on their trucks than at home, they were always on the road. Those were the years of economic boom and in the valleys of Brescia was developing a thriving steel industry, above all regarding rebar production. In particular a Falk steelwork, the most important European steel producer, settled in Vobarno, where the Lancinis were born.
It was the turning point in their business history. Their activity focused on the transport of semi-finished steel products, at the beginning on the national market, later also on the international one.
In order to reply to the huge demand of transport of local steel producers, in 1969 Giuseppe Lancini founded a Consortium of companies, of which he became president, together with other 13 local owner-drivers, and made up a fleet of 26 trucks. It was a period of great developement but, when the armony within the association began to fail, Mr Lancini chose to resign and, together with his brother Vincenzo, he started its own company: Trailer was born in 1973.
A NEW BUSINESS BRANCH
Right from the outset, the two brothers bet on sea freight. “So – says Lancini – while other haulers developed road transport to Europe, we preferred intermodal transport, by ships too”. At first they worked together with famous shipping agancies, and a little at a time they understood the terms and the opportunities offered by this kind of service.
In the early 70s there was a lot of work to do to Libya, which was in a moment of great expansion thanks to petrodollars. Later, when this market softened, they turn to Greek market and to other Mediterranean nations.
Thanks to experience gained year by year, they developed customized services and opened some offices near the most important ports in northern Italy, at first in Chioggia and Marghera, later in Piombino, in 2007 in La Spezia, than in Ravenna.
AN EXPERIENCED COMPANY
It seems strange that people from mountains bet on sea, but it was.
In order to better meet customers’ needs (who are still today mostly steel producers), Trailer began with the chartering of whole ships and with the activation of sea “groupage”.
Mr Lancini explains: “Nowadays, we state the time of delivery for steel producers, and we provide them the departure program of ships from ports and the loading availabilities”.
In advance we inform steel producers about the laycan, that is the days of ship loading, in that way our customers are able to plan their production . This fact allows them to offer good rates and be competitive on the Mediterranean markets, also towards some countries, for exemple Turkey, where the costs of labour are lower. We export finished products and we import raw materials.
As a consequence of this experience we developed another prosperous intermodal business, based on railway transport and chartering of trains.
Therefore our company is an extensive and mostly family organisation. Effectively also Adrina, Giuseppe and Vincenzo’s sister, is involved in the company. Anyway the intermodal activity was mostly developed by the second generation.
Our fleet, the most important asset in the first part of our history, is still playing a central role: and this is proved by the number of about 100 trucks and 400 trailers owned by the company. After all the transports from steelworks to ports and from the arrival ports to the delivery places are still road transport and continue to play a primary role in the supply chain that we organize.