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VIP logistics: a key driver for MATHEZ FREIGHT

Voice of the Independent, WCA's freight forwarder's media, looks at the growth of logistics activities serving wealthy individuals and the way to address them.

Needs of the wealthy: a growth industry for MATHEZ

A hidden economic landscape is fostering a boom period for Mathez Freight’s work as there has never been so many millionaires on this planet.

Even though “normal cargo” remains by far the biggest part of MATHEZ’s business, when you have offices in Monaco, Nice, and Cannes in the so called French Riviera, you are facing logistics needs in the fields of fine art, exceptional carscollection itemshigh jewelleryyachts and jets.

President of the company’s executive board, Frederic Mercier told Voice of the Independent (VOTI) that with more than three decades experience in the sector they had seen a marked increase in activity in recent years.

This is an industry built upon reputation, we have no sales team, we have our own handling teams and reputation. This makes the clients come to us”, Mercier continued.

“There are two musts when servicing clients like these: be confidential, be trustworthy. And, after that, what is essential is realising that your customers are not professionals, they do not work in the industry, they are auction houses, museums or private individuals.”

Resultantly, he said it becomes about a different way of looking at work, from the client’s perspective this means explaining and instilling confidence rather than giving minute details.

Monaco branch manager at MATHEZ, Alexandra Lefevre echoed Mercier’s point that clients are less interested in the details of export certification, describing the work as meeting the requests of “wealthy people who want a solution.

Lefevre told VOTI: “It’s also important to understand that this is a truly international business – we have clients and partners from Canada, the Middle East, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

Mercier said it can be a case of them having just bought a little X-million dollars painting, some jewellery or a car last weekend in London and them then asking Mathez to bring it back home or keep it in one of their private storage facilities in perfect condition.

Because we deliver door-to-door, we’re also dealing with unusual transport modes; sometimes we require cranes,” he noted. “Or a helicopter to deliver a statue to a sea-view villa that you only see on TV or in some magazines.

Mercier said that the company is always focused on finding solutions rather than saying “no” to clients. Having the owner to break a wall to go through a narrow door so the MATHEZ team can fit a big piece inside is not an exception.

But in this willingness to take on all manner of work, the mind is constantly kept busy, and is always facing up to hurdles that those handling just general cargo may not encounter, including finding nail insurance.

Yes, we had to get an insurance policy extension as we are daily moving very valuable paintings, literally from nail to nail, and so we needed to find someone to insure the nail we used, getting coverage on it for five years; like I said, it’s about thinking differently.

Certainly, Lefevre and Mercier believe their efforts have paid off, with an ever-increasing number of client requests – in 2023 they moved some 300 Bentley, Ferrari, Bugatti types of cars, were required to run three fine art warehouses under bond, temperature and hygrometry control, and handled more than 20 in-house “white glove handlers”.

Do they think this success has further to go? Mercier certainly exudes confidence noting “that there is no limit” as far as future opportunities go because “people are always looking for ways to move their goods around”.

He added: “In one project, we moved and installed a Formula One car along the wall into the office of a now-retired Formula one driver.”

Frederic Mercier

Our origins in the French Riviera mean that from the outset we have been exposed to a wealthy, international and demanding clientele. Our sense of service has become an integral part of our DNA.

Art transportation, event logistics, yacht services… Discover our prestige solutions and marine solutions.

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