Truckin’ for Absolut: “High demands drive us forward”
Åhus Åkeri has transported goods for Absolut every day for over 40 years. Owner and CEO Andreas Jönsson has put his heart and soul into the business and wants to deliver with both the climate and the local community in mind.
Andreas is a busy man. During our chat, he simultaneously takes calls from colleagues and coordinates his employees while keeping his calm. In fact, Andreas is used to this. As the sole administrative employee in the company, he has a lot on his plate. However, today seems busier than ever. It is the day before midsummer’s eve, and thus, demand for strawberries is soaring. It’s Andreas’ job to make sure the holiday delicacy reaches stores in time.
Andreas grew up in the town of Åhus, where Absolut has produced vodka for decades. In other words, his connection to the distillery goes way back. Growing up, his father was a carrier in the area, and Andreas dreamt of starting his own trucking company one day. So, as a nineteen-year-old, he set off in the business and eventually – after studying logistics at university – realized his dream by founding Åhus Åkeri.
Andreas grew up in the town of Åhus, where Absolut has produced vodka for decades. In other words, his connection to the distillery goes way back.
Today, Andreas has an even closer connection to Absolut. His company is now responsible for all local transportation of Absolut’s goods – a job that involves hauling roughly 600,000 bottles per day through the small village of Åhus. His trucks – branded with the Absolut logo – run nonstop along a short route from the town’s center to the harbor and have become a distinct local feature.
“I’m so proud of working with Absolut. At the same time, being such a big part of a relatively small town also means we must acknowledge our role. As a member of the local community, we need to act responsibly and with a conscience. And we won’t honk the horn unnecessarily.”
High demands lead to progression
The long-running partnership between Åhus Åkeri and Absolut means that the two companies regularly share experiences and knowledge on various topics, notably sustainability and emission reductions. Furthermore, strict requirements on everything from work environment and conduct to quality and climate impact from Absolut mean that for the partnership to survive long-term, Åhus Åkeri has made constant progression a natural part of its operations. Such a large part that Andreas even scrutinizes how much paint they use.
“By limiting the paint, we also reduce toxic chemicals. If that’s the case, why shouldn’t we? Absolut does not require us to do this, but we try to improve where we can.”
Over the years, the company’s requirements on suppliers have become more far-reaching and ambitious.
Andreas Jönsson’s passion for progression rhymes well with the values at Absolut. Over the years, the company’s requirements on suppliers have become more far-reaching and ambitious. The focus on lowering climate and environmental impact from suppliers derives from rigorous sustainability work in the production; Absolut emits around 98 percent less carbon than the average distillery and is considered one of the world’s most energy-efficient.
“We transport goods for many companies in the area, and most of them have clear guidelines on sustainability. However, when it comes to the topic of sustainability, Absolut plays in the Champions League. No company I’ve come across in my line of work has made it such a high priority and is as knowledgeable as Absolut.”
According to Andreas, his partnership with Absolut is part of what has made him more conscious of the environmental aspects of his business.
“With such high demands, you have two choices. You either accept the challenge, show an interest, and make a real effort to adapt. The other option is to do nothing”, says Andreas continuing, “It costs in terms of energy and mind, but high demands help you progress. It brings us forward and makes sure we constantly improve”.