How we master logistics for the tobacco industry

Ahlers is a leading logistics service provider in the CIS for the tobacco industry


Multimodal international forwarding and customs clearance


One might say that forwarding and customs clearance for the tobacco industry are intensive activities. Ahlers organizes 7,000 shipments and 3,000 customs clearances each year. Sometimes even airfreight shipments need to be organized in case of urgent orders, including full plane chartering. On a local level every delivery of cigarettes is typically accompanied by armed guards who need to be changed at every border linked to local license legislation. 

While armed escorts can be a useful deterrent in extreme cases, it is an expensive and not always 100% reliable solution. Which is why Ahlers developed a sophisticated software-based alternative for our clients, giving them a nice advantage over the competition at 50% the cost of traditional guards. (More about this? Read it here)


Storage and handling


Tobacco and its related products are stored and handled by Ahlers Logistics in multiple countries within the CIS. This includes all kinds of products: tobacco, cigarettes, ingredients for the production but also marketing material.

In 1997 our warehouse dedicated to the tobacco industry was only a few hundred square meters. Anno 2015 the counter is at more than 35,000 sqm spread over 5 locations, including value added logistics like pre-batching.


Tracking and Tracing – KPI’s


According to legislation the exporter of excise cargo should stick on every item shipped excise stamps issued/registered by the country of the importer. In our case excise stamps are required on every package of cigarettes. Excise goods demand a high level of control; hence tracking and tracing were installed. The system allows via internet to follow every loading through key points (departure, border, transshipment, arrival). The tracking & tracing system facilitated the installment of operational KPI’s to measure the volumes, the quality and processes. An important function is data basing where the background of every shipment is stored.

Ahlers has build a truly dedicated tobacco team, specialized in the industry specific requirements, anticipating the latest trends. Today we our proud to say that we provide supply chain solutions to the top 3 of the tobacco industry.

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