Freight firm digitalises and creates jobs

A EUR 2.4 million loan extended under the InnovFin-EU finance for innovators initiative under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme and backed by the European Investment Fund has helped Bulgarian freight transporter Discordia digitalise, develop an innovative business model and create jobs.

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  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 17 July 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Information society
Innovation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Special CollectionsFinancial Instruments - InnovFin
Transport
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Bulgaria
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Freight firm digitalises and creates jobs

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© THATREE #197161966, source: stock.adobe.com 2019

Founded in the Bulgarian city of Varna in 1992, Discordia began life transporting freight solely by road. It set up a shipping transport department in 1995, followed by one for rail transport in 1998 and another for container and air transport in 1999. It expanded further by opening offices across Bulgaria and abroad, first in Ukraine in 1997, then in Romania in 2008.

Discordia’s road transport services cover the EU and Turkey, while by rail it also ships goods to and from the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East. Its container and air transport department serves ports, airports and warehouses in Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as North and South America.

In recent years, Discordia’s annual growth rate has stood at around 40 %. It has put in place a plan for 2017-22 that entails increases in the size of its fleet from 280 vehicles to more than 1 000, and in gross revenue from EUR 47 million to nearly EUR 150 million.

The company had been finding it hard to get finance due to the time needed to review applications, collateral requirements and administrative burden, with some banks withdrawing offers at the last minute. The Horizon 2020-backed loan solved the problem.

‘The credit helps cover our working capital needs,’ says CEO Hristo Hristov. ‘Big advantages are processing speed and good financial terms. Most of all, it’s innovative, using our receivables – our main assets – as collateral. These grow at the same rate as our need for working capital, and are the most natural collateral source. In Bulgaria, there’s still a preference for using real estate as collateral.’

The loan has also contributed to job creation, with around 160 positions opening up in 2017. In addition, since getting the loan, Discordia has had more interest from other lenders thanks to its stronger financial position and collateral structure.

Project details

  • Project acronym: Discordia
  • Participants: Bulgaria (Coordinator)

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