More than ‘just’ a container

A column by Raymond Riemen, CEO at Broekman and ‘Port Man of the Year’

Add value. Create a partnership with your customer. Focus on the future. This is, in a nutshell, the way we should do business in the port of Rotterdam to create growth opportunities and generate extra employment. The key is to be a partner instead of ‘just an agent or supplier’. This is the challenge I also faced: becoming a logistical partner for our clients. How to achieve this? By literally opening the doors of the containers, not just shifting them through the port. This enables us to add value to the cargo and to make products customer-specific and as close to the market as possible.

Take for example the excavator. Previously, we transported the different components of this agricultural machine, for instance the chairs, from Germany to Japan. The machines were fully assembled in Japan and shipped back as a final product. This was completely inefficient and unnecessary, as the main sales market of this machine is in Europe. Nowadays, the semi-finished excavators are shipped from Japan to Rotterdam, where we install the chairs and other final parts. This results in less kilometers, costs and time. We discovered this efficient way of working because we took the initiative: we opened the container and started to look from our customers’ perspective.

The fact that I have been named ‘Port Man of the Year’ is a huge compliment for our company and the enormous transformation we have made since its establishment. This year, I will mainly use the award to get students excited about the port of Rotterdam, because there are lots of complex and challenging jobs over here. I hope to enthuse these students, but they inspire me as well. They have an unrestrained vision on new trends and developments, like the 3D-printing evolution or the shale gas revolution.

By sharing our expertise and experience with their knowhow, we are able to think out of the box and anticipate on future trends. This way, we are always aware of the new challenges that lie ahead and are able to distinguish ourselves from other companies. So add value, create partnerships and focus on the future. This is, in a nutshell, the way we all should do business in the port of Rotterdam!

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Would you like to know more about this subject? Please contact:

Melvin Hage
Business Manager Breakbulk
+31 (0)6 5153 5802

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