Happy Birthday: Euro Nordic 20 years
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Euro Nordic Logistics. Managing Director Kees Groeneveld took the time to take us back to the beginning. He tells about the journey of growth and shares a peek into the future.
Can you take us back to the beginning 20 years ago?
Euro Nordic was essentially a split-off of Rhenus and was founded exactly 20 years ago on February 10, 1999. With a nine-man strong team, we started under the Euro Nordic brand serving the Norwegian industry with agencies, liner agencies and forwarding services.
What does the name Euro Nordic stand for?
That is actually a funny story. In the beginning my colleagues suggested to name the company ‘nice guys shipping’, since we had the reputation of being “nice guys”. After some good discussions with the core team and looking at our proposition of connecting Norwegian companies to the European mainland, we eventually choose for Euro Nordic Logistics.
How did you set up the team back then?
Half of the people transferred from Rhenus and the other half were recruited. I am particularly proud that our core team is still active at the company or have retired. At Euro Nordic, we have little staff turnover and our team is really close. At key positions in the organization, we have people with Euro Nordic blood and new blood.
Can you describe the Euro Nordic culture?
We have a very loyal crew with a great working attitude. We always strive to make things happen and find solutions for logistic challenges. Working at Euro Nordic means rolling up your sleeves and having fun. Work hard and play hard. Also, we have a spirit of continuous improvements. The market keeps on changing and we are adapting to serve our clients better and better.
How did the company develop?
That has been a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. When having a closer look at the organic growth, we have seen that our clients grew at a great pace during the last 20 years. In terms of personnel, we have expanded from 9 to 65 people. Including all our participations, we have 120 logistic professionals. Our warehousing partnership in Moerdijk, which is known as CCW, has also proved to be a great move. Also, we have started Distribution Centum Moerdijk for the storage, handling and packaging of food, feed and pharma products. With new warehouse capacity, we are very keen to further develop this market.
When we look at our Agencies activities, Euro Nordic has built a solid base of clients as result of the integration on the local agency activities of the Norwegian shipping companies Utkilen and Odfjell, the participation in Libra Shipping and representing the shortsea feeder operator NCL. In 2018 we have organized an efficient turnaround of over 3.000 vessels. In Belgium Euro Nordic also offers ship agency services and last year we have served nearly 1.000 vessels.
What is your personal highlight of the past 20 years?
For me the past 2 decades are one big highlight. We have been enjoying the journey and also look forward to the future. I personally like to look beyond the horizon for new business opportunities. Euro Nordic is an entrepreneurial company with loyal clients. Some of them are with us since the founding of Euro Nordic 20 years ago
What was the biggest setback you have had to deal with?
In 2008 we lost a large aluminum client with a yearly volume of 300.000 tons and we were anxious about the near future. With the team, we were able to turn this situation around quickly. We found new clients and were able to expand our business activities.
Did the market change in recent years?
The market is getting tougher and personal contact is less important than it used to be. Our clients want to save costs and at the same time ask for high quality services. At Euro Nordic we only deliver high quality services with stringent safety protocols. Dealing with industries and chemical tankers ask for a high level of safety & security. Working in a port environment can be dangerous and Euro Nordic always goes for zero incidents.
Can you take us into the future?
Euro Nordic is ready for the future. The only constant is change and we have shown to be stable and flexible at the same time. Automation and digitization are high on our agenda the coming years. We are working on our portals to serve our clients even better in the future. In addition, we will be looking for new business opportunities and takeovers. The basis at Euro Nordic is strong and we will see new consolidation waves in the market. With our diverse and strong team, we are ready to develop the company and look for new opportunities.