With the rear-view mirror in hand, I see that after all the crises that have occurred in shipping, my small companies have grown and increased their sales. It has been due to mainly two things. Partly because colleagues with weak hands chose other professions and partly because, after a downturn, there are “keen sellers” on the market and many “strong buyers” start to emerge with new and sustainable ideas.
During the Corona period many players in the shipping business will disappear and when this period is over, a new map of the shipping cluster in Northern Europe will probably be drawn. Shipping has so far been extremely conservative. Especially the brokers. As the technical side of shipping takes huge strides forward with the development of new technologies, the brokers take the same path as in the past. I think this will change when the current crisis is over.
Myself and my employees have always been more interested in developing our way of working than becoming big brokers. But it is statutory that at a certain time, quality goes to quantity. We have always been at the forefront of development. First with e-mail, first with websites, first with newsletters via e-mail instead of fax circular, first with complete pictures of the vessels on the Internet, first with viewing all the documents on the vessels on the Internet, among the first to have ship films on Youtube (one movie has been seen by more than 300,000 people) and we were the first to have a “virtual tour” where you can walk around the ships and inspect everything. In fact, we also had a small “pod radio” which was too time consuming to continue producing.
In our heads there are lots of other ideas to work on. We have arrived at a poknt when the quantitative leap is to be taken. We believe that now you have to switch up and get bigger. I turn 67 this fall and have maybe 5 more years when I am not too old to be able to add anything to the business. I would like to use that period to make one last bet. In order for it to feel meaningful, we would need a partner, a new owner, who does not already have his future behind him. I have no idea whether it is someone who is already in the industry or someone who comes from the outside and acquires industry knowledge by hiring skilled people. I believe that person should be between 35 and 50 years for both stability and long-term visibility. My part owner and colleague Patrik and I are open to all suggestions and discussions about how to grow before shipping returns back to its normal self again. We are controlling all the tools to make the leap. I do not see that the solution is to hire more people under my ownership and management. It’s too short-term. Our small business has a very stable financial situation and would manage a very long time in this weak market. But it’s not survival I’m looking for. It is to take a big leap to the future and it must be taken by a stronger and younger force. Feel free to contact us for an unconditional meeting.