Interview with CQR Amsterdam/Rotterdam
Our CQR member in Amsterdam / Rotterdam is one of our newer members, representing the network in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Last week, we sat down with Inver Gase, Managing Director/Co-Owner at the NBK Amsterdam office, to find out more about this century old company and its 21st century operations.
Q. When and how did you get into the freight forwarding industry?
A. I started my career in the airfreight forwarding industry, about 30 years ago. After graduating in Construction Engineering, (BEng) I became fed up with this industry and took an opportunity to launch a new career in the logistics industry, as a freight forwarder entrepreneur running my own show. After 20 years of operation, I sold this company.
Q. Can you tell us a little about the history of NBK AIR AND OCEAN and when you joined?
A. After selling my company I worked on the pay-roll for various companies at management level, but it didn’t give me the same satisfaction as when I was running my own business.
In 2012, I teamed-up with the NBK Group and shortly after that I decided to start-up NBK Air & Ocean BV at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as a part-owner of this company. The brand NBK was established almost 100 years ago (1919) near the biggest port in Europe with a specialization in transportation of wood products. Through the Years, we have gained a lot of knowledge and experience which have enabled us to become a reliable 4PL service provider. This regards transport by road, sea, air, rail or a combination of these. We coordinate the logistics from the origin to the place of destination.
Q. Does your company specialise in any particular kind of shipment or service?
A. We are specialized in several fields of logistics, the Group NBK consists of several divisions, with 30000m2 warehousing, our own fleet of container trucks, hazardous cargo specialist, IATA and AEO licensed. Our no nonsense attitude combined with perseverance and clear, open communication makes the difference. We will always give our best service to each agent or client, no matter the size of the shipment.
Q. What would be the most significant shipment your company has handled?
A. The one that sticks most in my mind occurred on Christmas Day, 2012. A vessel belonging to one of our customers (a ship-owner) became stuck in Cartagena port, Colombia needing spare parts from The Netherlands. It was absolutely mandatory that these spares arrived within 24 hours at Cartagena airport, with no transhipping in Bogota. With much of the world shutdown for the holiday season, we knew it was going to be a challenge.
Thanks to trust we have built with our agent partners over the years, we were able to provide a seamless service. Our team managed to book all cargo on a KLM flight into Curacao on Christmas day and there our agent chartered a small aircraft for the short journey onto Cartagena. Despite the odds being stacked against us, we managed to make the delivery on time with the spare parts arriving on board the vessel on Christmas day evening.
Q. What are the challenges facing the freight forwarding industry in The Netherlands and/or the world at the moment?
A. Big challenges; well the industry is changing fast and competition is tough. In the Airfreight industry, we are seeing a large decrease in freighter/maindeck capacity. With new aircrafts, we are gaining tremendous belly capacity which is sold into the market at low cost. Our challenge is to find a match in cargo for a pure freighter service at high yield and substantial turnover on the larger belly capacity with lower yield.
In the end, we just keep doing what we do, providing the best service possible. With the capacity of the group and several different kinds of products, our continuity is secured.
Q. You are registered to attend our annual meeting in May this year. Why in your opinion is attending a network’s annual meeting so important?
A. Logistics remains a people’s business, making new friends and getting to know each other is the basis of long lasting relationships. Two members of the NBK team, Rini Verhoef and Bud Klein, are attending the annual meeting. It is always great to meet so many agents, partners, friends in one place without travelling across the globe constantly.
Q. What are your goals for the meeting?
A. Work hard, party hard! Our aims are to meet our partners and introduce them to NBK and vice-versa. The knowledge we will gain from the meeting, will ensure we can provide our clients with a higher level of service and cooperation of our agencies around the globe.
NBK Air & Ocean BV is a perfect example of the type of members we want in our network. A team committed to growing their business through mutual cooperation.