Heavylift / Breakbulk
Experienced hand for TGP
A recent double-barrelled change saw Joerg Roehl, who previously served Hansa Heavy Lift for five years, don two caps for the future. He will head Natco Switzerland, and simultaneously be in charge of the pan-European business of Natco’s international parent company, the Trans Global Projects Group. In the ITJ’s Swiss home market we spoke to Joerg Roehl about his assessment of the new beginnings.
It is not only the lure of working in the Swiss market; the combination with a pan-European charge was also a crucial factor. With effect from 1 April the Trans Global Projects Group (TGP), an international project logistics firm, has named Joerg Roehl as the new chief executive officer of Natco Switzerland, with overall responsibility for Europe. The international project logistics company is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has 20 offices all around the world. Natco Switzerland, an international forwarding agency based in the town of Rümlang near Zurich, has been part of the TGP Group since 2015.
Roehl, who has more than 25 years of experience in the maritime and logistics industries, has held senior management positions in global logistics firms such as Kuehne + Nagel, Bolloré and Agility. He became managing director and COO of the shipping line Hansa Heavy Lift when it was founded in 2011, staying there until 2016. Roehl will now drive the TGP Group’s further expansion in Europe. He takes over from Günther Knotz, who is retiring in the course of this year, after 15 years as head of Natco. Roehl is based at Natco’s head office in Rümlang.
“We’re delighted to welcome Joerg Roehl on board”, said Colin Charnock, TGP’s group managing director, who believes there are great opportunities for the organisation in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Central Europe in particular. The ITJ spoke to Joerg Roehl about his new job.
Natco specialises in services for a clearly-defined target group. In which business segments do you see room for expansion?
Our expansion plans revolve around continuing to focus upon our clear, defined target group, rather than branching out into areas where we have little expertise. That’s why we’ll rely on our ability to provide efficient worldwide project logistics, regardless of the size of the task or the client. We certainly aim to reach out to a wider pan-European customer base.
The TGP network offers its clients many distinct advantages. What could be done to strengthen cooperation between the different partners even further? How do your customers benefit?
Natco Switzerland has been part of the TGP Group since 2015. We’ve achieved a lot in terms of integration and the leverage of synergies since we started our cooperation. Natco is one of the strongest operational units in the group.
Having said that, there’s a huge potential to improve business in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe. The advantages for our customers are plain to see: they benefit both from the accessibility and expansion of our network as well as from the flexibility we offer through our project teams around the world.
What role does the standardisation of processes play in managing project logistics in your company, for example with Trace certification?
Wherever processes can be standardised, we aim to do that to the highest possible level. Of course we’re certified for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001. However, let me stress that we don’t consider ourselves to be a ‘standard’ company, providing a ‘standard’ service.
On the contrary, Natco is and always has been about placing itself above ordinary standards, and instead delivering a superior level of service to its customers.
Is the BB / HL market in Switzerland improving? What signs of recovery have you observed at the global level?
I have to admit that there aren’t many signs suggesting that the market in Switzerland is improving at present, and I don’t wish to gaze into the crystal ball as to when that is going to happen.
That’s why Natco is lifting its eyes above and beyond the borders of Switzerland and into neighbouring countries, in particular Germany and Italy, as well as Eastern Europe, where the BB / HL market is larger and stronger.
The TGP network is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2018. What are the group’s targets and development plans for the future?
TGP’s acquisition of Natco in Switzerland in 2015 proved to be a resounding success, which benefited both businesses. For its part, Natco gained its own global network, while TGP gained a strong set-up at the heart of Europe.
Buoyed by this successful experience, the group will consider further acquisitions, while also continuing to expand organically, which was its preferred route to growth until the Natco acquisition.
Growth aside, however, the group plans to remain resolutely independent and dedicated to BB / HL activities, as well as to tailor-made logistic solutions. This strategy has served it perfectly well over the last three decades, and we’re confident that it will continue to do so in future.