Can you give us a brief of your professional journey so far? Did you have to go through a lot of pain to obtain the position of a Managing Director in your current company?
"Hard work might be a better word than pain. Sure, there was pain in the process but if you love what you're doing, you brush the pain away rather quickly and see it all as part of the learning experience. I've started my freight forwarding career in 1977 with an apprenticeship in a small German trucking company, thereafter moved quickly to the international side and worked myself up the ladder from air and sea operations to sales and management, 7 years in Germany, 8 years in the U.S. and by now over 20 years in Asia, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and back to Hong Kong. In all these years, I've been blessed to have worked for good companies and I truly believe that I've been very lucky to have worked for good people and mentors, who prepared me well moving up the ladder to country and regional management.
How important do you suppose is logistics in the world of fashion and textile? Do you think logistics is getting its just recognition in the global fashion and textile industry?
If I were to answer that logistics provides the very basis for the fashion and textile industry it would only be a slight exaggeration. Globalization has made supply chains ever longer and more complex. In future, it will remain a rare event when fashion articles and textiles are designed, produced and developed in the same place. Logistics will therefore continue to be indispensable.
I am convinced that the fashion industry is aware of its significance. Our customers pay great attention to who meets their needs and specialises in fashion logistics. Consumers are generally not aware of the logistics behind the product. And that, too, is an acknowledgement of our achievements – nobody notices when everything works smoothly.
Out of the four modes of transport in the logistics industry (rail, road, ship, and air), what would you advise to the fashion and textile industry?
A recommendation for a specific means of transport of course very much depends on the geographical locations of production facilities and demand, which is very difficult to predict. Our general approach is to transport most of a collection produced outside Europe by sea freight. If extra articles need to be produced as a result of strong demand, the means of transport must be fast, meaning that air freight becomes the only solution. In both cases we offer end-to-end garments-on-hanger transportation from Asia to Europe. This enables new outfits to reach the stores crease-free and ready-for-sales despite their long journey. If predictions about production being moved back and more work being performed in Europe prove true, we would rely on truck transportation to a greater extent.
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