Member Interview: Michael de Rouw of BTS Logistics in the Netherlands
4th October 2016
UFO member representing the Netherlands, BTS Logistics were established in 1985 and have grown into a full service logistics provider supporting customers with reliable solutions to their transportation needs. The company's headquarters are based in Rotterdam, one of the world's largest ports and also considered the gateway into and from Europe. Their Amsterdam branch office is located at Schiphol airport, one of the leading European airports. This month, we will be interviewing Managing Director of BTS Logistics, Michael de Rouw (pictured right).
How did you first get into the freight industry?
Actually my father and one of my brothers were also in the industry. I attended the logistics college here in Rotterdam and after graduation, I took my first job as a document runner back in 1991.
Please describe your most memorable shipment to date?
The most memorable one for sure would be the dismantling and shipping of three cranes to Dubai from Rotterdam back in the 90's. Those cranes where bought by the son of the ruler of Dubai for his private harbour/wharf where his yacht was located. It was the first project I ever handled and therefore was a big challenge, the shipment arrived in sound order and the cranes where installed accordingly.
What motivates you most in your work?
The fact that every day is a different one with different challenges. I could not see myself working in a nine-to-five job doing the same work each day. We deal with many international clients and partners, so we get to know many friends and business associates around the globe. This excites me very much in my daily work.
What is your most embarrassing professional moment?
When I was just starting as a freight forwarder, I was too inexperienced to know that there are various ports worldwide with the same name, or at least which sound the same. Bookings were then still made by phone and I took a booking for Auckland - once the container was loaded on board of the vessel and the shipping instructions were received, I noticed that both the consignee and notify were USA based companies. Needless to say that the shipment should have gone to Oakland, CA! The shipment was fortunately rerouted in Singapore where we could offload it on a vessel to the USA.
What are the current trends that you see in transportation as far as the Netherlands is concerned? What is its untapped potential?
The Netherlands, as you know, is a small but very innovative country. Especially in logistics where we are in the top 3 worldwide in terms of infrastructure, capacity and knowledge. Investments are being made on a continuous basis to protect that position. Examples are the expanding of Schiphol airport and also the opening of the new Maasvlakte II, a new container terminal on land reclaimed from the North Sea and next to the current Maasvlakte terminal, which boosts the container capacity in order to accommodate the expected growth for the coming decades. Hence, The Netherlands are and will always be the gateway to Europe and our role in this is to also grow by investing more in IT, HR and sales in order to achieve an unparalleled customer service to our clients.
What do you enjoy to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time with my kids and next to that I very much like to travel wherever the sun shines. For sports I am into tennis, football and golf.
Finally, where would you like to see your company in the next 3-5 years?
Our aim is to further establish ourselves in the Netherlands as a leading privately owned logistics provider offering a full range of services to our customers. We also expect to further strengthen our partnership with UFO by generating more and more business within the group and its partners.