Mr. J-P Nuutinen
Country and Commercial Manager
First of all, J-P what is your background? How come you ended up in shipping and not in, shall we say, the forestry business since we are now in Finland?
I always wished to work in an international business environment, so logistics in some form was well-suited for my plans after polytechnic business school. I started my career in a container depot office at the Helsinki Harbor. After a few years, I wanted to explore the world outside of the harbor gates and became a traffic coordinator of ocean export operations at a large global forwarder. Sales have always felt natural to me, so soon, I was asked to join the air & sea sales team. After five years in forwarding, I moved on to a container shipping line for another five years. Then I was asked to join Damco where I worked for almost ten years in various roles as sales manager, global key account manager, and global program manager.
I am happy that I have had a chance to see air & sea logistics and supply-chain from different angles. For example, I have worked with a range of companies, from smaller (but no less important!) customers to some truly global ones. I have also seen different company structures and cultures from family-owned businesses to global conglomerates. It has been very eye-opening.
Can you tell us about your team in Scan Global Logistics in Finland? What is your main business normally? Do you have experience in handling project cargoes as well?
Our office is located close to the Helsinki-Vantaa (HEL) airport and about 15 minutes from the Helsinki (FIHEL) seaport. Our staff consists of 13 highly skilled persons in the air, sea, and sales departments.
We are quite export-driven as the manufacturing industry in Finland produces over one-third of the GDP and foreign trade. Since we are an IATA licensed company our scope of business covers everything from small, often very urgent, airfreight shipments to heavy lifts and OOG cargo projects.
The importance of rail cargo between Nordic countries and China is steadily increasing. In addition to all of this, many of our customers use our services for cross trade shipments. It is usual for any larger project that we coordinate to gather the cargo from the Nordic countries, Baltics, and some from the European continent for the actual vessel loading.
You belong to a bigger group. Does that generally give you advantages when negotiating with customers?
Belonging to a group is definitely an advantage for us. One example is that we already know the project shippers and their practices. We are an approved supplier for many of these project shippers already. Also, being ISO quality and environment certified and fulfilling strict compliance requirements makes us a credible operator in the project shipping scene.
Why would you say that Scan Global is a good choice when it comes to moving project and OOG cargo around?
Just a few weeks back, I was preparing for a meeting with a major shipper, and I calculated that we have about 90 people in the group working with tasks related to project cargo, whether it be operations, compliance, legal, insurance, chartering, pricing and procurement, and project sales.
So, there is a lot of know-how regarding projects in our group, and we can offer the services from a small parcel to an ocean vessel or aircraft charter. Also, we have it in our DNA to go the extra mile and find solutions to basically any issue. We are very, very customer-centric. Our customers know and value that. We even say that in our tag-line: “Uncomplicate your world”. That is exactly what we aim for in everything we do.
The virus, of course, has escaped no one, including those in logistics. How are you coping, and from a logistics standpoint in Finland, looking into the crystal ball what will be the consequences of this epidemic?
Our business environment is changing by the hour now, so we really have to stay on top of the latest developments. Supply-chain for cargo is still up and running. Air cargo with limited capacity is the major challenge but we see more freighters appearing in the market and an ability of our own organization to charter planes is an advantage. We already see China bouncing back with new transportation orders, so that gives us hope business will resume eventually.
In working from home, have you found that it works or have you found that you are missing something that was taken for granted before?
Now, after working from home for a week, I am very positive that we can be very effective by working from home. We can still meet “face to face” via individual or group video calls. Meetings with customers this way are very effective and can be set up with short notice if needed, regardless of the location. Although part of the non-verbal communication is missing compared to traditional meetings, we gain something in efficiency. Maybe get-togethers will be more meaningful and fun after having worked only online for a longer period of time.
Could you provide us with a few examples of air or sea project cargo that you are proud of having moved?
If I can only choose one, this recent project springs to mind.
Recently, we carried out an industrial project of more than 140 containers, mostly OOG flat racks and open tops. What makes me proud of this project is managing the complexity of it. Cargo originated from Finland, Baltics, the European continent, the USA and China, and all this was transported to Japan according to a strict delivery and installation schedule. It became obvious that a single ocean carrier couldn’t have managed this kind of complex project in which loading schedules and the need for special equipment changed at short notice.
On the air freight side, we arrange transports for large items like aircraft engines, long rolls, vehicles, etc.
How is it best for our readers to get in touch with you?
Cross Ocean Network App is a great tool to find contacts, and that’s where you’ll find me and our project specialist, Mr. Jarmo Kalliomäki, as well.