It took us time and energy but after a few months of struggling with the UAE (United Arab Emirates) bureaucracy, we finally succeed to get our trade licence and my resident visa. So now I can say: Welcome at Den Hartogh Logistics JLT -Dubai !
This great adventure started in February 2009 when my French colleagues (Emmanuelle, Sylvie and Christine) and I decided to step out of our comfort zone and start a new challenge at Den Hartogh Logistics. I joined the company in France the 20th of May 2009 and we opened the Le Havre office.
Our main task was to develop transport services outside the long existing European market, building a new Mediterranean network, bringing experience in deepsea logistics to the Den Hartogh organization. It didn't take long before we where awarded business to (at that time) "unknown" destinations for our organization, like Tunisia, Israel, Brazil, Dubai and also the USA. These developments confirmed that we were moving in the right direction and it strengthened us to pursue our efforts to develop further along with our strategy.
I will never forget the first reactions when we discussed and arranged the first shipments from Europe to Rio (Brazil) and Charleston (USA) in 2010. Many questions were asked and there was a lot of curiosity and excitement. When we look at today, we can conclude that it was rather easy for our group to export to the USA, the Far East and The Middle East & India. We are proud to have initiated the deepsea activities and that we were successful in our contribution to the development of Den Hartogh Global.
We started to discuss the possibilities in the Middle East with some customers by the end of 2009. We succeeded in building an efficient network and we started to ship volumes on a regular monthly basis. In May 2011, when the new Business Unit Global was born, I made my first business trip to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. It became clear that a huge increase of volume was expected in the coming years and therefore we decided to put in place an inventory which enabled us to start exports out of the region. We showed the local shippers that Den Hartogh Global is a reliable new partner on this continent. We started to export volumes from Dubai and India back to Europe and USA regularly.
The Dubai office project came in the picture at about the same time the company was planning to start a global structure in Rozenburg and new offices in Houston and Singapore. My future wife and I had to take the decision to jump into this great adventure to work outside our native country and even outside Europe. We decided to change all our plans and to go for it. In January 2012 I left Le Havre for Dubai to start up the activities. In February I came back to get married. My wife Jessica and my son Elio joined me in Dubai in April 2012.
I spent 4 exciting months full of business challenges, administration procedures and pressure to get papers ready in time. And by the end of May I finally managed to work from my new office. Soon two colleagues will join me to participate in the developments and face all the great challenges of our new Dubai branch.
I take the opportunity to thank all my collegues for their daily support! Everyone is more than welcome to visit us at:
Den Hartogh Logistics JLT
13th Floor - Unit # 12A-04
Jumeirah Lakes Towers
PO BOX 643542
I wish you all a beautiful summer!