A global player in the logistics industry, Damco employs more than 11,000 people worldwide as a global freight and logistics provider. Initially established in the Netherlands in 1905 as a freight forwarding company, Damco was soon opening offices all over Europe and the world. CEO for Australia and New Zealand Lars Sorensen spoke to The CEO Magazine about expanding its Australian operations and the future of the logistics industry.

The CEO Magazine: How has your time as CEO of the South Asian region prepared you for your current role with Damco?

Lars: I’'ve worked for most of my career in different positions within the A.P Møller group of companies, but by far most of my time has been with Damco. It feels a bit like home, actually. I believe one of my strengths is to spend time to gather local knowledge and get a feel for local trends in the industries in which we are operating. I think that is one thing that always resonates with customers, especially within the retail industry, and something worth spending time over. The base is mostly the same, but always tweaked to suit a local market, and even a specific industry within a local market.

Before coming to Australia, I was in Mumbai for 11 years as CEO of the South Asia region, and before that in Hong Kong for a couple of years. We were dealing with a lot of European and American retailers both in South Asia and Hong Kong, and I got a good view of the market and how the entire industry developed over a period of time before delivering services expected by our customers there.

Specific to Australia, I think the market here too has a significant presence of retail. I’'ve spent time studying trends within the Australian market. I believe I'’m beginning to get a good idea of how things work here. That'’s always the starting point for me. Once I have that in place, then I can share best practices and learnings from my experiences in South Asia and Hong Kong.

Doing business in Australia, as with any country, is different from other countries in the world. I think I have the right background to get Australia on the map within our global Damco network. I'’m optimistic, aggressively hopeful, and excited with my new role here.