Rutger & Jordi’s visit to Malaysia
28 November 2023
Ritra Cargo has built a strong network over 35 years. Some of these contacts are affiliated with the global Octopus Freight Network (OFN). The annual OFN conference is held in a different country each year. This time, Ritra’s business developers Jordi and Rutger were the chosen representatives. Read about their experiences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
On the way to Kuala Lumpur
You may know Ritra’s Jordi from your air freight shipments. He can also be found at our Rotterdam office two days a week. Rutger is stationed in the Rotterdam office. But you will only find him there when he is not visiting clients. After a final Dutch cuppa, they began the 14-hour trip on Monday, 16 October. After 7 hours, they landed in Doha, Qatar, for a 2-hour lay-over before flying to Kuala Lumpur.
The OFN invites all its partners to a conference every year. The week had a busy and full programme, but there was fortunately still enough room for some networking in between. And, of course, time was also set aside to learn a little about the culture and local cuisine.
Upon arrival at the Grand Hyatt hotel, many familiar faces greeted them. A large number of guests had previously attended an OFN conference. But of course there were also new faces, including Jordi and Rutger. After the opening reception, it was time for a very efficient and original way of getting acquainted: speed dating.
Rutger: “This was like business speed dating with agents and potential partners. Each round, you had 20 minutes to talk to someone. When time was running out, they sounded the gong”.
This way, Rutger and Jordi managed to talk to 30 people. Afterwards, there was some more time for longer conversations. And after having completed the first introductions, it was a lot easier to talk with each other.
A Dane, an American and a Czech
“It sounds like a joke, but at one point we were sitting at one table with a Dane, an American and a Czech”, says Rutger. It is very special to see how all kinds of different cultures merge at such a moment. They got that same feeling on Friday night, during the closing party with live music. On such an evening, you get to know people in a different way.
Jordi: “It was such a social occasion. You get to know people in a different way. Some wear three-piece suits during the day, but we saw them in T-shirts at night.” After all, you do business with people, not companies.”
Rutger: “We soon clicked with a potential partner from Denmark, who recently stopped by our office in Rotterdam.”
A final stop at Cargo Services, Hong Kong
The last part of the trip was reserved for a visit to Stanley Lee, Ritra’s regular contact at our Hong Kong agent Cargo Services. In addition to a tour of the city and visits to various local restaurants, there were, of course, plenty of things to discuss. Rutger: “China is a super high-tech country, but they were also very impressed with TRACOS. In the Netherlands we are ahead of the curve in that respect.”
Rutger: “Such active people! People are much more active in Hong Kong than in the Netherlands. You can even see the elderly walk fast there. Another thing we noticed is that everyone is always ‘on’ in Hong Kong. The pace is just really fast there.”
Jordi and Rutger are very grateful to have been given this opportunity. “We learned and saw a lot. And it really broadened our horizons.” “A cool but tough challenge, but it was definitely worth it.”
Do you want to get in touch with Jordi, Rutger, or one of our other colleagues? Contact us!
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