People of the industry: Nikolay Bogdanov, Ahlers
Being asked to supervise the freight forwarder can expose you to a new industry, and possibly lead to you jumping ship and get into freight forwarding and project logistics industry. The storyline of Nikolay Bogdanov, Business Development Manager for Ahlers Projects and Machinery division, starts on the similar trajectory, he was hired by a utility company to supervise the freight forwarders, the shipping and deliveries of equipment as well as to coordinate logistics activities.
With his education background being related to foreign languages, being thrown into industry meant that he had to learn on the go. The years of experience have also been the best teacher for Bogdanov.
In his current position, he is responsible for reaching out to new customers and searching new projects, as well as for developing the relationship between Ahlers offices in order to bring in more work.
“An average day include LinkedIn review, cold calls to potential customers, introduction and presentation emails, follow up calls, Teams meetings and conversations with my colleagues in different countries,” Bogdanov says.
But there is a variety of challenges Bogdanov encounters on a daily basis, different projects, origins and destinations. “You never get bored with this job. The wide network of contacts that I have built during all the years of work helps to overcome challenges, and solve problems. Many colleagues and agents have become friends,” he said.
But in Bogdanov’s opinion, the industry still needs a lot more promotion and better explanation of what the logistics jobs really are.
Change over the years
Since starting in the industry, back in 2007, project cargo has evolved drastically. “When I started in project logistics and heavy lift cargo back in 2007, 100 tons was already a considerable weight. Nowadays it is not seen as heavy as it was. When I started only a few specialised freight forwarders were doing project HL and over-dimensional cargo. Today nearly every freight forwarder is doing that,” Bogdanov says.
The development will further evolve in terms of higher capacities of transport means, be it vessels, trailers and cranes. Bogdanov further noted that the field will evolve in terms of the weight and dimensions of the cargo. Like many, Bogdanov expects the heavy-lift vessels will be able to lift and transport heavier loads.
“Other significant changes will be related to sustainability and going green. All cargo lifting equipment manufacturers are already producing electric-powered equipment. The target will now be the increase of equipment autonomy and capacity,” he said.
From a freight forwarder’s point of view, Bogdanov added that, it is their mission to deliver high-quality services and enable its customers to focus on their core business. Freight forwarders need to provide innovative, sustainable, and tailor-made solutions beyond logistics with one common approach, global and local.
“The difference from competitors is our close relationship based on trust, early involvement in the projects, attention to detail, speed of response, honesty, responsibility, and reliability,” concludes Bogdanov.