People of the industry: Jarno de Graaf, Lubbers Logistics Group
Stories that highlight one’s rise from the junior positions to reaching a managing position with a company often get the Hollywood treatment, however, project logistics business may not have that cinematic appeal. Despite this, stories of such career trajectories are not uncommon, Jarno de Graaf from Lubbers Logistics Group can be one example of this.
Starting as a truck driver at the age of 18, de Graaf worked his way up to his current position of director sales maritime sector with the company. Comming across the right people who would give you a chance is certainly of help, but eventually, it is the hard work that gets one to the next step.
De Graaf highlights the role Arie Rietveld at the Oosterhout Container Terminal who gave him a chance to work as a planner, which was sparked the interest towards the maritime world. “There I developed from being a truck driver to a fully operational barge planner.”
“Between 2010 and 2020 I worked at a contractor active in the dredging field, which further helped me develop my network and gather valuable working experience,” de Graaf says. This is where he had the opportunity to learn from Chris Looper (Martens en Van Oord) working with him on several international projects, both on-site and in the office. “Chris has a huge experience on international dredging and offshore related projects and shared his knowledge and experience in order to let other team members develop,” de Graaf stressed.
Now at Lubbers, de Graaf is commercially responsible for all clients in the maritime field, such as dredging companies, offshore companies, vessel owners, shipping agencies, subsea contractors and many more. “Big part of my job is being involved and keeping up with colleagues in different offices and bases, especially when projects are being executed in close vicinity to our locations, the contact is very regular.” he says.
It is a vibrant environment he would like to see more youth involved in as well, as they would get to tackle challenging projects and shipments. “By moving our client’s equipment, we keep their fleet sailing and projects working, and actively contribute to the most prestigious projects,” he says.
Life at Lubbers
De Graaf joined Lubbers Logistics Group as Covid restrictions started to loosen up and the opportunity to attend industry events and be hands-on with clients was there. With his focus on the dredging industry, de Graaf could observe a shift in attention towards cargo safety and sustainability.
Going forward he expects that the supply chain and logistics teams will be more and more centralised for a variety of projects. ” There will also be a larger focus on cargo safety for all modalities. Sustainability plays an important role in the industry: this trend will be seen more and more in the future,” he says.
“When it comes to road transport I would like to see a change from diesel trucks we are working with now to a more sustainable fuel type, electricity for regional traffic and hydrogen for the long haul,” says de Graaf.
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