There is still space for smaller, agile players in the market, UPF Group CEO says
For years, smaller companies have fallen into the same mould of starting up with bright ideas, growth and then consolidation. Such concepts, while logical, do have some downsides, such as stifling the growth of talent, and slowing down the process of implementation of new and bright ideas within the project logistics realm.
It was also one of the reasons for Thomas Vestergaard, who departed Tschudi Logistics after spending 16 years in various positions at the company, to launch UPF Group as CEO and Co-founder. UPF Group is a smaller, agile outfit with a significant backing from a number of partners from United Shipping Group.
“We see the space in the market for a new player as the larger get absorbed into container carrier’s portfolio or the larger forwarding companies. In UPF Group we aim to have the regional knowhow in Africa with the support from our strong team in Europe with direct contact to the clients and not least fellow forwarders that we also aim to support especially in Africa,” Vestergaard said.
UPF Group carving its position
Since it was established in January, UPF Group has set its sights on delivering logistics services to clients. In a market with increasing digitization, UPF Group aims to be the personal partner. Speaking to Project Cargo Journal, Vestergaard said, “we still believe there is more space in the market for an agile forwarder with a special focus on the clients and their needs.”
UPF Group is a partner-driven logistics company with several partners from the heavy lift segment, regional management, and managers. “We are very excited about this opportunity of entering the logistics business, as we see great potential and room for growth in the area. So, looking forward to seeing how this new ‘cousin’ will do in the family,” says Lars Bonnesen, managing director at United Heavy Lift, one of the investors in UPF Group.
Banking on agility
Vestergaard has welcomed the partner support for this new venture. “It’s been a dream of mine to create something unique within the logistics area. I’m 100 percent dedicated to proving that a streamlined organisation, combined with an agile, talented, and opportunity-minded staff working with a partner-driven model will be sustainable,” he said.
He added that no success is created without young talents, with many individuals in the market who share his dreams and vision. “The shipping business can be a tough business. At UPF Group, we aim to make the way to success much shorter by offering partnership opportunities and responsibility to those willing to take them,” Vestergaard says.
Straight into action
The company has already had plenty of success since it opened its doors in January. Vestergaard has already assembled a team that has been involved in several shipments from Europe to Africa mainly machinery and aid cargo.
“Africa got our special focus, as I live in east Africa myself. I do still see a special need for a reliable well-established forwarder in the region, whom is not a partner of any of the larger, but still got their compliance and ethics in place,” he says.
The company is also already looking to add members such as managing directors, managers, and forwarders. UPF Group already has its offices in Denmark, Tanzania, Mozambique and is adding more, with Finland, Poland and a few more on the African continent already under establishment.