13 September 2016

Introduction of our new CEO Ben Fitts

We are pleased to announce that Ben Fitts is the new CEO of Mainfreight in Europe. He has been a team member of Mainfreight since 1997. He started working as a student in Christchurch driving a forklift over summer vacation. In the years that followed he held a number of roles including sales team member, branch manager (Air & Ocean) and national manager (NZ Air & Ocean). 

Ben is a New Zealander, having most recently been based in Auckland. Together with his wife and three children he moved to The Netherlands. “Mainfreight is a Special Company and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work in a challenging environment and to help Mainfreight to grow in Europe. We have 2.026 team members throughout nine European countries. I believe that our team members enjoy being part of the Mainfreight-team because of the unique culture. They have an ‘anything is possible’ attitude and they are focused on delivering excellent customer service.”

What will be the focus of Mainfreight in Europe?

“The name change of Wim Bosman to Mainfreight as of December 2016 helps us to unite with the global Mainfreight family. It also gives us the opportunity to make sure that successful Mainfreight disciplines are engrained in our everyday behaviour. We would certainly like to continue expanding and to intensify our European network but realising our capability within our existing network is a priority at present. Our customers should be at the forefront of our minds always, there is no doubt expectations are high, and we simply must strive to delight wherever possible.  Our ‘promote from within’ culture means that we are focused on hiring the right people, then coaching and training them as they become our future leaders. This will determine our future success.”

Are there any differences in doing business in Europe and New Zealand?

“Plenty! The size of the European market leads to greater scale of operations compared to the market in New Zealand. There are differences in operational procedures, the size of our facilities and the sheer volume of goods moving through them. There are also similarities in the countries where Mainfreight operates though. We are big enough to bring scale and negotiating strength but our culture allows us to be nimble, flexible and fast. Our team members are empowered to make local decisions in the branches and we have a very flat management structure which encourages this.”

What makes Mainfreight unique?

“One of the main benefits of internal promotion is that we will continue to have a number of team members that have progressed through the business having held a wide variety of roles starting at the operational floor.  This helps us to develop real, innovative, practical supply chain solutions for our customers, where the team presenting the solution also know the detail.  This is evident in the wide range of services that we currently undertake for our customers.  Our Team are also given real responsibility early in their careers, this is incredibly empowering.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mainfreight will continue to grow and prosper in Europe and I am looking forward to being a part of this journey!”

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