Third generation of Zijderlaan takes the lead
In September 2021 we announced that as from 1 January 2022 Zijderlaan will be managed by the third generation. Wim Zijderlaan is stepping down as managing director and Sabine & Tim Zijderlaan are taking over the helm. To safeguard Zijderlaan's future and continuity, Sabine and Tim opted to complete the management team with an external professional. Leo Lokker has been appointed commercial & operational director since 1 September 2021.
What is it like to be the 3rd generation to lead Zijderlaan?
"We are proud that, as the third generation, we have been given the confidence to continue our family business. A great opportunity with great responsibilities. For 85 years our people have been the driving force within our company. Each and every one of them passionate and professional employees who are prepared to go that extra mile for the customer. As long as we are able to maintain this together, we can continue to make a real difference in our field."
Which of Wim's qualities will you be taking over in your business operations?
"One of the things Wim has taught us in recent years is to always look ahead. Not always easy, but necessary to determine your course. A dot on the horizon helps to keep focus and to better anticipate opportunities that come your way."
What do you continue to focus on?
"It is important that we continue to build on our distinctive character. Anyone can provide that ride from A to B or store goods in any DC. It is precisely that extra step and our proactive customer approach that makes the difference. The fact that we are invited to our customers' tables more often and at an earlier stage to help them think about the design of their (sustainable) strategy is proof that this personal form of service is appreciated. This is a wonderful and rewarding development within our range of services, which we are keen to continue pursuing in the future at Zijderlaan."
What is on the agenda?
"The first priority is to concretise our strategy for the coming years. We also want to take a close look at our service provision and client portfolio to see whether we are still providing the right and desired service. Another important subject is the simplification of our current administrative procedures, in which further automation and customer integration are essential. As you can read under the heading "Grip on growth", this process has already started. The main objective is to create more organisational space across all departments so that we can continue to work together on the future of our company in a logical and focused way.”
How do you see the future?
"With a great deal of confidence. A good foundation has been laid in recent years that we would like to build on. In 2021, we will see the logistics market changing around us at a furious pace. This means that we are facing an interesting and exciting time, in which the environment (sustainability) will become an increasingly important and greater focus, in which it will be increasingly difficult to find good staff, in which the presence of necessary raw materials is no longer taken for granted, and in which customers demand and expect more from us. We do not see these challenges as a danger, however, but rather as an opportunity. As a healthy family business, with a clear strategic vision, we can certainly anticipate this."
"We sometimes jokingly say that Zijderlaan is 'broadly specialised'. This may not sound logical, but it is a fact. Our specialisms in all three transport divisions, supplemented by the added value we offer in our DCs, means we are able to scale up during campaigns and adapt to customer-specific wishes and issues. Naturally, we always retain the well-known Zijderlaan mentality, a family business where people are proud to work.
What is your point of view of the developments in the transport and logistics sector?
"The developments are exciting to say the least, but we are convinced that Zijderlaan can continue to distinguish itself. We may have to make choices which we would never have thought of before, such as driving on alternative fuels, implementing far-reaching automation in our fleet and with our customers and/or offering transport by multiple modes. One thing is certain: we must remain alert and make adjustments in order to be able to guarantee the continuity of our services. Operating flexibly within the dynamic logistics market, following new legislation and regulations and occasionally responding to opportunities or challenges that contribute to the further growth and professionalism of our company."
First impression of Zijderlaan
Leo Lokker: "I am very impressed with our company and with the dedication of everyone in his or her field. Everyone is proud to work for Zijderlaan. I am especially pleasantly surprised by the open and informal culture and cooperation and feel completely at home in this enterprising family business."