CFL

'Picking up loose ends' 'Picking up loose ends'
> Sander Moojen, general management and PR

Sander Moojen has a very basic idea of his added value as CFL’s general manager. ‘In any operational process there is a friction between the ambitions of the decision makers and the ability of the underlying organization to change and grow into those new ideas. This applies especially to a relatively young and aggressively expanding company like CFL. I consider it my task to minimize this gap for us. I try to pick up the loose ends and make sure that eventually everything runs as it is supposed to do. You could call me CFL’s problem solver.’

> Counterweight
For intimates and business partners Sander Moojen is in every aspect the ideal counterweight for CEO Kees Koolhof. Where Kees is outspoken, optimistic at all times and above all impatient in realizing new goals, Sander is more the contemplative type. He prefers to analyze situations more than once and to look over his shoulder from time to time to see whether things turn out as they were meant to. ‘He is my better me,’ laughs Kees Koolhof when asked about their complementarity. ‘He makes it possible for me to do what I am best at: looking for opportunities to increase CFL’s competitive edge and outlining our future strategy. My weakness is hands-on management and picking up broken pieces. Sander completes our team in this. Mark (Nieuwland) arranges finance, Jan Anne (Haisma) makes sure we are compliant, Peter (Meijer) is in charge of operations, I am responsible for the continuity in the long term, and Sander connects this all and guards over the CFL culture and how we are seen from the outside.’

Sander Moojen met Kees Koolhof when he was still engaged in selling luxury yachts. At that time Koolhof had just founded Sevenstar Yacht Transport and asked Moojen to help him set up a sales office in Fort Lauderdale (Florida, USA). Their co-operation was an instant success because of the above reasons, and even survived the market dip after 9/11. It was therefore understandable that Kees Koolhof asked his shipping-soulmate to join hem in his next venture: CFL. Sander: ‘It was 2007 by then, and the first vessel had already been launched. We never spoke about my future role in the company; it was clear to everyone that I was to dive in and pick up everything that came on my path. And I have done so since.’

> Continuous challenge
From his office in the CFL headquarters in Groningen Sander Moojen has contributed in his own way to transforming CFL from a promising start-up into a professional organization and a midsize player in the marine transport of odd-sized cargoes. ‘We have managed the various steps pretty good so far, I dare say. But it is a continuous challenge to maintain the aggressiveness and willingness to perform extra in an organization that requires more and more complexity. We are in the process of building a solid structure, but without losing the advantage of instant decision making. We also have to preserve that strong feeling of everyone being involved with our mission, and with all the things we are proud of and that unite us. Maintaining a pioneering culture and improving the communication internally and externally are my main attention points.’
Sander is therefore seen as the guardian of the CFL-colours. ‘The only way we can rule out unnecessary bureaucracy and stay focussed on the marketplace is if everyone in the CFL-family is proud to be one. This is far more complicated than it seems. For instance, we have more than 250 seagoing crewmembers under contract from various nationalities. We want them all to relate to the specifics of our proposition: CFL is proud of its short history, because it enables us to do things differently from our competitors. It is my responsibility to make sure that everyone on our payroll understands this message. So we constantly have to actualize our website and we produce – for instance – a crew letter on a regular basis. Given the positive response, it works.’

> Sustainable
Sander Moojen is also responsible for the look and feel of CFL. ‘The green and white colours of our vessels refer to CFL’s claim to be the most sustainable shipping company in its class.’ For the same reason he and Kees initiated the move from CFL Shipmanagement to new offices in Amsterdam, overlooking a historic port and decorated in line with the cradle to cradle principle; everything inside is made from materials that have been used before and in the end will be re-used again. ‘We feel strongly about environmental issues, and so we must realize this ambition in as many aspects of our organization as possible. And naturally, we have to make sure the outside world knows about it. I still have a big task ahead of me.’