As a native of Rotterdam, Tim's career path was predestined. "In Rotterdam, the port is the most significant economic factor. It plays an important role for almost everyone in this city – including me," says Tim. He developed a great passion for shipping and the transport and logistics sector at an early age and aligned his later career path accordingly. He studied Urban Port and Transport Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and began working in the container industry soon after graduation.
First stop: container business and energy industry
Tim first worked as a trainee at Caru Containers and stayed with the company for five years. There, he gained his initial experience with the container business. His work included exploring ways to use digital technologies in the container sector for sustainable purposes. He also worked closely with Aad Storm, founder of Eveon, mainly in the American market.
Tim then turned to the energy industry and worked for the Dutch energy company Eneco. Again, his main focus was on sustainability and Tim gained important experience in the field of renewable energy, as Eneco is one of the leading pioneers in the development of solar and wind energy in the Netherlands. However, after a while at Eneco, he was approached by Aad about the position of Sustainable Development Manager – and Tim really liked the sustainable ambitions of Eveon.
"The sustainability potential in the container business is huge"
"The container business has enormous potential, not only in terms of digitalization, but especially in terms of sustainability," says Tim. "And that really excites me." Together with Eveon, he wants to transform a sector that, until now, has functioned much as it did in the 1980s. The difference with back then is that, today, there are not five million containers in circulation worldwide, but tens of millions containers – a third of which are transported empty. This means that every third container journey is not used to transport material or goods at all, but merely to transport the container back to its place of origin. "Every year, millions of trucks in Europe transport empty containers back to port cities like Hamburg after unloading them inland, so that they can be transported back to China. It isn't hard to see the significant sustainability potential in the container industry," says Tim. He wants to combat this huge inefficiency together with Eveon by selling more containers in the places where they are unloaded. This can eliminate the CO2 emissions from transporting empty containers.
The second aspect of his role as Sustainable Development Manager is to not only focus on containers and logistics, but to think more generally about the way companies do business today. How transparent is a business about its processes? How are products sourced? How are employees treated? Together with Eveon, Tim wants to go a different way than traditional companies. Eveon is to become a pioneer and role model – not only for the container and logistics industry, but also beyond. One of his role models is the jeans manufacturer Nudie Jeans. This brand is a true trailblazer in the textile industry and not only produces high-quality jeans, but also prioritizes sustainability and how materials are produced and processed.
Sustainability is now also to be addressed at Eveon as not just a buzzword, but an integral part of the company's DNA. The significant potential to actively shape a company was another reason for him to start at Eveon. "Especially with young companies like Eveon, I see them as a clean slate where everything can be created from scratch in a truly sustainable way. I'm extremely exciting about this opportunity," says Tim. And he wants to approach this opportunity with a sense of calm, yet firm determination. In his actions, the active marathon runner always follows the motto of athlete Eliud Kipchoge: "Only the disciplined ones are free in life".
Eveon already offsets the CO2 emissions generated during transport when a container is delivered: Eveon supports LandLife's environmental projects. But it doesn't stop there – more sustainability projects are to follow soon. And Tim remains loyal to his port in Rotterdam – only now it is becoming a little greener.