Posted on 24 January 2022

Stolt Tank Containers continues to deliver on customer expectations, even through the most challenging times

North America Commercial Manager Ted Nathanson originally joined Stolt Tank Containers straight from university in 2010. After spending four years learning all aspects within the operations group, he briefly left to work for an oil company, where he was involved in domestic rail, barge and truck logistics, as well as sales and marketing. When Ted returned to Stolt Tank Containers in 2016, this additional experience made him perfect for a commercial role, which eventually led to him becoming our Commercial Manager for North America.

Navigating unprecedented changes

Ever since the Covid-19 crisis started wreaking havoc on global logistics, Ted has been at the heart of a team determined to find solutions. He explains: “Historical product flows and trade lanes are still out of sync. There are unpredicted demand influxes. On top of that, because supply chains are stretched to their maximum capacity, there is an overall shortage of drivers and vessel space. Faced with all of these challenges, both customers and our employees are having to learn how to conduct business in a new way.” 

Yet, the Stolt Tank Containers team has succeeded in keeping everything moving. That’s something Ted is immensely proud of, especially within such a complex environment. “It would have been very easy for everyone to just shut down and say it can’t be done, but there has constantly been a desire to provide options and satisfy our customers, regardless of the conditions. 

“We can no longer rely on the ways of old. We have to think outside the box and present customers with the different routing and supply chain options while explaining the pros and cons. We have to look at alternative ports, alternative intermodal options, airfreight, getting space on chartered vessels, new vendors, and more. Things that were never or rarely discussed in the past, but have now become the norm as we weigh up costs against reliability within the new world order.” 

A team determined to succeed 

The additional complexity Covid has brought to an already complex supply chain places an immense burden on the workforce. “Many of the commercial team end up wearing multiple hats. We are never afraid to get our hands dirty if it means solving our customers’ problems. Someone is always there to take the call and get to work, no matter what time it is. 

“All of our team members have some sort of operational experience, so if we have to call dispatch late at night to get an update on a driver, or call the ocean carrier to get a tank onboard, we’ll do it. Selling our services is only one side of the coin, we also need to do our part in ensuring that service is provided as expected.

“We want to be an advocate for our customers and strive to be thought of as a part of their own teams, not just a vendor. There is a feeling within our commercial team that our personal reputations are just as important as our company’s, which explains why we are all so passionate about working every day to deliver a best-in-class customer experience.” 

Integrated global network

While Ted is responsible for North America, everything still has to be worked on from a global perspective. “We are in constant communication with our various offices and teams around the world to get their local expertise. We also make sure we understand how our proposals may impact their business and operations. This is one of the things that makes Stolt Tank Containers so special. The fact we are able to utilize our best-in-class vendor network and industry expertise to offer options that others may not even know about or have the capacity to handle.” 

Enjoying the role

As has been said by so many other Stolt Tank Containers employees, one of the very best things about working for the company is the people. Creating relationships with international team members and their respective offices is something Ted describes as extremely rewarding. This camaraderie fuels his drive to support his commercial team members to achieve their professional goals. “I want to see the company and my teammates around me succeed. It is extremely satisfying when we all work together to put a plan in place, problem solve, and execute in order to provide for our customers and produce positive results.” 

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