Our Customers in Focus: The Jushi Group in Egypt

Hapag-Lloyd has around 13,400 employees in 394 offices in 130 countries around the world. A large proportion of the employees are in permanent contact with our customers on whom we want to put a spotlight on internally. The aim is to further strengthen the relationship with the customers as part of our vision to become the “Number One for Quality” and to hear stories from our Sales staff that we would otherwise never learn about.

We spoke with Hisham Saadawi, Supervisor Sales Execution, in Alexandria (Egypt). He has chosen Jushi Group as his customer.

Hisham, please tell us about this customer.

Jushi Group is one of the largest fiberglass manufacturers in the world. It has four production facilities – three in China and one in Egypt – as well as several trading offices. The company employs around 10,000 people around the world. We work with the Jushi team in Egypt, transporting their goods all around the world.

What kind of history do you have with the Jushi Group?

I started taking care of them in 2012. At that time, I was freshly hired by Medlevant, which was Hapag-Lloyd’s agent in Egypt. I had been calling the company every week for over a year, and by the end of 2013, I had the right contact: Talaat, the local head of logistics.

How did you eventually break the ice?

The turning point in this story came in 2014, when we happened to receive a cross-booking between Spain and Slovenia. We made sure this booking was well tracked so we could show them we cared, and everything went smoothly. Through this positive experience, we were able to gain some trust and open the door for further discussions.

So you lived our “We Care” value to convince them to listen?

Yes. I think that is also a very important value when it comes to attracting new customers. The first real flow we developed with them was exporting from Egypt to Turkey in support of the newly opened Levante Express Service (LEX). This business was developed by my colleague Merihan, an expert in Trade Mediterranean. At the same time, Jushi got a new manager from China. Her name is Olive, and she supported the new relationship with Hapag-Lloyd together with Talaat. We started to build a close relationship, and I was always there for them. Northern Europe is the main trade for Jushi, with a total volume of 50 percent. So Jushi opened a new trade to Northern Europe, where they have the biggest business so far.

And the relationship grew stronger in 2016?

Yes. Olive was under pressure from their head office to open new export channels because they had excess capacity in Egypt. She looked at the US during one of our meetings, and we started sharing information about that market and about how the services and logistics work there. She liked the approach, and for some time, I was her “adviser” for this new initiative which was quite successful for the Jushi Group and Olive. We then became their main partner, and they opened their whole business portfolio to us. From 2018, after the UASC integration and the opening of Hapag-Lloyd Egypt, we had more services available and the volumes with them really started to increase. Now we expect to reach 7,000 TEU in 2021, which is a roughly 70 percent share of their wallet. My key to success with Olive has been to be available at all times.

Can you remember a special event in recent years?

I remember one time when Olive forgot the time difference and called me from China at 2am. It was a very important call for her as Jushi was planning a new factory in India, and she needed to know many rates from India to different markets immediately. We didn’t have Quick Quotes available at that time, so I opened my laptop at 2am and sent everything she needed immediately – which she really appreciated. They also invited me to a lunch at their factory canteen. I was already very hungry, but then I found out that the canteen only served real Chinese food. This was very difficult for me because Chinese food is very different from the kind of flavours we are used to in Egypt. I tried not to be rude and ended up just drinking a juice. Olive and Talaat noticed how awkward I felt and started laughing. Even people from other tables laughed. That was the funniest moment we had together. Since then, I have been allowed to choose where we eat.

What are your hopes when it comes to your relationship with Jushi going forward?

In the future, I am very much looking forward to the end of this COVID crisis. My wish would be to visit their headquarters in Shanghai. Olive has promised me that she will invite me and take me around the city to show me their local facilities so I can experience their culture. And maybe I’ll get used to the food, too.

To also hear the customer’s opinion of the relationship, we spoke with Olive Wang, Logistics Manager in China.

How would you describe Jushi’s relationship with Hapag-Lloyd?

We have a very long and solid partnership with the Hapag-Lloyd team in Egypt. Only recently, we learned about the fact that your corporate values are “We Care, We Move, We Deliver”. We could see these values in our close relationship. Especially in the difficult times like these, when the logistics chain is a headache, it is important to have a reliable carrier like Hapag-Lloyd by our side.

Is there a special event that connects your company with Hapag-Lloyd?

There is no special event that I remember, but Hapag-Lloyd Egypt helps us whenever we need special support to move our goods from A to B. We are very happy to have Hapag-Lloyd as our partner. In addition, both company teams work together in a friendly and helpful manner for their mutual benefit, which makes working together extremely easy.

How can Hapag-Lloyd help you to improve your supply chain?

During the shortage of equipment, we could feel the great control of Hapag-Lloyd while anticipating the situation of empty stock in the coming week. This is very helpful for us to plan the booking and delivery very well, and we had fewer failures with Hapag-Lloyd than when shipping with other carriers. For us, Hapag-Lloyd is the most reliable carrier we mainly work with.

Back to Top