December 15th, 2011
01:19 PM GMT
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Copenhagen (CNN) – Jens Bjorn Andersen, boss of Danish transport giant DSV, has a message for Europe’s politicians: Deal with Europe’s crisis like he has streamlined his business. Stop over-spending, trim the headcount and get a grip on costs.

Those struggling to rein in the eurozone’s ongoing debt problems might want to listen. DSV is one of those companies that you probably haven’t heard of but, once you do, you’ll see their logo everywhere.

After interviewing Andersen at DSV’s Copenhagen headquarters, we spent eight hours on the road. To pass the time, we played a game spotting DSV transporters. They have around 17,000 trucks on the road every day, and we spied at least one a minute.

DSV helps companies get their goods from A to B, by air, by sea and on the roads: from office furniture to fruit cordial. They go from Copenhagen to almost anywhere around the globe. They employ 21,000 people worldwide and pulled in €5.7 billion in annual revenue in 2010.

Andersen is a DSV careerist, after starting as a graduate trainee. He says the company’s success can in part be attributed to its ability to pick up market share, but says: “We actually had to pinch ourselves in the arm a bit, as we were a bit surprised.”

The transport sector can serve as an indicator to wider market trends. Lorries on the move means products are being made, bought and sold. And DSV is thriving after it took dramatic action in response to a hit during the 2008/2009 downturn. They made 5,000 people redundant and fine-tuned what they offer customers.

“Europe is under pressure, there is no doubt about that,” Andersen says. “Consumers are very cautious. We have seen that in Denmark now, where consumer spending is the lowest it has been for five years. And of course if consumers do not spend, do not buy flat screen TVs for Christmas, then there will be less for transportation companies like DSV to transport.”

While customers are ordering less and running down their inventories - particularly in Europe - DSV is firming up its presence in markets like Asia and Latin America.

Andersen says he is now focused far beyond Europe’s borders - at least until Europe emerges from its crisis. And while he gives some credit to politicians attempting to push through change, he does not expect a quick fix.

“The politicians have taken the first steps, but it is going to be a very, very long road,” he says. “I actually do say ‘let guys like us who run these large corporations in Europe, let us enter some of the government offices and tell them how to do that.’”

Andersen argues politicians should think more like entrepreneurs. He suggests they could work with a flatter, less bureaucratic management structure – a Scandinavian-style - for example.

That way, Andersen says, politicians could drive through change much more quickly, without having to wade through European Union red tape.



soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. chris

    Another Negative Euro Headline – "Negative story a day keeps the Euro at bay"

    December 16, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  2. LionOfNarnia

    Buy *not* made in China this holiday season.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:05 am |
  3. S.lawson

    Excellent article. Common sense with good leadership and vision. If only countries were run similarly and voters financial expectations were in line with their various taxation regimes. Only spend from profits or surpluses, not borrowings. We all should consider such an approach,

    December 18, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  4. S.lawson

    My comments relate to dsv

    December 18, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  5. Matt

    Sorry, running a company is not like running a government. A company only has to be responsible to a handful of people – its owners. A government is responsible to everyone. If a company fires employees, they are no longer an expense. If a government lays off workers, unless there are jobs available, those people are still a problem for the government.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  6. rene

    Sounds like an arrogant old company probably founded more than a 100 years ago.
    this is the problem with Europe, most companies are very long established family businesses that have a stronghold on their industry.
    There is very little tolerance for startup young companies and almost impossible to get funding.
    Try going to a French bank with your start up and you will find out how many ways its possible to say no in French.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  7. Anne

    Hi,
    If you want to get more details about debt management then you can visit the following link :- http://www.debtmanagers.ca/

    December 20, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  8. merger

    @rene
    If you would just take a quick glance in the internet you'll see that the company was founded 1979 as a small trucking company and only entered the international logistics market in 1989.
    So I do not see the hint for an arrogant old company...

    December 22, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  9. Alexander

    The greatest private fraud of human history.

    Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind? How does the economy “illness” threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?

    http://eamb-ydrohoos.blogspot.com/2012/01/global-...

    ———————————

    By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total …understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end …understand how this type of plans are established…

    by PANAGIOTIS TRAIANOU

    January 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  10. Olympia

    Global Debt Crisis

    The greatest private fraud of human history.
    Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind? How does the economy "illness" threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?

    http://eamb-ydrohoos.blogspot.com/2012/01/global-debt-crisis.html
    -----------
    By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total ...understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end ...understand how this type of plans are established...

    Authored by PANAGIOTIS TRAIANOU

    February 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |

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