Three steps forward, two steps back

 In News

Sometimes there are periods when a lot of things come together. If I look back over the past year, there were times when it was really Wind Forces 11 or 12 at Van Duuren. Like all logistics companies, we were of course faced with the enormous pressure on the market, the shortage of drivers and the challenge of managing the consequences of the Brexit. In our own organisation, we also had to deal with an enormous growth in activities as a result of the partnership with our new partner CargoLine and a major move. In short: Never a Dull Moment! And as is often the case, when the pressure has been especially great, looking back on the past period comes with a kind of double feeling. Was it hard? Yes, it was tough at times. Blood, sweat and tears. Was it beautiful? Yes, it was also good, because together with our Team Van Duuren we have once again done a fantastic job and have taken a number of serious steps forward as an organisation. I’m proud of our ‘family’ and that’s a great feeling.

This does not mean, however, that everything went smoothly in the past few months. If you read all the success stories on LinkedIn and other social media, it sometimes seems that doing business is one big party, but the reality is often more difficult. Of course, we also like to share our ‘celebrations’ on LinkedIn, and that is a good thing to do. But why not also highlight the somewhat rawer reality from time to time? Because 2021 was not a series of big steps forward, but rather a rollercoaster of three steps forward, two steps back … During the move we found out that things went differently than we expected. For example, we wanted to install a useful ramp on all of our 60 new loading doors, which would make loading much easier for our drivers. But what do you do if those doors are not delivered on time? (And so we discovered while working that we needed an extra Cargoscanner in order to be able to process all shipments on time. You don’t install a scanner like that at the push of a button, it all has to be synchronised and included in the network. We also moved a scanner to the other side of the warehouse because experience showed that it was much more efficient.

In short: transitions always have their ups and downs. Sometimes you have to deal with circumstances beyond your control and sometimes you have to admit that you were wrong about things. At such times, being an entrepreneur means: Deal with the disappointment, come up with a good solution, roll up your sleeves and get on with it.

But: now we are fully operational again from our new larger office and our new much larger warehouse. And that feels good. Because we have more space, the new location is more peaceful and my colleagues can work better and more pleasantly. This benefits the processes, fewer mistakes are made and we can pay more attention to the customer.  Space in your work environment also creates space in your head and we have already noticed that the output is higher than in the old situation. Job satisfaction is increasing all round, which is nice and important. On to the new steps forward in 2022.

Overall, I look back with great satisfaction on the steps we took with Van Duuren in 2021. But – if you don’t tell anyone – I’m happy to say that I think 2022 could be a little less hectic than last year.

Every month I write a column about my experiences as founder and director of Van Duuren. This column can also be found on our website and social media. Would you like to receive my column every month? Let me know by sending an e-mail to and I’ll send it to you from now on!