2017 – Well that was a crazy year!

This is perhaps a bit of cliché – however the year is coming to an end and a new one is starting.

For me the reflection on “well that was a crazy year” and “what a cool year we are now starting” is now coming to me like a welcome New Year’s guest. Maybe it’s the same for you –when you see your December calendar getting into the double digits – you just can’t help yourself and your thoughts start to wander to the year that has passed.

I think it is healthy though to allow yourself to stop for a while – forget targets, forget growth and forget the outage in production last week – and think about the ‘Big Picture’.

What did you set out to do for the year, and what did you actually accomplish and feel proud about?

What we have done in 2017

I think humble pride has been the overarching theme of my 2017.

We set out on a mission this year to prove that we could build a virtual freight forwarder that would be strong enough for us and Damco to decide that all freight forwarding volume of the future should be handled via Twill.

And we did just that.

When the year started, we only had a skeleton of a platform and only an idea about how our customers would interact with a digital freight forwarder. Through the year we have learnt so much whilst, together with a growing customer base, continuously building the platform in a truly agile style, as well as having to find our place within the Damco/Maersk organisation.

Today, when I stop and reflect, I can see how far we have gotten and what we – and our customers – have been able to build. I also see a team of Twillers that has grown – both as a team and as individuals, but also in sheer size. We started with a base in The Hague and a small set-up in China and the UK. Now we have grown our base in The Hague significantly and have set-up shop in seven new countries. You see, this is why my overarching theme is ‘humble pride’.

Onto phase two

The ‘humble’ part is not so much towards 2017 – it is more about focusing on 2018 and beyond. We’ve successfully built phase one of Twill – we have a strong base of happy customers using the platform every day – and now it is time to initiate phase two and show that our product is strong enough and that it can truly simplify shipping for a significantly growing number of customers.

Where 2017 was almost our ‘rehearsal’ night (where most things went well, but the crowd knew that a few oopsies could happen!), we’re sure that 2018 will be like the opening night of a big show where we will truly scale up and go global.

What a cool year we’re now starting!

It’s hard to imagine how much we will learn about customer preferences and about new markets in 2018, and how that will impact how we will evolve as a company, but I am intrigued by the journey ahead of us and the exciting unchartered territory.

So from me, and the rest of the Twillers, I would like to thank you all for a fantastic 2017 and wish you all a thrilling ride for 2018. And remember – stop for a while and allow yourself to be proud of what you, your team, and your customers have accomplished together. We all deserve a bit of feel-good for the last couple of days of the year.

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