With Danish Design Award taking place in Kolding in less than a month, Svane Shipping is looking forward to housing the event – as well as chipping in. A good business is not only about making money, CEO Jesper Hansson explains.
”There is a lot of resound in here!” One of the members of the jury for Danish Design Award exclaimed after trampling hard on the floor a few months back when they visited the place that D2i (Design to innovate) in collaboration with the Municipality of Kolding had chosen as the venue for the first Danish Design Award outside Copenhagen.
That jury member was in Svane Shipping’s warehouse number 115, and to be honest, they were quite right. Large shipments of grain, wooden pellets, big bags or stored yachts rarely complain about the acoustics and also they don’t usually pay any attention to toilet facilities, escape routes or running water installations, but the attendees for Danish Design Award have very different needs and expectations to the warehouse’s usual occupants.
”That is some of the excitement and fun of taking on some different lines of business to what we usually run into. Some people see obstacles, while we like to see ways around, above or beneath obstacles. “I find it inspiring, and it is one of the reasons why I have chosen to participate as a sponsor for Danish Design Award”, says Jesper Hansson, heir and CEO in the family-owned company Svane Shipping in Kolding.
Proud to work with the Danish community
In mid-April, the company launched the yachts that spent the winter in the warehouse into the water, which freed up the warehouse to be set up for Danish Design Award.
”I feel an obligation to help where I can if it serves my city and at the same time if it is something I can see Svane Shipping and myself being able to contribute positively to. It is not a matter of me necessarily hitting my commercial target group when we choose to sponsor certain things or events – but it has to make sense to our company, to our customers and to our employees. It needs to pay off at least from a human perspective”, he states.
Svane Shipping is involved in shipping activities across Europe, including Sunderland UK, Szczecin in Poland and Liepaja in Latvia. Doing business in Denmark and finding out how these activities can be copied in other areas is not without interest to Jesper Hansson:
“The fact that we own a lot of buildings around the areas of some of the Danish harbours gives us a lot of flexibility when looking into new business areas for our company – such as creating space for events or for hosting an entire office building based on the community idea. Even though we might not be able to do exactly the same elsewhere, it´s funny how design-thinking has created that ability to look for new ventures”, Jesper Hansson explains.
Shipping and design
The office building he is talking about is a century old warehouse, well restored, preserved and recently – about a year ago – inaugurated as a working space for 20 different companies. It was a result of Svane Shipping’s, and thereby Jesper Hansson’s, first real encounter with design methods and the people in that line of business.
While establishing Pakhuset, which today houses a collective office community, Svane Shipping also renovated another warehouse meant for storing and bagging fertiliser. “While one warehouse stores goods, the other “stores” people. There is no doubt that the goods generates a better revenue than Pakhuset, but I can feel the last-mentioned deeply in my heart, and that has value as well”, he smiles and continues: “It is fun to meet design-thinking, when you come from a world of numbers and calculations. It is exciting to experience how the difficult and the impossible sometimes almost seems to work as a driver in the design business. It’s as if it makes things happen and creates new solutions.”
He explains that inspiration in general is one of the things that makes it fun for him to work, and thus is one of the reasons why he sees a fine connection between shipping and design. After a short silence, he passes down the thoughtfulness, and says:”-Also, one should not forget that this is a good opportunity to enjoy a great party; do not miss out on that!”
We hereby pass on that suggestion…