Colleague Portrait: Åke Nyblom

The Man at the Hub

One of the online concept’s strategic components is the transport link at Naantali where Åke Nyblom and his 21 employees are responsible for the operation at the unit. Optimising the flow of goods at the vital connection point is the responsibility of the Site Manager, Åke, and in his role as Fleet Manager, he makes sure that the rigs - both Ahola’s own and those belonging to the concept partners - are in the right condition so that the wheels will roll around the clock, seven days a week.

Åke is 43 years old and he has worked at Ahola since 1995. Genuine interest and goal-oriented learning on the job are what lie behind his professional skill when it comes to lorries and freight transportation.

Optimising the flow of goods is primarily a matter of expedient and efficient transhipment, which results in those goods arriving at Naantali from various locations in Finland are quickly and smoothly brought on board the ferry and beyond in a cost-effective manner, through the appropriate choice of routes and the correct number of vehicles. This requires a well-functioning teamwork between the Site Manager and the transport planning team, as well as effective coordination when the forklift drivers travel their short but extremely important routes at the hub.

Ahola’s fleet is mainly found at two locations: on the road or at Naantali. The fleet consists of approximately 400 vehicles; however, the Fleet Manager’s work also deals with trailers, extensions and forklifts that need to be serviced and repaired. The need for replacement investments is constant, of course. The acquisition of new vehicles should be coordinated with the purchasing department, and the vehicle is duly equipped (for example, vehicle computers, alco-locks, microwave ovens, coffee machines and inverters shall be present in each vehicle), and be fashioned with the company’s colours and symbols in accordance with elaborate graphical instructions.  A well-cared-for rig is the best outdoor advertising the company has. Once the slogan «Always There» was launched, Åke’s telephone started ringing in the middle of the night. The party calling was a curious motorist who had just happened to see an Ahola tractor-trailer out on the road somewhere and he wanted to check to see that the message was accurate.

- And it was! There is no substitute for being always there.