A coffee-long interview with
Our platform is growing and simplifying people’s lives in logistics. But who are the people behind the screens?
Finally another FastFocus interview: And on a very special occasion. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of our colleague “Papa”. The charming Greek tells us here how it came about.
Tell us something about yourself. Who are you?
My name is Dimitrios Christos Papachristou and I am with DPDHL since 01.06.2002!
After almost 20 years in the terminal Duisburg, I changed to Saloodo! on 02.01.2022. where I am actively involved as a carrier manager. When I’m not taking care of tours, entrepreneurs or anything else related to logistics, I like to spend time playing a round of Fifa on the console or watching movies of any era. I myself consider myself a cineaste, with favorite direction Star Trek or Martial Arts. But I also still enjoy watching classics from the 60s/70s/80s, like Bud and Terence, Louis de Funes or the Blues Brothers.
Fun Fact about me: If I should be woken up at night and someone would ask me for the name of a protagonist from Star Trek or Star Wars, then the probability is enormously high that I can tell you the name of the actor and show you his autograph card in my collection. Because I collect autographs and I also like to go to ComicCons and movie conventions. But I also love to watch movies with my kids, like Harry Potter with my daughter, or a Star Wars movie with my son. Familytime = Qualitytime! 😉
The year is 2002. What does your path to logistics look like?
I worked for a small courier who had Danzas as a customer (at that time). At some point, I found it boring to send buses around forever and just asked my local contact if they had a job available. You had and after a short interview, I immediately got the contract and also signed it.
I have to mention that I never actually had any connection to the logistics industry. Out of necessity, I was offered a position in Neuss that had become available at short notice, namely with a freight forwarding company. My start was more by chance than design, but today I live for logistics, which has also had a lasting impact on my life. After my apprenticeship, I moved on to P+O, Krefeld, where I was in charge of international UK traffic and was actually taught logistics again there at a young age.
What has changed for you in terms of digitization in recent years?
In fact, I live digitization quite a lot. Basically, everything around me runs digitally, which I find very convenient because it is a huge relief in my work and life environment. As bad as the pandemic was, it accelerated digitization in the world. For example, this enables me to process and settle official business and contracts in Greece (where I have a small apartment), which was almost exclusively possible in person before the pandemic.
Unfortunately, digitalization in logistics has not yet arrived everywhere – and that’s what we’re working on at Saloodo!: In 2015, when I asked a customer for whom I was planning tours to Switzerland, about his e-mail address, he told me that the company had only had Outlook for a year and that he handled everything still by fax. That was quite strange, because who still works with fax today 😉.
How do you "manage" 20 years of company service?
Although DPDHL is a very large corporation, it often feels like you are part of a large, collegial family in the teams. Every day, there is a team that motivates, supports and also contributes to each other. DHL babies were born, but colleagues were also laid to rest. Team spirit was and is very important to me, but also motivating each other and having common goals.
Why did you come to Saloodo!
DHL Freight Duisburg had a positive influence on me for 19.5 years, but it was time to give something back to DHL. I have learned so much, and I see so much potential in a start-up like Saloodo! Digitization is very important to me personally, I am a very digital person, and the idea of becoming more modern and agile in logistics is something I would like to support with my knowledge. The fact that we can work flexibly in a home office at Saloodo! means that I can be there more for my two children.
What are your personal bucket list items for the next few years?
- Spend 1 week scouting out all of New York’s street food spots.
- Visit all the movie studios in Hollywood, especially one of those “Murder Tours” where you visit famous murder scenes.
- Marveling at the Big Five on safari with my family.
- See and experience Tokyo/Japan.
What do the fewest colleagues know about you?
I am one of 5800 active, marching marksmen at the Neuss Bürgerschützenfest. Who recognizes me in the photo? We march with wooden rifles that have a laurel leaf in the barrel to show a peaceful intent. The shooting festival begins Saturday at noon and ends Tuesday late evening. Then we have 7 marches, parades and processions with over 50 km of pure marching.