Interview for the length of your coffee.
Saloodo’s digital freight forwarder platform is growing and simplyfing peoples life. But who are the people behind the monitors, working hours before you are even able to push the registration button?
In this Fast Focus we are back in Cologne, Germany. Here you’ll find the HQ of Saloodo!. Senior Carrier Manager Miriam Schmidt is one of our busy OPS Team members, celebrating her 10th year at the DPDHL Group this year. Grab a coffee and let’s hear what she is craving from her hometown when not handling transports.
Who is Miriam Schmidt? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Miriam from Mahlberg in South-West Germany near Freiburg. Since the beginning, I’ve been on board with Saloodo!. Before that, I was responsible for non-terminal-based transports at DHL, where I gained a lot of experience and, above all, was able to build up a great network. I find a balance to my work in my home, the Black Forest: There I can spend hours walking with my dog, a Labrador/Weimaraner mix. However, I am an adrenaline junkie and regularly visit the Europapark in Rust. The roller coasters are my absolute highlight! On my bucket list are the American roller coasters – as soon as Corona allows it, I would love to go to Florida.
Why did you choose Logistics as a career?
I found my way into Logistics very classical: Always good at Geography, I started an apprenticeship as “Forwarding Agent”, which in Germany is 3 years company/school-based training. I’ve always loved road tripping, exploring new things. Funny fact: I learned that my ancestors owned a carriage company in 1860 in the South of Germany. So probably it’s in my blood!
What attracted you to work at Saloodo!?
Logistics, as I got to know it at the beginning, was very male-dominated. At Saloodo! there are many women at management level, people work at eye level, and enjoy a high degree of mutual support, even across departments. Saloodo! is an exciting project, a great milestone for DHL in the context of digitalization. I like the idea of making the future of freight forwarding less complicated.
What exactly is your job at Saloodo!?
I am a Carrier Manager, which in my case can be considered like a key account manager for our DHL DACH partners. I manage the transports that the DHL terminals handle via Saloodo!, and take care of the dispatchers. Every day, I try to reduce the employees’ fear of being replaced by technology in the context of digitalization. The platform is not meant to replace anyone, but to be a kind of turbo boost for their business. Getting that across is a big part of my job.
How has logistics changed in the last 10 years from your point of view?
Digitization has become a big topic in recent years, but progress is slow despite many investments. Freight forwarders in general are still skeptical about it, because digitization makes a lot of things – from driving times to the offer price – very transparent. From the customer’s perspective, however, this transparency is a big plus. As a customer, you can only win, because you really do have a choice. Whether climate-neutral, price-sensitive, or the freight forwarder with the “golden rims”. Choose whatever suits best for you. With this transparency and choice, trust also grows and it’s a win-win for carrier and shipper.
You moved to Cologne for Saloodo! - how do you like it here?
Welcoming me was warm and friendly, and the culture is very open, which impressed me. Saloodo! is incredibly diverse, and the global team took me out for an after-work beer right on my first day. But I also have to get used to some differences: A lot of things are often more non-committal in the Rhineland than in the south of Germany. And no matter how tasty a Mett roll is, there’s one thing it can never replace: The best Black Forest Speck! I import a piece of it every time I am gon backk to my family for a bit of home feeling in Cologne.