Carsten Steinmetz started his career as an apprentice at a multi-national logistics company in Germany, where he learned all aspects of logistics and freight forwarding. Three years later, he joined a regional freight forwarder and customs broker with offices in the southeast United States in 2002.
From the beginning, Carsten coordinated the implementation of new software and a new database. He said, “I knew then that using software effectively is crucial to a profitable logistics business.”
Carsten engaged integrally in the processes and systems while working in Atlanta, starting as Import Manager, moving up to Branch Manager, and taking over as Chief Executive Officer from 2008 through 2014.
There are two hallmarks of his tenure as CEO of which Carsten is most proud. First, he led the company to increased profitability during the financial crisis of 2008-2009 without laying off any staff. Second, he decided to switch to CargoWise and implemented it company-wide.
He said, “Our legacy system was holding us back from winning business, and in some cases, making it challenging to retain clients. I recognized CargoWise as the most flexible and innovative solution for us.
Carsten learned the system and ensured that it was setup optimally for the business. “The more I used it, the more potential I saw in it - more than I originally anticipated,” he said. “With all that potential, my biggest concern with switching systems was that we would simply replace systems and continue to work in the same way we had in the past. It was important to me that we leveraged the tools in the system to increase productivity and improve the way we worked.”
Carsten focused on improving customer interaction, most notably through automating shipment notifications and reports. In addition, he automated carrier feeds to provide customers with better tracking information with less work by staff. In the 18 months following the switch to CargoWise, the company increased profitability and streamlined operations; eventually going paperless in all three offices. By having a more meaningful engagement with customers (using customized reports and performing business reviews), the company increased business from new and existing clients. Using the Tariffs & Rates modules in CargoWise, quoting customers was much easier. “We became quicker and saw a marked improvement in quotation acceptance rates,” said Steinmetz.
In late 2014, Carsten decided to become a WiseService Partner and help other firms with their CargoWise implementation. A family relocation to the UK in early 2015 provided the perfect opportunity to setup his new business. He explained, “I want to use my experience in the industry and my knowledge of the system to help other CEOs and business owners leverage software to beat the competition. Freight forwarders are all shipping cargo on the same planes, boats, and trucks. If the way they move the cargo is the same, then the only way to differentiate from the competition is through people and technology. With WiseTech Global's growth, increasingly more and more forwarders are on CargoWise. That means that differentiating yourself as a freight forwarder through technology requires that you use the system to its fullest. Simply having the best software is not enough, using it effectively is what delivers the difference. With that in mind, I founded Difference Delivered Ltd.”
• Bachelor’s in Economics, Syracuse University
• MBA, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
• CargoWise Certified Professional
• Certified WiseService Partner
• Fluent in English and German
• Former CEO, Freight Forwarder in Southeast U.S.
• Over 17 years experience in logistics
• Based in London, England