End of March, Raymond Troch reaches the milestone of 65 years and retires as head of shipping agency and logistics.
"In 2005 I started working for PSA in Zeebrugge. Combined Terminal Operators (CTO) and ZSB then owned by PSA/Hessenatie disappeared from the scene in 2007 when the Japanese group NYK merged the company into ICO. Thanks to the shareholder's continuous investments, it became an incredible success story."
ICO developped various activities and grew into the largest car terminal in the world, with more than 1.200 jobs in Zeebrugge and Antwerp.
"I was responsible for the shipping agency, logistics/forwarding department. This meant, among other things, receiving more than a thousand ships annually, including 120 cruise vessels.
From Detroit via Stuttgart to Zeebrugge
His successor Jan Maes (48) came on board at the end of January. “Instead of water, I have petrol in my blood,” says the native Zelenaar who moved to Knokke last year. “I was fascinated by the automotive sector from childhood and after my studies in commercial sciences (Vlekho Brussels) I was able to start working at Chrysler-Jeep right away. In the early years I was a commercial bridge between the European distributors and the Detroit headquarters. I managed operational teams in the spare parts warehouses in Born (the Netherlands) and Puurs. ” In 1999 the Chrysler Corporation merged with Daimler-Benz to DaimlerChrysler. “The Mercedes-Benz headquarter in Stuttgart was looking for young people who knew the American corporate culture. This opportunity enchanted me as a 28-year-old "petit Belge". A German stay of initially three years became five, ten and finally twenty years. After I traveled the world on integration projects, the two groups separated again in 2007. My Belgian wife, who meanwhile also worked at Daimler, and I stayed in Germany. From 2007 to 2011 I was in charge of the European distribution of commercial vehicles and from 2012 also of passenger cars. By the way, I got to know ICO by planning the distribution networks - by truck, ship, train and aviation - and purchasing logistics services - port operations and vehicle processing centers (VPC) - in the ports. From 2016 to 2020, I was responsible for the strategic purchase of drive systems and components for electric cars. That was also a very interesting experience: during the day I lived in the period 2025-2035 and in the evening I returned home in 2020.
We could no longer resist the call to return home. My wife and I quit between 2 lockdowns and bought a house near Knokke. I found work at ICO in the immediate area that seamlessly matched my experience. I can provide added value in terms of insight into the expectations of a car manufacturer, the distribution logistics and future developments. Because the automotive sector is facing the most radical revolution in its existence: electrification and digital transformation will change everything at lightning speed. This evolution has started and is irreversible. The car of the future will be an advanced wheeled software package. The handlers and transporters are fully adapting to this. ” Jan Maes' range of duties will not become a blueprint of what Raymond Troch built up, but will largely overlap. “I have the basic knowledge of agency and customs at hand, but for the finer points I count on the teams in Antwerp and Zeebrugge. In both offices we have about fifteen experienced declarants, water clerks and agents."