Greencarrier Freight Services in Poland actually started out as a Finnish company in 2001. Back then, it was a family business run by the Jokinen family from the Finnish town Salo. After five years of successful growth, the company joined the Finnish Railway as part of the VR Group that operated passenger trains as well as freight services. In fact, the company was taken over in two stages, and by February 2008 it became fully owned by the Finnish Railway. However, after a few years, the company was offered a management buyout in Poland. The opportunity was taken, and Swedish investors from the transport and logistics industry were invited to join the project.
This is how Greencarrier Freight Services came about in Poland in March 2012. Today, our office is located in the very centre of Warsaw – where the very first IKEA store in Poland was built in the early 90s. The Polish-Finnish traffic is one of our main activities and biggest operations in terms of road traffic.
You are still today working closely together with Finland. What are the main differences between the markets and the way of doing business?
Poles and Finns have a lot in common. But there are also some differences that most likely relate back to historical events. As most people know, we have had a rough, challenging sixty years or so in Poland. Business conditions in the Soviet bloc were quite unconventional but inspired people to fight for survival and to want to improve their lives. This made the Polish people very individualised, and they adopted a certain approach to rules that is not necessarily in line with people in Western Europe – we Poles are not easily restrained!
Another difference is the approach to time. In Poland, we tend to have more of a short-term perspective whereas Finns focus more on the long term. Poles want things to happen right away and aim for quick results. Perhaps the situation was different 30 years ago before we won our freedom? The capital is still in its young stage, and the nation is perhaps not as mature compared to Finland. But this is also a good thing as it provides a fresh view on business matters!