The Port Hampuusi of 2022 is Matti Urmas, Managing Director of forwarding company Freja Transport & Logistics Oy.
Four decades in the industry, two as an entrepreneur
Matti Urmas has been working in the forwarding industry since 1983 when he started work in a forwarding company operating under the name Merikiito. His career path proceeded to Wikeström & Krogius until in 2003 he purchased a forwarding company named Maa ja Meri together with Jörgen Hansen, the founder of the Freja group. The first thing to do was to move the company’s domicile to Turku, and its head office is still located in the Port of Turku.
“During the period from 2003–2009, we purchased six other companies in the other Nordic countries with the goal to build a strong Nordic brand in the industry and to communicate that the company was renamed Freja Transport & Logistics Oy in 2009. Today, Freja is the biggest privately owned forwarding industry group in the Nordic countries whose portfolio covers all modes of transport on land, at sea and in the air. The latest addition to our range of services is thermo-transports for which we have large up-to-date equipment. In Turku we are the biggest operator in the industry and the only one that can offer such a broad range of services to the customers in Southwest Finland, with support from the Port of Turku”, Matti Urmas tells about Freja’s history in Finland.
Close co-operation with the Port of Turku
During the past two decades, the Port of Turku has become Freja’s strong partner whose services Freja uses in diverse fashion. Co-operation with the port enterprise as well as other operators in the port is also otherwise intensive, including, for example, joint marketing at international transport industry fairs.
”The Port of Turku’s fast and frequent sea connections to Sweden provide a competitive route to Scandinavia and further afield to the rest of Europe. The routing of unit cargo to large market areas is also well served by the Port’s liner service to Germany, and there would be demand for even more frequent departures. Whenever possible, we also guide project shipments to Turku, as the Port has skilled and reliable service providers for operating them. In addition to transport services, we use the Port’s warehousing services, including Turku Free Zone Company and TurkuSteve.”
Managing Director Matti Urmas considers the possible new sea connection from Turku to Gdynia, Poland an interesting and welcome alternative. The Freja group has a local company in Poland, and one of Freja Finland’s transport departments is located in Gdynia, offering operative services from there. Poland itself is a large market area and an important transit country to Eastern Europe, so there is great potential.
Positions of trust in business world organisations
Matti Urmas is also active in business federations. His positions of trust include for example, memberships in the entrepreneur committee of the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and the transport committee of the Finland Chamber of Commerce.
“In the positions of trust, I consider myself above all a representative and interest representative of SMEs. The medium-sized growth companies already have superior importance to Finland’s economy and employment, and their growth opportunities should be strengthened further. The goal of the EK’s Mittelstand project is to bring entrepreneur-operated medium-sized companies with Finnish ownership to the core of the business policy.
Text: Kari Ahonen
Photos: Markku Koivumäki
Port Hampuusi titles awarded for over two decades
For over two decades, the Port of Turku has annually elected a Port Hampuusi (old-fashioned Finnish term for dockworker) from among its partners. The title is awarded as a tribute to a person who has developed the operations of the Port of Turku and its service structure actively and in the long term.
The honorary certificate is handed over in the long-running traditional event called Vanhat vetäjät (“old leaders”). As indicated by the name, the guests of honour comprise the old leaders of the Port, the retired port directors, harbour masters, managing directors, and former chairpersons of the Harbour Board, Management Board and Board of Directors of the Port. The title of Hampuusi has been awarded to employees of shipping and logistics companies. Those awarded with the title consider it a hommage and feel that they are in good company.
Port Hampuusi titles 2000–2022
2000 Jukka Holmroos, Regional Director, Danzas Oy
2001 Rolf Sandberg, Managing Director, Team Lines Finland Oy
2002 Sören Lindman, Cargo Director, Silja Line Oy
2003 Raimo Adamsson, Managing Director, Oy Stevedoring Ab
2004 Per-Erik Lindström, Managing Director, Turun Vapaavarasto Oy
2005 Erik Hacklin, Production Manager, Finnsteve Oy
2006 Lars-Gustav Hellman, Sales Director, Viking Line Oy
2007 Ulf Hägerstrand, Sales Manager, Silja Line Cargo
2008 Pekka Ahlgren, Sales Director, Viking Line Oy
2009 Hans Martin, Managing Director, Finnsteve Oy
2010 Seija Hummelin-Uusilehto, Head of Department, Nurminen Logistics Oyj.
2011 Stig-Olof Söderström, GAC Finland Oy
2012 Juhani Vainio, Professor, Centre for Maritime Studies (CMS)
2013 Henrik Mahlberg, Managing Director, Wikeström & Krogius Oy Ab
2014 No title awarded
2015 Jouni Sopula, Managing Director, Schenker Oy
2016 Viking Strandfelt, Sales Director, Viking Line Abp
2017 Jarmo Koskinen, Cargo Director, Port of Turku Ltd
2018 No title awarded
2019 Timo Helanto, Managing Director, Mann Lines Oy
2020 Simo Laurila, Regional Director, Finnsteve Oy
2021 Kimmo Iljin, Managing Director, Turku Stevedoring Oy
2022 Matti Urmas, Managing Director, FREJA Transport & Logistics Oy
Text: Heli Kaijansalo