Family-owned company passes the baton in controlled fashion

The organisations of Turku Stevedoring Oy and Forlog Oy will become stronger. The companies owned by the Iljin family are preparing to shift the responsibility for running the business to the younger generation.

Industry professional

Electrical Engineer BSc., Master of Business Administration, Lauri Iljin (35) has been appointed Director of Operations of Turku Stevedoring Oy. Logistics Engineer (UAS) Riika-Maria Iljin (37) has been appointed Director of Operations of Forlog Oy. Their father Kimmo Iljin (61) will continue as the CEO of both companies.

“The idea is that we are starting to prepare for the shift of responsibility to the younger generation. I am gradually withdrawing from operative functions but will remain in the background, probably for a few years. I’m not even close to my best before date yet”, Kimmo Iljin explains and chuckles.

“The goal is to implement the generation change as flexibly as possible. That way Kimmo can share the things he has learned. The stevedoring and logistics industry calls for a wide range of various expertise, and transferring the knowledge will take its time”, Riika-Maria describes.

Port operator Turku Stevedoring has operated in the Port of Turku for over 50 years and its main line of business is stevedoring and logistics services. The stevedoring business is supported by the harbour cranes and forklift trucks held by the company.

Forlog Oy provides logistics services for the heavy industry in particular; its range of services includes, for example, warehousing, collecting, and value-added services such as pre-instalment of materials. Forlog operates in the Pansio logistics district.

A fresh perspective, new ideas

TurkuSteve’s new Director of Operations Lauri Iljin has most recently worked as Sourcing Project Manager for Valmet Automotive EV Power. Like other members of the Iljin family, he also has roots in the port.

“I grew up in the port, as my parents often took me with them to the workplace. I remember well how I wondered about the tyres of a forklift truck that were as big as I was. When I turned 15, I got to drive a forklift”, Lauri says.

He thinks that the appointment of new personnel will not be visible to the customers until in the longer term.

“Of course, the younger generation always has new ideas. For example, I want to increase the expertise of our personnel further – and update e.g. the IT systems”, he points out.

“Lauri has already asked many suitably challenging questions about why something is done the way it is. It’s good that regular ways of working are also viewed from a new perspective”, Kimmo Iljin comments.

The services of the companies complement each other

Riika-Maria has worked in the port and at TurkuSteve since the 2010s. As the Director of Operations of Forlog Oy she will transfer to Pansio.

“As I had longer experience in the industry, I got to choose which post I wanted to take. I chose Forlog, largely because it’s nice to try out something new for a change. But I’m a bit wistful about leaving the port, although I’m not going far.”

She says that the services of TurkuSteve and Forlog complement each other efficiently.

“Forlog specialises in the handling and warehousing of large and heavy products. There is a demand for the handling of heavy-weight industrial materials and we have invested a great deal in it.”

Riika-Maria and Lauri’s brother Oskari is also working at Forlog, in an operative position.

The family-owned company is strong

Kimmo, Riika-Maria and Lauri believe that the fact that the owners of a family business participate in day-to-day operations indicates that they are very much committed to the management and development of the company.

“In a family-owned company information also flows smoothly and decisions can be made quickly”, Lauri says.

But we still need to find out what Kimmo will do as he will have more free time in the future.

“I like to play golf. I enjoy the weather in Portugal and our summerhouse in Hirvensalo. And then I will, of course, have more time to spend with my grandchildren Nelli and Niilo.”

“Oh, will Nelli and Niilo take over the family business later on? I don’t know, it’s still too early to say”, Riika-Maria chuckles.


Text: Matti Välimäki
Photos: Ilari Välimäki