LBH Colombia´s main asset are its people, a group of resourceful talent professionals making progress with each new ship, towards the never ending adventure of ships and ports. As part of the logistic and supply chain, ship agency is perhaps the most complex operation of all, involving lots of coordination, communication, flexibility, availability, creativity, anticipation, plus engaging into each single operation ship owners, chartererers, shippers, receivers, port service companies, custom agents and custom authorities, port authorities, courier service, supply, provision and repair companies, and still accepting that even when you try as hard, all things can go absolutely wrong. We are proud to have built a team of great/down-to-earth-attitude professionals from all origins in Colombia. It is true, not all of them were there from the beginning, but a balance mixture of the experienced and the new has been properly reached. Of course we understand this is not the end of the road, but it helps us to produce a mature company that is able to respond to an ever challenging environment.
The average age of our workforce is 36 with an age range of 24-60, and the average years of experience working and helping to build our flag and signature service is 8, with an experienced range of between 1 and 23 years. Roughly 35% of our workforce is female, and although we have tried to bring this balance to a 40/60 proportion it is not easy to find women who are willing to work on operations plus we have the safety factor in consideration as well.
In a recent internal poll to evaluate our internal working climate, more than 95% of our people reported to feel proud to be members of this company and well integrated with the company´s goals and mission.
Alvaro Gonzalez is our operations/branch manager for Barranquilla/Bolivar (Area 1), having joined the company in July 1995. Alvaro made his way up until around 2001 when he was made operations manager for Santa Marta area being responsible to match the growing challenge of keeping Drummond happy, until in 2009 we transferred him to Barranquilla as operations manager for that area. Alvaro has 2 children ages 17 and 6, and got recently married to Liliana. He enjoys long riding bikes when he has free time. He confesses himself being not keen to social network. Jose Caballero joined the company in 1999 and he was made manager of Barranquilla/Bolivar branch in 2004, until 2009 when we proposed the switch branches with Alvaro and move to Santa Marta/Ciénada (Area 2). This move served him better for a family purpose since his parents lived in Santa Marta and his family in Valledupar, a good 45 minutes closer than if traveling from Barranquilla so he can visit them every weekend with more comfort. Jose was successful in adapting to Drummond challenging operations and was our backbone during the transfer stage of the operations from barge loading to the direct shiploader system. Jose plays football and squash during his free time, although some injuries from the past have reminded him that youth elasticity is only a temporary gift. He likes vallenato music, typical rythms from Valledupar area (same rhythm as internationalized by famous singer Carlos Vives) and never misses the Vallenato Music Festival during May. Of agency work he says he likes to confront problems and challenges and relate with customers and authorities alike to ensure that solutions are found, agreed and implemented. Jose is not fond of social media but he is always available on whatsup. He is married to Maria Teresa Moreno and has two boys age 11 and 7 .Orlando Escorcia joined our operations dept in Santa Marta in the year 2000 and he handled port operations successfully in the different terminals including Drummond and Prodeco. In 2011 we proposed him to move to Cartagena to manage our operations at our HQ office plus Coveñas/Tolu (Area 3), and he has been responsible for making the operations here smooth and stable despite complex commercial demands. Orlando is married to Clara, and has one child of 10 years age. During his free time he likes to spend time with his family basically going to the beach, to the movies or to a park. He likes various type of music such as classic, jazz, salsa and rock. Orlando also argues he does not use too much social networking because they use up too much time. About being a ship agent he says what he likes most is to face a new challenge every new day with every new ship coming to port. Finally we have our youngest operations manager out of Buenaventura, Jose Luis Orozco who joined the company in 2011 and has been responsible for keeping customers happy at this very difficult area. Jose Luis was coming from a container liner operation and is a natural from Buenaventura. Strict demands and accurate performance has meant for him local recognition and a few strong discussions to protect the interests of our customers above some difficult interests. He is married and a proud father of two small boys. Sandra Avila joined our structure in Cartagena HQ back in 2002, knowing absolutely nothing about ships, but she learnt quickly. She was coming from the hotel industry and soon began travelling and visiting customers gaining a wide acceptance. Sandra became a manager for commercial relations in 2007, and has led a team which has varied in members as people come and go. Sandra is a single mother and when her daughter was born the company proposed to her to move back to Barranquilla so she could be in the company of her closest family members while her daughter grew in a healthy environment, and Sandra is living there working out of our Barranquilla branch. Sandra spends time with her family enjoying from a warm simple dinner to travelling around. She is not really a sporty woman but Sandra practices classic ballet and international folklore dancing. Apart from this she likes listening to gospel music. Of working for a ship agency she likes meeting so many different people of so many different cultures. Sandra is trying to learn Portuguese already for some years. Finally we have Karen Gonzalez, a natural from Barranquilla who joined the Finance and Admon department in 2004. She learnt quickly and worked quite efficiently and when opportunity arrived she seized it first by accepting to transfer to Cartagena HQ and then by becoming the Finance manager of the company since 2007. She knows that as a ship agent one day is never the same as the next and she enjoys that with passionate serenity. She likes all kind of music especially salsa and electronic music, and has access to various social media applications. Karen lives in Cartagena, enjoys watching soccer and practices occasionally bike riding and swimming. She has travelled to various exotic places at exotic times, such as Egypt just around the “arab awakening” or to Brasil during 2014 World cup.
This group of managers have been the backbone of this company for a good number of years. We have carried out training and capacity courses together, travelled around together and spend quite a lot of time rushing, on the phone, collecting information and trying to become our customers favourite eye in Colombian ports. They are not alone for sure, as each has its own team of ants making sure our second home keeps tight and aligned with priorities and expectations from an industry awaiting to hear from us around the clock. Soon I will ask each of the manager to write a bit about their teams.