Dr. Stephan Hofmann, Transport Economist & Team Leader Commercial Excellence
Stephan Hofmann was issued his ticket to HPC in southern Africa. In Angola, a freight forwarder handed him an HPC business card with the words, "They know about ports and transport, get in touch with them." At the time, after completing his Master's degree in business administration with a focus on supply chain management, he was doing research in South Africa, Namibia and Angola for his dissertation on supply chain performance. The impressions gained on site had a lasting effect and still shape the Schleswig-Holstein native today. When he knocked on HPC's door a few years later, after completing his doctorate at the European University of Flensburg, they were looking for a transport economist - a precision landing!
Since 2018, Stephan Hofmann has worked on many "extremely diverse" projects at HPC - from "totally innovative to rather classic." He remembers his first assignment very well, this time in the north of the African continent: having just joined the company, he visited 15 Egyptian ports in just two weeks for a challenging port master plan project. The nightly car rides along the Suez Canal, "especially when a huge port construction site lit up the horizon," as well as transferring to the terminal by pilot boat, are burned into his memory as a pulsating backdrop.
Transport economists need imagination and curiosity while maintaining an unbiased view of the big picture. Stephan's tasks include market and traffic forecasts, financial analyses, business plans and transaction advisory. As Product Manager and Team Leader for Commercial Excellence, he also develops consulting services which aid in helping ports and terminals become more competitive and secure their future viability. Stephan finds the dual function "absolutely inspiring." As a project manager, he is close to the customer, and he can directly incorporate his experience from this business into the design of the commercial service products.
When the pandemic brought his travelling to a halt, Stephan focused his energy on innovation and sustainability and, just to give an example, successfully applied for funding for LED terminal lighting or hydrogen trucks. "What is happening in Germany and Europe in terms of new technologies and digitalization is super exciting." At the same time, he is convinced, "Future growth will be strongly driven by other countries and economic regions."
He has long been on the road again between Chile, Lebanon and Serbia for projects. His drive grows when spending time with local partners and HPC colleagues, among whom he is known as a coffee fan. His "enthusiasm for everything I believe in" is well received everywhere. Not to mention he can always be counted on to bring a fine local coffee blend back to Hamburg from his business trips.