Starting from scratch in Panama

Jonas Thoroe is facing his biggest challenge in his nine-year long career in DSV: building the DSV brand up from scratch in Panama.

When ships are waiting to pass the Panama Canal they often use the time to get new supplies and spare parts on board.  

” We just did our first successful ship supply delivery to a vessel waiting to pass through the Panama Canal”, Jonas Thoroe, Managing Director, Panama says with enthusiasm and continues:

“This means DSV can transport goods from practically anywhere in the world onto a single ship waiting to pass through the Canal. That’s quite exciting.”

After nine years in DSV, Jonas Thoroe was appointed Managing Director in Panama earlier this year – a country where DSV had not previously been present. 

Opening a DSV office in a new country requires a lot of hard work and dedication to create a solid customer base, a good reputation and employing the right people who work the “DSV way”.  

Getting ahead with good customer service

Jonas has a clear strategy on how to make DSV stand out from the competition in the Central American country. 

“Our main strategy to get a solid foothold here in Panama is simple: provide constant, good customer service,” he says and continues: “Many customers here are not used to the level of customer service that DSV provides, and I hope that our level of service will make DSV stand out from the competition. I train our team to always keep the customer in the loop through constant dialogue. It’s the simple things that make a difference. Delays are not usually something we can control, but keeping the customer advised, we can do. It is paramount to me and it’s how I want us to conduct business.”

Jonas Thoroe, Managing Director and his colleague Annette Harris who is the fiance manager.

Starting from the bottom

DSV is not a well-known transport and logistics provider in Panama and Jonas has to build the DSV brand up from scratch. After five years of working in DSV Mexico, Jonas has a solid understanding of Central America’s way of doing business and his DSV contacts in other Central American countries are a great help too:

“I really appreciate that I can confer with my former boss in Mexico, Managing Director, Søren Jørgensen. He has been a huge part of the growth in DSV Mexico, which has become one of the most profitable DSV countries – so he knows what it takes to build a DSV presence in a country - and the ups and downs that come with it.”

A big market in Panama is export of large wheels for vehicles used in the mining industry: “We have already handled one of these large export projects and we are looking into doing more of them. They require a bit of extra effort, but the team and I really enjoy the challenge,” Jonas tells and finishes:

“Of course, there is still a long way to go before DSV is truly a success in Panama, but I am dedicated  to getting DSV on the map and I have great ambitions for our development and growth.”

Learn more about Panama and DSV in the article “DSV opens first office in Panama”