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01.02.2018

Grimaldi and Ahola grows together

As of 2006 Finnlink, and its managing company Finnlines, has been a part of the shipping company Grimaldi Group. Since 2016, Grimaldi Group has owned Finnlines in its entirety and has upped its investments in the routes to and from Finland.

Although Finnlink is just one of dozens of ferry lines that Grimaldi operates in northern Europe and the Mediterranean, the route between Naantali in Finland and Kapellskär in Sweden holds a strong position in the Grimaldi Group.

“Finnlink is one of our key routes and the company will continue investing in it in order to meet market needs and demands and improve on-board services for our guests,” says Emanuele Grimaldi.

Ahola at the top

Emanuele Grimaldi is happy that Finnlink has such a large and loyal client as Ahola. Today, Ahola Transport is Finnlink’s single largest customer and has been one of the largest since the very beginning in 1989. CEO Hans Ahola has always had a good relationship with Finnlink and its owners.

“Hans Ahola has put his trust in Finnlink since day one. We will always be thankful for this trust and hope that we never let him down,” says Emanuele Grimaldi.

The close collaboration is maintained through regular meetings. Emanuele Grimaldi and Hans Ahola meet to discuss the future several times a year and Ahola Transport’s representatives are invited to the annual Grimaldi conference in Italy.

“A continuous and open dialogue is crucial for keeping tabs on the co-operation and developing operations in a stable manner,” says Grimaldi.

Shared family company spirit

Another explanation for why Ahola and Grimaldi have such a strong relationship is, of course, the family company spirit. Both Ahola Transport and the Grimaldi Group are family companies with long histories.

“Ahola is one of the few companies that has made it big while remaining a family company, just like Grimaldi. I am sure that this has contributed to a better understanding between us. Family businesses have a unique perspective, it’s like the company becomes part of the family,” says Antonio Raimo, Line Manager for Finnlink.

Emanuele Grimaldi agrees that the companies think alike.

“I think that we have a similar approach to entrepreneurship, as well as a mutual understanding of each other’s needs.”
Grimaldi is quick to add, however, that it takes more than just a family company spirit.

Promising future

Antonio Raimo is certain that Ahola and Finnlink will continue developing together.

“We rely a great deal on Ahola’s feedback from the market, both in terms of strategic planning and future investments. We have a close collaboration and constantly work to fortify it. We also strive to improve continuously.”

For Ahola Transport, and for the whole of the company’s logistics, Finnlink continues to be a crucial part. For Ahola Transport, goods traffic on wheels namely also involves a fair amount of transport on ships. Without ferry operators like Finnlink, the journey between Finland and Sweden would be long. And the co-operation with Finnlink is great.

Finnlink – an essential partner

In every fruitful partnership, both participants are important to one another. The same applies to Finnlink and Ahola. Ahola is Finnlink’s single largest customer and its trucks weekly fill up several thousand lane metres on Finnlink’s ferries.

In addition to Finnlink, Ahola Transport uses other shipping companies between Sweden and Finland when necessary. The type of goods, timetable and available capacity are the important factors when selecting a ferry.

But at the other shipping companies, freight competes with passengers and their vehicles. Finnlink is specialised in freight and they can offer Ahola Transport a lot of room. Besides, Finnlink is Ahola's primary carrier for transporting hazardous goods. Because of all these factors Ahola Transport hopes that the line will continue to develop.

For the moment Finnlines and Finnlink is working on lengthening their ships in order to increase capacity on several lines. As the quay used by Finnlink in the Naantali harbour is also being lengthened at the moment, and the harbour in Kapellskär has been modernised during the last years, Finnlink will be able to increase capacity on the line with the lengthened ships in the future. The lengthened quay in Naantali will be finished during spring 2018, and Finnlines has informed that the company is planning to invest in the line Naantali-Kapellskär.

 

Finnlines
• Owns around 20 vessels on routes in the Baltic and North Sea.
• Owns the shipping operators Finnlink,
Nordölink, Hansalink & TransRussiaExpress.
• Fully owned by Grimaldi Group.

Grimaldi Group
• Established in 1947 by brothers Guido, Luigi, Mario, Aldo and Ugo Grimaldi.
• Fully owned by the Grimaldi family, managed by Guido’s sons Gianluca and Emanuele Grimaldi and brother-in-law Diego Pacella.
• Made up of eight shipping companies, transporting both freight and passengers, in addition to several subsidiaries in the termi¬nal and logistics sector.
• Employs more than 13,000 people
• Each week the Group’s 120 vessels call at more than 110 ports in Europe, Africa and America.