20_Michael Stolarczyk

Think Big

A small organization inside a vast company reinvents the business through speed, trust, accountability, and relationships. The result? Growth in division revenue from $18 million in 1998 to $40 million in 2000.


Michael Stolarczyk
Managing director, Maersk Sealand
Prague, Czech Republic


What needed an overhaul?
MaerskSealand’s presence in the Czech Republic in 1998 produced a modest, annual turnover of $18 million. Michael Stolarczyk determined that broadening its services would secure additional customers. A local project group was empowered, and within two years annual turnover topped $40 million. MaerskSealand’s subsidiaries: Maersk Logistics now owns and operates a 100,000 sqf facility providing warehousing, distribution, and supply-chain services; Maersk Intermodal Europe’s rail services connect customers from six Central European countries to ports in Germany and Holland. In 1998, eight weekly trains transited a Prague multi-user terminal. Now, 48 trains rumble over their network each week, and MaerskSealand is building its own multi-modal terminal.

What was the single biggest obstacle?
The staff lacked confidence and had no visibility at the corporate level. Since the Czech organization (20 people) was within a framework of the largest transportation company in the world (70,000 employees, 300 offices, 100 countries), controlling their own destiny was thought to be impossible. Stolarczyk created the S.T.A.R. formula, and the staff gained confidence through their customers. All decisions, actions were taken from the customer perspective. The formula was embraced, the local staff gained confidence, and new customers were inked. MaerskSealand’s top executives noticed the trend. Stolarczyk parlayed this exposure into securing project financing for the new warehouse and terminal.

How have you seen results?
1) MaerskSealand’s market share in Central Europe is now over 35%. In some trade-lanes, MaerskSealand has over 50% of the market. 2) The local Czech organization secured approval for the $8 million warehouse investment and $16 million terminal investment in less than two years. 3) The local Czech staff administrated both projects from concept to reality. 4) MaerskSealand will operate over 60 weekly trains via their own terminal in 2003. 5) MaerskSealand now employs over 60 people in the Czech Republic…when the terminal opens in 2003 there will be 160. 6) MaerskSealand’s export volumes have grown by an average of 38% a year since 1998. 7) MaerskSealand’s turnover in 2002 will be over $50 million, in 2003 over $56 million.

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