Global shipping

Redesigning a global shipping business to integrate different brands and change mindsets.

Our client is an international shipping business with business units in Europe, Asia and South America. 

As part of a strategic shift towards providing more cohesive digital services to its customers, they wanted to integrate several independent operating units and brands. We helped them establish a new organisation design, while supporting a change in mindset as their business went from transactional to one focused on building lasting connections.


Over several meetings, we worked with the client to agree the scope of the project, their aspirations and the key phases of activity.

The first challenge was to create a new design for the business that would support the strategy. Within this was the need to help the leadership support teams through the process of change and transition into a new business model and ways of working.

The second challenge was less tangible and required creating a shift in mindset across the business from a highly commercial, transactional business to one that focused on developing longer term, strategic relations with clients.


For the organisation design aspect, we formed a strategy group to oversee decision making for the changes. The CEO led the group, which included 12 representatives from across the key businesses.

To start, we spoke to each member of the group to understand their perspective on the strategy, their long-term aims and the central challenges they faced in integrating the different brands. This informed the design of a two-day working session.

Over those two days, the group:
– created a vision for the new business
– agreed design principles for the future organisation
– developed and assessed different design options 
– chose and refined a proposed design
– formulated a transition plan for the change.

In the following weeks, we worked with the executive team to agree key roles, reporting lines and accountabilities, along with the principles of a new reward model to incentivise team leadership and collaboration.

As the project progressed, our focus shifted to helping them to manage transitions. As such, we worked with the executive team to socialise their plans, appoint individuals to new roles (where appropriate) and form new teams. We also helped each team clarify their boundaries and work out how they would collaborate together.

The strategy group continued to meet regularly during the transition to review the changes and explore any difficulties, tensions and challenges that arose.


By forming a strategy group and involving the whole management team from the get-go, everyone understood and was committed to the new design.

The new design was congruent with the new strategy and individuals where matched with roles that were congruent with their capabilities and motivations. 


Global shipping

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