20 May 2019, 10:53 CET

Hallo from Hamburg

Hello! Now the time has come for all of us trainees to go abroad for a month. We will be stationed at our sales offices in Europe and Asia to learn from our colleagues within Sales and Customer Service. First out to report is Susanna and Linus who are stationed in Hamburg. So get ready for a mix of a cool city, a big office, lots of new faces, customer visits, German food and of course paper and carton board.

We arrived in Hamburg on a rather rainy Sunday and moved into our apartments, which are located in the nice area Uhlenhorst with a lot of restaurants nearby and close to the beautiful lake Alster. The apartments are about 20 minutes commute with metro from the office. The metro in Hamburg is called Hochbahn, since it is to the most part located above the ground, rather than under. That means it is not only a convenient way to get to work, but also offers a nice tour of the city. The BillerudKorsnäs office is located in the business quarters at the river Elbe, surrounded by large glass buildings housing e.g. Der Spiegel, Germany’s largest weekly magazine.

The first week was spent getting to know our colleagues, the office and the city. At the Hamburg office we have in total 32 colleagues working with sales and customer service. They were all very nice and welcoming to us and happy to show us how they work.

Our colleague Alexander gave us a guided tour of Hamburg on the first of May, which just as in Sweden is a holiday dedicated to the workers. We went to a place in the harbor area called Landungsbrücke, where we had a local fish-sandwich and used the public transport ferries to get around and see more of the city along the river Elbe. We also visited the Elbphilharmonie, the new concert hall in Hamburg, getting a great view of the city from the observation deck. The perfect way to finish the tour was found to be coffee and cake at a local coffee roastery.

Getting that kind of welcome really helped us feel comfortable in our new city and excited for the rest of the month here in Hamburg

Last week, which was our second week in Germany, was spent on the road. Together with Jan-Ole and Johan, who work with sales in our Cartonboard segment, we drove between Munich and Hamburg and met several customers on the way. We were introduced to their different businesses (ranging from converting plants to board merchants, small family companies to large international groups), got to see their production facilities and ask all of our questions. We had a lot of interesting discussions about everything from sustainability, production of cartonboard packaging and the customers’ needs and demands.

On top of that we also got to see a bit of the German landscape on the way back to Hamburg, and try the local asparagus that is now in season and a celebrated delicacy.

After a long week of travel we returned back “home” to Hamburg, where this weekend the annual Hafengeburtstag, or Harbour Birthday took place. This year marked the 830th anniversary of the harbor (quite impressive!) and over a million visitors were there to celebrate it, with a lot of food, music and hundreds of boats and ships in the water. One of the highlights of the festival is the Schlepperballett, where the tugboats that usually tows larger ships into and out from the harbor, makes a coordinated dance to the sound of classical music. It was as impressive as it sounds.

And this marks about half of our stay here in Hamburg, so still plenty of time to learn and discover even more. Stay tuned for more updates from all the other locations our colleagues are at, both here at the blog and on Instagram. 

Good bye from the Hamburg office!