Frans Jol, born in Holland on 9 February 1953, started his
seaman’s life early. Jol comes from a family with a great deal of
shipping in its history — even going back to Captain Cornelis Jol
who worked for the Dutch east indie company VOC as far back
as 1559.
At the tender age of 16, Frans Jol started his seagoing career
on board the Kara, a 20,000dwt tanker belonging to Dutch
company Shell Tankers. As his career continued, he moved to
much larger tankers, and then changed to chemical tankers when
he gained employment with Gebr. Broere. Thereafter he started
work on general cargo vessels when he joined Rotterdam-based
company VSB *United Shipping Company*.
In 1978, Jol started to work onshore, with Seatrain Lines in
Rotterdam — one of the biggest container carriers in those
times. His role was vessel planner for Rotterdam. Later, the
company was partly taken over by Trans Freight Lines and T.N.T.,
an American & Australian combination which was then taken
over by P&O Containers in London, UK.
Jol moved up in the company. From vessel planner in
Rotterdam, he moved up to become European vessel manager,
controlling 15 containerships crossing from Europe and the
Mediterranean to the USA. After that, the idea of co-operation
became popular, and the renowned Tonnage Centre concept was
accepted worldwide. This concept meant that shipping lines put
operational, commercial and planning staff in the same office.
This enabled one office to control vessels’ stowage, optimize
space on the vessels, and reduce the number of unnecessary
‘restows’. It also helped reduce other costs by enabling better
co-ordination between all lines and ports.
After moving on from P&O operational and commercial
representative, Jol was promoted to general manager of
operations for Continental Europe for P&O Containers.
Eighteen countries — from Scandinavia to Turkey — were under
his control, including terminal negotiations, trucking, barging,
feeders and port operations.
In 1992, Jol moved on from P&O and went to Contship Italy, a
company owned by Dott. Angelo Ravano, a pioneer shipping.
Contshiplines, now merged with Hapag Lloyd, and Contship Italy
(the first private container terminal operator in Italy), which is
located between Genoa and Leghorn and called La Spezia. Jol
immediately got involved in commercial issues. He took
responsibility for helping a family business in Salerno, the Gallozzi
Group, to develop the Salerno port together with La Spezia
Container Terminal and other ports where Dott. Ravano had
become involved, such as Savona Vado and Gioia Tauro.
After the sad death of Dott. Ravano, Jol went to work directly
for the Gallozzi Group, owned by Agostino Gallozzi — one of
the most brilliant people he had ever worked for. Achievements
at Gallozzi included the development of Salerno Container
terminal, which grew from an annual throughput of 30,000 TEUs
in 1992 to 450,000 TEUs a few years later. Salerno even became
bigger than the neighbouring port of Naples. Naples is a famous
town and port with a long history, but the facilities and service
offered by Salerno was too high for Naples to compete. Salerno
offered a very high quality of service; it had Gottwald mobile
cranes; its high-tech computer and EDI (electronic data interface)
support was, in those days, the best available in the whole of the
Mediterranean. Moreover, Salerno was willing and able to come
up with ideas to lure customers such as Maersk, Sealand, P&O,
Nedlloyd, Farrell, Hapag Lloyd, Hanjin, Senator, Safmarine, Turkcon,
Borchard, Gracechurch, Hamburg Sud, Emirates Lines, Ellerman,
Lloydtriestino, Italia Line, BCL, Sarlis and many others to call at
In 1995, together with Seamalta, a brand-new concept for the
Mediterranean — maybe even all of Europe — was developed.
This concept was the development of a feeder company, offering
customers an all-in-one service. This meant that trucking, port
operations, loading and transshipment were all provided at a
single rate. The Salerno and La Spezia terminals were connected
by feeder. Therefore, customers do not have to worry about
cargo on board; everything was controlled and charged for by a
single group, in one invoice, for a fixed rate.
Med Feeder services grew from one 120 TEU vessel
(Flintermar) to 18 super-modern feeder vessels, with capacities
from 120 to 1,600 TEUs. Full container vessels, geared ships and
ro-ro vessels were used, according to the restrictions and
requirements of the various ports of call, which had increased to
the whole western Mediterranean and north African area,
including the Adriatic Sea.
The Gallozzi Group also diversified into offering trucking
services as well as warehousing computer software for terminals
under the name Esoware srl (now owned by Frans Jol); yacht
marinas; freight forwarding under the name GF Logistics. Its
services also included the Interport of Nola Tin, an intermodal
terminal in Naples, a district which is unique in Europe. Nola Tin
has: 1,000 importers; 500,000m2 of covered warehousing; a
shopping centre in the shape of a volcano; and a 250,000m2
terminal with thirteen 750m train rails. Gallozzi became a
shareholder and took over operations of Nola Tin a few years
ago. For many years, Jol was on the board of a number of
companies. He was managing director of SCT, a general manager
of Gallozzi Group companies, and a board member of Tin and
Med Feeder.
After working in Italy for 17 years, Jol’s family wanted to
return to Holland. Therefore, in 2009, Jol left the Gallozzi Group
and sold his house in Italy. He began work on the next part of
his life, taking over software company Esoware, with which he
had already worked for several years with Dutch company Copas
in Rotterdam, creating Esoware Holland. Esoware Holland is
now the global sales office for Copas software and other
software houses which are not competitors but which, with
Esoware, are able to give customers a one-stop-shop package of
solutions — the same principle as the feeder concept.
Today, Copas software, together with Esoware solutions, is
being used in many terminals in Italy, Belgium and the UK. The
software package offered is one of the most economical available,
offering an extremely high output, all in Java language, and running
on two normal servers. It is easy to install, amend and work with
— a perfect combination for small and medium-sized terminals
which need fast and easy systems. Nevertheless, it still gives the
same service offered by larger, better-known systems used
around the world.
As well as his interests in the software company, Jol has also
started Jolconsultancy in Holland. This consultancy draws on his
40 years of experience in the shipping industry, specifically in
logistics, warehousing, freight forwarding and feeder operations.
Jol is also involved in working groups around the world such as:
  SMDG, which co-ordinates and creates standard EDI
messages for the shipping and port industry around the world;
  Eirac, created by EEC Brussels to come up with intermodal
solutions for 2030 in Europe;
  Ipon a network for general cargo and bulk terminals to
co-operate on operational and commercial issues between the
members; and
  Opeg, a working group between the biggest terminals in north
Europe on issues like safety and security.
He has also been a speaker at several transport events
conferences around the world for many years. Jol firmly believes
that there is a need to help other companies around the world
by offering them support on several different issues, which can
range from commercial, operational, management and systems to
any combination of all of those which are, after all, interrelated.
Shipping and logistics is a huge global industry, but
nevertheless has a limited amount of people involved. Everybody
knows each other. To succeed, it is therefore important to have a
good network. Over the course of his 40 years in the industry,
Jol has developed an extensive network between colleges and
friends all around the world. He needs to keep in close contact
with all of those in his network, where fairness, mutual support
are vital. There are no secrets in shipping, but it is important to
use information received in the appropriate manner. In this way,
it is possible to establish friendships with a whole chain of
contacts, in all parts of the transport chain, and to exchange
information and technology with these contacts, and to help each
There are many working groups in the container industry, and
usually people are able to contact each other very easily. The
general cargo and bulk industries are much more traditional, and
people tend to do business in the same way for decades. They
do not easily change terminals, for small gains. It is a more
reliable business, but as a consequence working groups and
people involved do not change much, so the approach to
business and co-operation is also more limited.
Jol is therefore able to help his customers. At the moment,
his client list covers 14 countries and 27 different companies
which are involved in a range of difficult areas. Customers
  equipment sellers like Houcon, Verstegen, Gottwald, Drie D;
  software sellers like Esoware, Phaeros, John Evans, RTE, Logsys,
  freight forwarders and traders like Forwarders network, ML
Holdings, Ferntowerstrading, Sisam agency;
  logistics and terminal companies like Gallozzi Group,
Camorani, Intergroup, Forlog, RCT, Solacem, Lorenzini, Genmar,
ANT and Transmisr in Egypt; as well as
  conference companies like Transport events
All the above companies and people need contacts, people to
open doors, advice and support. If you are sitting in, say,
Indonesia or Russia, you cannot always fly up and down across
Europe to meet customers. It therefore makes a lot of sense to
use a consultancy company like Jolconsultancy. Being located in
The Hague, not far from Rotterdam, Antwerp and Amsterdam,
and centrally located in Europe, Jolconsultancy is ideally situated
geographically to support its global customers. Its services can
include a mixture of operational and commercial support, as well
as attending conferences, to reduce costs for all. It can put
clients together to increase the size of both businesses, and can
help smaller companies to get their names out in the world, a
unique way of doing business.