BDP International Finds a Home in Spain

bdp spain team

Celebrating 10 years of BDP Spain

In December 2007, BDP International officially landed in Spain through the family-owned company of EUROMODAL. To put things into perspective, back in 2007: Barack Obama had not yet been elected, the world economy was positively churning, the Leman Brothers crash had not occurred, Spain was 3 years away from their first World Cup victory in football, and Apple would soon launch a revolutionary product called the iPhone. 

In the days before the acquisition signing, our team in Spain was, quite naturally, a little nervous but also excited for the opportunities in our midst. My father, José Ángel Martínez Sr. explained to our local team, the advantages of becoming part of a multinational family owned company with a global presence. In particular, the professional development opportunities that would arise from this new partnership with BDP International.

The day of the signing brought mixed emotions; on one hand, there was a bit of sadness to see the end of a stage in my life where my family put forth so much effort to grow something from the bottom up - but on the other hand, the motivation and adrenaline rush that accompany a new stage, to further develop what my father had started 26 years prior. When my father and Rich Bolte signed the official acquisition documents, my father hugged me and said: "Son, be happy, keep working hard as you have done so far and enjoy this new project that will make you grow as a person and as a professional."  Then, Rich and John Bolte gave me a hug and a very short but very clear message: "Welcome to the family."

Without knowing the BDP culture, it is a sentence that seems tailored for the situation. After 10 years, I perfectly understand (and share) what the message really means. If I had to summarize in a single word what my last 10 years in BDP have been, the word would be “home”.

The first two years we had to learn new concepts and different ways of doing business: We didn’t know what the LLP model was, the word KPI sounded like the name of a car, and handling shipments of chemicals made us feel very scared. Naturally, there were also some growing pains that accompany any major change with system integrations.

bdp euromodal jv signature december 2007
BDP Spain Joint Venture Signature - December 2007

Thanks to an incredibly talented local team and the insight and direction from other EU BDP leadership, we worked on process mappings, contingency plans, and establishing KPIs, among others that showed us a new vision for successfully serving customers in our local market.  

Time marched on, and little by little, managing chemical clients was no longer a novelty and the number of customer logos started to increase each year, as we became one of the main logistics operators of chemical products in the Spanish market. The words KPIs, GNC, DMS, data integrity, productive and efficient processes, mapping processes, compliance, little by little became a basic part of our operations.

Years 2012 to 2015 were the definitive takeoff in the Spanish market. Growth of double digits, and the firm certainty to go beyond our competitors in the last 10 years, we moved from being a typical forwarder to becoming a dynamic solutions-based company, while also maintaining close relationships with our customers.

The last two years have been marked by changes, with my promotion to Regional Director - South Europe and the recruitment of Carlos Fernández as Country Manager in January 2016.

There have also been challenges: the Hanjin bankrupt crisis, the Spanish port strikes, and the implementation of the new fiscal regulation of the SII to name a few. Our team answered the call of duty and we successfully weathered the “storms”. As a result, BDP Spain is proud to proclaim 2017 as our best year yet, including double-digit growth as compared to 2016.

It has been 10 years of enthusiasm, effort, challenges, joys, and of course, a few disappointments. These lines are the introduction of what is to come. Now, we can only look forward and for the next 20 years, write the most brilliant pages of BDP Spain. I am honored to work at a company where I am challenged and encouraged, where our business is driven and inspired by the core values of integrity, accountability, diversity, and social responsibility; where we come together as a global family to drive excellence in all we do, and in turn help our customers achieve their goals; where we don’t just talk about our values, we live them; and most importantly, I am honored to work at a company where I have truly found a home.

One Family, One BDP.