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A history of collaboration between two trusted partners

René Schönefeld is leading provider in charcoal tablets, church incense, and natural resin fragrances. Since the 1970s, the company has partnered closely with Akomar and its predecessor. Over the years, Akomar has upheld a longstanding relationship with René Schönefeld, handling the global shipping of their pallets and containers. Furthermore, Akomar also engages in collaboration with René Schönefeld’s sister company: Koster Keunen BV.  

Corné Peijs, employed at René Schönefeld since 1999, has always worked closely with Akomar throughout his career. This longstanding collaboration confirms a strong bond and mutual trust between the two organizations.  

Half a century of partnership
The collaboration began with Herman van den Dool, who initially collaborated with René Schönefeld while working at another company before founding his own venture, Omar Shipping. Subsequently, Omar Shipping merged with Akfor Shipping & Distribution, under the ownership of Arjan Kruis (current Director of Akomar) at the time. Following the merger, operations continued under the banner of Akomar, thus maintaining the partnership with René Schönefeld. Since Herman's retirement, the collaboration has persisted with Arjan, bringing many years of mutual satisfaction. 

"Akomar is currently responsible for all our overseas shipments. We made this decision not only because of our collaboration with Arjan but also because of the dedicated employees of Akomar. Many of them have been with the company for ten, twenty, or even thirty years. The staff is always positive, pleasant to deal with, and personal," says Corné Peijs, Manager at René Schönefeld.  

René Schönefeld sells charcoal tablets essential for smoking a hookah and burning church incense. These tablets are also used for burning oudh, an aromatic wood known for its rich scent. Corné: "On average, we ship three to four 40ft containers per week, with two-thirds of these shipments heading to North America and the Middle East. Akomar is our trusted partner responsible for transporting all our containers to these destinations. They have all the necessary expertise and the knowledge to accommodate our special charcoal product with various shipping companies and have excellent routes and contacts." 

"When you approach larger shipping agents, you often get a junior employee as a contact person. Unfortunately, they don't always have the knowledge about our specialized product and customers. In America, we also provide door-to-door deliveries. So, you must be able to book not only a container with our special charcoal product, but also provide the on-carriage. And that at a favorable rate, while also being able to fulfill all agreements made. Akomar just has it all very well organized." 

Down-to-earth and committed 
"What is extremely important to us is the involvement of our partners. Akomar is always working to prevent problems. They are down-to-earth, work hard, enjoy life, and always strive for improvement. Additionally, they feel tremendously responsible, which is an essential part of their service. Even during a vacation, day off, or weekend, they 'just' open their laptop for us if necessary. It's clear that Arjan really involves his employees in the company, and they do it together. They share joy and sorrow with each other, and that company culture fits perfectly with everyone who works there." 

"You always have one point of contact. They are always accessible, always answer, are always open and honest, and are very proactive in preventing and solving problems. And if we perform poorly on our side, they will tell us. They just want to do it right, and if we as a company don't perform well, then Akomar also has a problem." 

Making the Impossible, Possible 
In the past, René Schönefeld has encountered unpleasant situations regarding their shipments. Corné: "I remember the Gulf War in the 1990s. When it broke out, a lot of containers were at sea, and the Suez Canal closed. All containers were put ashore and all shipping lines said: 'good luck with that.' Arjan managed to have the cargo transported to Kuwait by truck through the desert. Solutions are always found. It's never: ‘no, we can't do that’, ‘no, we don't do that’, or ‘I don't want that’. It's always: ‘how can we do this?’ It’s fantastic!" 

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