NEW ADVANCES IN COMMUNICATION
WITH CB RADIOS – AND A PARROT
Disruption is nothing new. Advances in technology can fuel business successes or failures. But they always lead to far-reaching change. Since 1882, when Ander Nielsen & Co was founded, new technologies have transformed the transport industry over and over again. The most far-reaching change was the replacement of the horse-and-carriage with the diesel engine. Ancotrans has been on the road all the way. And it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. Take, for instance, the time CB radios were introduced…
If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
By the 1960s, Ancotrans was a well-established company with an efficient administration. Customers called the office and their deliveries were literally written into the order book. Every morning, the order book was stamped with a huge table showing the trucks, destinations – and the day’s capacity. As the day went on, it would be filled with jobs. And it all worked fine.
The truck drivers received the paperwork and instructions for each job through a hatch on the outside of the office. Each time a driver had made his delivery, he was meant to call the office to let them know he was available for the next job. But it didn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, overcome by a sudden thirst, the drivers would pop into one of the cosy cafés dotted around the harbour – and lose track of time.
In 1969, the fourth generation of the family started working in the office. The young Henrik Steenbjerge was full of ideas. He saw the potential in modern radio equipment that could help them maintain contact with the drivers when they were out on a job – and when they had completed it. But the third generation of the family wasn’t so sold on the idea. The elder Steenbjerge, Henrik’s father, declared that the day they introduced radios would be the day he showed up to work with a parrot on his shoulder.
New technology for a new generation
Henrik wasn’t the only one in the company who could see how radios would help the company get the most out of its capacity. And it wasn’t long before Ancotrans bought radios for all of its drivers. Steenbjerge senior kept his promise and showed up at the office with a parrot – although he cheated by borrowing the parrot from a friend who owned a pet shop.
Even though Storno CB radios were a big investment in the 1970s, many years went by before they became standard equipment throughout the trucking industry. But already back then, you had to show a willingness to innovate to live up to customers’ expectations.
The CB radios marked the beginning of a new era for Ancotrans. With the fourth generation of the family at the wheel, the company was never afraid to adopt new technologies such as telex, telefax, email, and digital planning. And today, Ancotrans is still leading the way.
Henrik Steenbjerg celebrated his 50-year work anniversary at
Ancotrans on 15 June 2019. Join us on a journey back to 1969, when a
22-year-old Henrik joined the family business – the fourth generation to
do so. And hear how Ancotrans developed to 2003, when the next
generation assumed leadership of the company. This is the first of four
retrospectives in celebration of Henrik’s 50th anniversary.