Unbelievable, but true. Logistics and air freight afficionado, Joachim (Jo) Frigger turned 80 last Friday (16OCT20). He celebrated his jubilee in Naples, Florida, “with lots of zoom visitors and tasty food and drinks,” as his daughter, Jennifer Frigger-Latham told us. A memorable day for a cargo pioneer who has become a figurehead of the industry and has developed his company, EMO-Trans USA, into a globally acting and highly respected logistics powerhouse.
Jo belongs to a generation of doers and men of action, like Dieter Haltmayer from Quick Cargo Service, Klaus and Jost Hellmann from the eponymous company, or Uwe Glaser of Austrian Agent,
Cargomind, to name just four outstanding figures, who had and still have tremendous entrepreneurial spirit. They are tough businesspeople when it comes to negotiating and dealing, but are guided
by ethical principles, and their thoughts and actions are characterized by tolerance, respect, reliability, and loyalty, both internally and towards their customers. This creates trust and a
family atmosphere within their enterprises.
As evidenced in EMO’s case in Stuttgart, Germany, where the international EMO-Trans community celebrated the logistics firm’s 50th birthday in 2015. On that occasion, founder Eckart Moltmann (EMO), recalled in a witty speech the beginnings of the company, whose first business was a 10 kg air freight shipment sent from Stuttgart to London on September 9, 1965.
From the Rhine to the East River
Cologne-born Joachim Frigger joined EMO-Trans seven years later, in 1972. Prior to that, he had learned the demanding forwarding profession from scratch as an apprentice at Cologne’s Rhine River harbor and Cologne airport. His former company had promoted him to Regional Manager in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, based in Dusseldorf. In this function, he was transferred temporarily to New York to open his previous employer’s first JFK office. Jo and his wife, Karin, actually did this during their honeymoon in May 1966. When they arrived in New York, they rented a small apartment in Forest Hills, Queens, which had a picturesque view of the New York skyline. Shortly thereafter, they decided to call New York their second home.
The Friggers started to grow their family in the States, with son Sven and daughter Jennifer. With their hearts in their hometown of Cologne, the family spent much time traveling back and forth across the Atlantic. Today, he still owns his childhood residence and as his family has grown with an added generation of grandchildren, they still continue to visit. “Being apart from family is something we all grew up with, and we are grateful for the new technology that let’s us keep in closer contact these days. Being apart from my Dad for such a wonderful milestone is sad, but we are also happy because we know next year when we are finally together again, we have one extra glass of champagne in the bank,” said Jennifer his daughter.
Live and let live
Joachim Frigger always wanted to have his own company, and with his keen sense of entrepreneurism, he, Karin, and their partner, Paul Bayes founded EMO-Trans, USA in 1972, opening their first office at JFK Airport. Meanwhile, EMO-Trans USA has grown to 33 branches nationwide, employing nearly 400 staff in the USA. Today, ocean freight contributes 52% to EMO-Trans USA’s sales, air freight 40%, and other modes of transport 8%.
His vision was always to build a company with a financially stable foundation, while valuing employees and business partners alike. Along with his global EMO partners, the organization has expanded the EMO-Trans footprint to more than 20 countries, and is proud to be one of the few privately-held global companies in the industry that is not driven by quarterly figures like listed companies, but by a steady and long-term policy. This tolerant attitude of live and let live pays off in many ways: customer loyalty, in turnover and yield, and above all the identity of the employees with the company culture.
Still not retired.
Meanwhile, Jo spends most of his time working from his home in Naples, FLA. But “plans to retire are not on the horizon! He is still a fully integrated Chairman, forming strategies together with the BOD and management. Like the rest of us, he is doing zoom calls with middle management to navigate the current crisis throughout each month. Of course, I talk to him every day from NY. Business is his art, and it brings him great joy,” says daughter Jennifer.
Great personal commitment to social and charitable work
And she mentions another important aspect: the social and charitable commitment of her father and EMO-Trans as a whole. “Jo has taken up his passion and responsibility of Ampo Burkina Faso. This is a home for orphaned children founded by a German woman, Katrin Rohde, whose mission is to support children, women, and disabled people in Burkina Faso through food, schooling, and local involvement.” https://www.mamatenga.org/
In addition to this, the global EMO-Group donates to several organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or children’s hospice, Baerenherz, every year.
We wish Jo Frigger all the best - personally and professionally, and above all good health today, tomorrow, and thereafter.
Jo, mach et jot !!
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