Shipping 20ft containers full of medical equipment and travelling to far-off places to turn those containers into Hospitals is quite a strange job sometimes. However, Bart Kruijsen has shipped stranger things all over the world.
With a degree in Economics and Business Psychology, Bart handles Sales and Business Development at Hospitainer. However, his career started at KLM, where he handled logistics. During his last few years with KLM, Bart was in charge of handling logistics for special cargo with a focus on live animals.
“I’ve shipped elephants, giraffes, dolphins, crocodiles and a staggering number of horses, dogs and cats all over the world.”
After 15 years with KLM, Bart started working for Raptim Humanitarian Travel, an organization specialized in organizing the travel plans for NGOs. He eventually became the organisation’s director and, during this time, first learned of Hospitainer.
Bart also spent two years working for the NGO Mission to Heal, who had approached him to ask for help in shipping two mobile Hospitals to Africa. After obtaining the correct driver’s license, Bart personally delivered one of the trucks and drove the hospital all over Africa and part of the Philippines. While he’d intended to help Mission to Heal for a few months, Bart wound up sticking around and becoming the director here as well. Unfortunately, then COVID-19 happened and international travel became a huge problem.
Mission to Heal had to be able to send people out internationally and, as such, their work slowed to a crawl. However, Hospitainer only got more and more busy during this time as we got request after request for COVID-19 field hospitals. Hospitainer approached Bart for help in March of 2019 and he’s been hard at work for us ever since.
When asked what he enjoyed most about working for Hospitainer, Bart mentioned he enjoyed working for a company and with a team that is so driven to ensure a lasting, positive impact.
“With everything we do, ensuring we can provide people access to proper healthcare is a driving force and I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.”
He also emphasized the importance of that drive for anyone hoping to join the Hospitainer team, stating that it is very important that working for and with companies like this excites you. Furthermore, Bart emphasized the importance of being able to adapt to a client’s wishes and a willingness to avoid a nine-to-five mentality. After all, Hospitainer’s clients often need customized solutions and, as we operate internationally, sometimes clients will ask questions or raise concerns outside of office hours.
When asked if any experiences with Hospitainer stood out to him, Bart spoke of the trip to Lesbos to construct a 300m2 hospital near refugee camp Moria. He was struck by how, despite their awful situation, the refugees were eager to work hard to ensure that everyone could make good use of the hospital.
“It’s a very special form of cooperation. When you’re with a group of strangers and you’ve managed to build a hospital in three days, that’s a great feeling.”