In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA, Amit Rosenthal, International Development Manager of Rosenthal Logistics, shares his insight surrounding Amazon growth & global logistics. Amit shares his personal journey into e-commerce.
From global international shipping companies to your own e-commerce business, everyone dreams of growth and expansion. But what does expansion require, whether it’s on the global scale or your own Amazon kingdom? Yoni Mazor of PrimeTalk discusses what it takes to successfully grow your business regardless of size.
In today’s interview, PrimeTalk sits down with Amit Rosenthal, the International Development Manager for the family-run Rosenthal International Logistics firm, a company that has grown from one man with a truck to a global business with over 800 international clients. Rosenthal Logistics specializes in providing customized logistics solutions for any type of cargo into any destination.
Amit Rosenthal talks about how their family-owned and operated business has grown over the years and his own particular vision for the future of his division. If you’re a business owner of any scale you are looking for the motivation to grow your enterprise, this episode is for you!
Find out more about Rosenthal Logistics
Find out more about GETIDA!
Find the Full Transcript Below
Yoni Mazor 0:06
Hi everybody. Welcome to another episode of PrimeTalk. Today I have a special guest. Today I’m having Amit Rosenthal. Amit is the International Development Manager of Rosenthal Logistics, which is a global logistics company. Amit, welcome to the show.
Amit Rosenthal 0:20
Hey, thank you, man. Appreciate your time, man. Thank you.
Yoni Mazor 0:23
Our pleasure. So today’s episode is gonna be all about Amit and the Amit Rosenthal story. So you’re gonna share with us, you know, who are you? Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How did you begin your professional career? What are you doing now with e-commerce? So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Amit Rosenthal 0:41
Yeah, thank you. So yeah, my name is Amit Rosenthal, I’m the development manager for Rosenthal Logistics and part-owner of the company. In general, we are a family firm. Handling logistics since 1937. So I guess in regards to capabilities, so we have a long capability in regard to logistics in general and business in general. Yeah, I was born in Israel. Still live in Israel. Born almost 40 years ago. Grew up in Haifa. I don’t know if it says something to anyone here. But grew up in Haifa.
Yoni Mazor 1:21
So let me touch Haifa, let me touch Haifa for a moment. So Haifa, I believe today is the third-largest city in Israel. It’s located a bit more in the northern end of the country. But it’s a major port, of Israel, the most important port, the port of Israel, was pretty much all, most of the imports or exports of Israel, you know, come in and out. So that’s the main portal for commerce for Israel. And obviously, if you’re in the game of logistics, it makes total sense to be located in Haifa. I guess the only comparison maybe in the United States will be, I know that in Oakland, California or Los Angeles has big ports over there where all the goods from overseas, especially from China come over. Maybe it’ll be the kind of the equivalent there. But of course, we all know Dubai as a major port in the world for logistics. So, I mean, Karumba Haifa is our, so when I say “our” for Israel, which I’m also an Israeli, it’s the main portal for the country. So yeah, so that’s where you basically were raised, born, and raised.
Amit Rosenthal 2:19
Yeah, so exactly as advised. Today, I’m living in Tel Aviv as advised, we have a family firm that handling logistics in 1937. So honestly, I was born and raised into the logistics world, I will further later tell my story. So you will see that I didn’t jump right into the business, into the family business. So back in general, I’m really born into the logistics world. I remember myself driving trucks, like when I was four years old, and so on. So I know
Yoni Mazor 2:51
What kind of trucks?
Amit Rosenthal 2:53
Yeah, baby trucks, but I was sitting next to the driver, and I was sitting next to the driver. And, you know, going from point A to point z with the truck itself. And like I was sitting next to my father, you know, when I was younger? During my youth time. So I really know and handling logistics ever since if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know. But it’s really it’s the…
Yoni Mazor 3:20
I don’t think it can hurt. If this is in your DNA, it’s probably a good thing because it comes naturally to you. But I guess yeah, you’re saying it’s 1937? So my question and this one will be Did your father found the business or was your grandparents or what was the evolution there?
Amit Rosenthal 3:34
Yeah, it was my grandfather. So my grandfather came to Israel, we have a cigar factory in Germany, but during World War Two, you know, all of the Jewish came, not all but part of the Jewish came to Israel in that area. So yeah, when my grandfather came to Israel, so he really doesn’t have any occupation. He doesn’t have, he didn’t have anything here. So he bought the truck. It started by getting the Shell, showing you this, and starting by just driving a truck from point A to point B and the oil, you know, the oil business.
Yoni Mazor 4:16
So hold on, he came to Israel in 1937 and he settled in Haifa as well. And his cigar business in Germany, I guess he let it go because he kind of had to flee the country and, you know, find a safe haven in the Land of Israel. Back then was the Land of Israel, though the state of mind, of the modern state of Israel, was not established, that came about 11 years later in 1948. And you’re saying he picked up a truck, said what can I carry? You find oil, and that was the early beginning?
Amit Rosenthal 4:44
Yeah, this was the beginning. And from there, you know, things change. You know, he has stories and in his background, he says that you know, he was the only driver, there is pictures, you know, in the world that he was the only, the I think the only truck driver may be the ones that wear a tie and you know, a suit and everything.
Yoni Mazor 5:07
Which is a gentleman’s business right? You got to look gorgeous in the suit and tie. He did that driving a truck. That’s, that’s incredible. I like that. That’s a good touch.
Amit Rosenthal 5:16
I think it’s more related to him being a German, you know, coming from the German mentality, which
Yoni Mazor 5:22
Which part of Germany? Just as a side question
Amit Rosenthal 5:25
It was not in a humble way. It was in Frankfurt. So
Yoni Mazor 5:27
Frankfurt, yeah it’s a business city. Yeah, definitely a business town. Even today.
Amit Rosenthal 5:32
Yeah, yeah. So yeah, it’s…there, you know, in Israel we also started speaking Arabic with the, you know, with the other drivers and so on. So it was really not the definition of the truck that, especially in those days, and from then, we’ve been handling the oil business here in Israel for almost 50 years. And then it became chaos, like, everybody could handle the oil, which was starting to make the business not so profitable with a lot of problems. And then
Yoni Mazor 6:05
You said oil. What kind of oil? Oh like benzine, like a fuel?
Amit Rosenthal 6:12
And from 1997, we change mainly the old activity and wasn’t tired and became a global freight forwarding. So yeah, and at some point, a global freight forwarding, and we handled only like, import and export to Israel. And from here, I will be more specific about my history and background and I came to Rosenthal and what I did ever since, right, so I was in the army. You know, like often on holidays, I went to a year of holiday or trip, I don’t know, it was in South and Central America.
Yoni Mazor 6:56
And so after the three years in the Army, so what were you in the army, just everyone surely has to ask, so what were you in the army?
Amit Rosenthal 7:01
Yoni Mazor 7:04
(Speaking Hebrew) So we call it in English, it’s basically engineering, as a combat engineer. That’s not a straight translation. But, you know, it’s like infantry, you’re out in the battlefield, and you carry a gun and some serious action can come across, depends on the times you’re, you’re in the army in Israel, it’s, it’s,
Amit Rosenthal 7:24
It was a, it was a serious thing. 2000 to 2003. So it was in the heart of the second Palestinian…
Yoni Mazor 7:38
Yeah, without getting into politics too much, 2000, the year 2000 till 2003 was really the peak years of the turmoil that we experienced with the second uprising they identify that with, you know, with the Palestinians, yeah, very tough times. A lot of you know, terrorist activity. And, unfortunately, a lot of casualties. It was a great battle. So thank you for your service. I want to say that on a side note, Yeah, I guess so. 2004 you head up, you know, out to the world. And you chose, you said America?
Amit Rosenthal 8:07
Yeah. So now I chose South America and Central America. I’ve been in Argentina for three months and then we flew to Panama. Did Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and basically all of Central America. Came back to Israel Yeah. Came back to Israel. Honestly, I was searching for myself for the next two years. Didn’t know exactly what I want to do or exactly what I want to study.
Yoni Mazor 8:39
Oh. You didn’t go, so you didn’t go to school? So you were two years in Israel, just dwelling, searching for yourself.
Amit Rosenthal 8:45
Yeah. Exactly. And then, you know, working part-time jobs, you know, restaurants, bars, and…
Yoni Mazor 8:51
Were you still living in Haifa or you already shifted to Tel Aviv at that point?
Amit Rosenthal 8:56
Yeah, yes still in Haifa. Then I found out that I really didn’t have anything to do in Haifa. So I said, All right. I will move to Tel Aviv. Move to Tel Aviv, started study cinema at the university. Did four years, did the final movie, a documentary movie about swimmers. I was a professional swimmer when I was younger. So did a documentary movie about professional swimmers.
Yoni Mazor 9:21
Hold on. So you went to film school for…from 2006 until 2010. Roughly?
Amit Rosenthal 9:27
Yeah, I think it was 2008 to 2012.
Yoni Mazor 9:30
So all four years and your big moment was, you know, finalizing this documentary. It’s about swimming. You had a history of swimming that you kind of skipped over and let’s touch the swimming for a second. When did you start? When did you kind of fizzle out?
Amit Rosenthal 9:45
Yeah, so I think I started around the year ‘05. Just went to, you know, swimming, the swimming lesson. Basically, apparently, I was good at that. So they advise, so they shift me, I don’t know, to more professional swimmers, right? So I started, I think when I was six years old, I have three or four times a week, like practice a week. And then again, I was good at it. So it started to be like your something between nine to 10 practice a week, right? So it’s a three to four times period of school like it’s from six 6 am to 730. And then you go to school, come back, eat something, eat something very fast, go to another practice for three hours. This was basically my life until I was 16. Of course, I gather a lot, a lot, a lot. I don’t know, maybe good qualities. Because of being a professional athlete. I don’t think swimmers..,
Yoni Mazor 10:54
Was there ambition for you at that moment of time? You know, obviously, did you compete? Did you, uhh…
Amit Rosenthal 11:01
Yeah. A lot. A lot.
Yoni Mazor 11:02
Was there an ambition to go to the Olympics as well?
Amit Rosenthal 11:06
Honestly, no, you know, the problem is that you have, you reach to a point that eventually you need to decide whether I want to be a professional swimmer, or I want to have more personal life, you know, with a person in his teenage years. So I decided to skip the professional, the professional swimmer and dedicated, basically, my…
Yoni Mazor 11:32
You chose life, instead of getting a medal, you said, I want to choose to live. So I’m still young. So 16, I want to enjoy my youth and you know, have a social life and not just, you know, completely dedicate myself to this one goal. It’s a noble goal, but you know, you preferred the alternative, which is fine, there’s total, you know, you followed your heart, which is good. But nevertheless, I’m sure you got the fundamentals of what it is to be a professional athlete, where the discipline if you did it for six, seven years straight, now a few times a day you go and you practice, and this is for me, I’m shocked. I know. It’s incredible because I wish I could do that. You treat your body like a shrine, and you hone on your capabilities and you keep at it. And for a few good years. That’s incredible. So these fundamentals, I’m sure you carry out your right now with your character today. So that’s probably very, very valuable. And I hope that your parents are very proud of the fact that they invested all these years into you, I’m sure you didn’t drive yourself to practice and they had to give a lot of attention.
Amit Rosenthal 12:29
Yeah, I can say that dedication, maybe the best quality I received from being an athlete. You just don’t have any other choice. I think we can take it along route to the business, to the business world, because eventually, you’re facing a lot of difficulties, doing a lot of errors, a lot of things you need to address in your business and the same with your athlete life. So yeah, I for myself, like I’m always trying, even if in the best, in the worst day ever. So I try to go to sleep, waking up tomorrow, the next day. So in my opinion, this is
Yoni Mazor 13:14
Yeah, start fresh. It’s a new day, give it a new try. There’s the dark, you know, the connection between you know, being a professional athlete and business because it’s both competitive environments. Businesses, by nature, definition, is a competitive environment. Everybody’s fighting for business and customers and market share. The same thing goes with being an athlete, you’re in a competition, so you got to, you know, fight for your position to be in the top place. Okay, so let’s jump back into 2012, you did your documentary, you know, what was your mindset then? You know, you were like, okay, cinema is my industry or what was uh, what was the trans…the transformation over there?
Amit Rosenthal 13:52
Yeah, 100% I was focused on cinema, and then television, and so on. I was a television editor.
Yoni Mazor 14:01
Yeah? Which channel?
Amit Rosenthal 14:03
Like, Channel Two, you know, in Israel Channel 2, everything, every major, every major show, you know, there is in the Israel television, I was an editor there, video editor.
Yoni Mazor 14:20
Tell me a few shows, just to kick my..
Big Brother, the Big Brother…
Yoni Mazor 14:26
Big Brother. It’s a global I mean, it’s a global brand. So of course, the Israeli version of Big Brother. Yeah, Big Brother.
Amit Rosenthal 14:31
Yeah all these kinds of shows, you know, don’t even remember. What is the…what’s the name of it? Uh, Survivor? Survival?
Yoni Mazor 14:42
Survival Ireland. Yeah. Big shows. This is top of the line show, this is primetime television. So that’s pretty…
Amit Rosenthal 14:47
Absolutely. It is easier than what it sounds like, believe me, once you’re in this business, it’s easier than like, eventually…Being a video editor is kind of, I don’t know, it’s a job you can bring I don’t know maybe to..
Yoni Mazor 15:04
I’m thinking I should give this video to you after recording and you should edit it instead of our team. You can make this a primetime show and put it on national television in Israel maybe wherever we can find this I know a channel. But wow that’s pretty impressive. Okay, so how many years were you doing that?
Yeah. So I did that for 4 years and then in 2015 I think, it was the last war between the Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza.
Yoni Mazor 15:30
2014 in the summer, yeah I remember that.
Amit Rosenthal 15:32
Yeah, yeah, yeah so at that point, there was not really TV it was only news for like three months straight. So my brother, which is also working in the business in the family business, came to me and said Amit, listen, I made I have to fly abroad. My father is also flying abroad. We need someone to come signing the check, I need somebody that I can trust is signing the check. So I didn’t do anything back then. Because of what we just did right? So I said no problem we’ll come to the office, I will sit there in Rosenthal Logistics and see who want to play Solitaire in the computer, do whatever you want. I just need you to sign the check. So I went there. And yeah, today is 2020…8 years later so you can understand
Yoni Mazor 16:24
We’re 2021 Amit! I gotta remind you, we’re recording this in January. Yeah. Okay, so you came to sign a check, but talk to me about those moments where okay, you’re looking around you and you see how things are moving. and then being created, and what did you start doing? You said oh, this should be done like this. It should be like that. Or when did you say I can do this? I can do that. What were the elements or dynamics there? You know, take us through your eight years with Rosenthal.
Amit Rosenthal 16:50
Sure. So at this point, I didn’t do, I didn’t know anything but I’m talking honestly and nothing, right, about logistics, about transportation. I didn’t know the company names of shipping lines. Like I didn’t know even there is the MSC or Maersk or other shipping lines. I didn’t know
Yoni Mazor 17:08
MSC is a Mediterranean Shipping Company because I don’t, I’m not sure I know also. I don’t take it for granted. MSC I think it’s Mediterranean Shipping Company. It’s a big, you know, global shipping provider. And then he said, Meyers? Maersk. That’s a Danish from Denmark rather than the giant also. So these are the main players in uh boat shipping.
Amit Rosenthal 17:28
Shipping line. Global shipping…Evergreen. And today there is dozens of them. But yeah, Maersk and MSC are basically the biggest shipping company in the world. So first of all, I need to study like, I need to study, I had to study like the business itself to understand what does it mean shipping line? What does it mean carrier? What does it mean, a trucking company? What does it mean doing the export process, like I didn’t know, I didn’t know anything.
Yoni Mazor 17:56
So you had to learn all the basics and all the fundamentals of the whole industry and the whole, you know, the whole world of logistics.
Amit Rosenthal 18:02
100%, like, you know, I was looking into the quotation, I didn’t even understand the definition in the quotation itself. So I really need to study everything. But I think every entrepreneur you take yourself for a task and try just to, you know, to go after it, as hard as you can. And I was just sitting in the office, I didn’t have any specific tasks to do. So I just have the time to, you know, this is the benefit of being, you know, one of the family, so just take the time to, to study the business, to understand it better. And once I had more experience, so, I start to take some tasks, you know, from my brother, from my father. And basically, I was all my life had the feeling that I’m a good salesperson. So I was just, you know, one of our colleagues just set me meetings with clients, I went then. I was like, I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what should I say. But years go around, years come around and go around and I start to have much more confidence in myself in this regard. Finding clients, operating shipments, I was handling the input, I was an import operator for a year, and then I was an export operator for a year. And then in 2017 came across to us this e-commerce and Amazon business.
Yoni Mazor 19:46
So let’s take a little moment here to pause, to think about you know, the, what happened to you. So, you know, so 2017 you’re about three, four years already into the world of logistics. But you know, for the most part, you guys are in this traditional business. Import. Export. Whatever comes around, it can be food, it can be furniture, whatever it is, are you guys? Classic business is probably mostly revolving around either wholesale or retail. Right? You know, the old world, the old industries. And you garner, you develop your experience. And then boom 2017 struck, on you guys at least, on Rosenthal Logistics. Take us there and take us through that moment. What was the experience like? What did you guys realize? You know, where did it take you?
Amit Rosenthal 20:27
Yeah. So a customer of Rosenthal and a friend of my brother advise us, Listen, there is a company, I don’t want to say the company because I don’t want to do publicity for end freight for them except for my own at this moment. But a colleague, a customer, and a friend of my brother came to us and say, Listen, you have a huge business concerning Amazon sellers. You don’t, handle it. Take a look into it. So we start…
Yoni Mazor 21:00
Wait, hold on. He said, You guys are doing, you know, irregular stuff. But there’s an opportunity to do something with Amazon. Take a look at this option or something.
Amit Rosenthal 21:07
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, totally. So.
Yoni Mazor 21:10
So it was one shipment or one project? That’s all it was.
Amit Rosenthal 21:14
He said, Just listen, there is a business…
Ahh, advice. Just friendly advice. Like look at this Amazon, you know, e-commerce world, look into that there is probably potential there. So you had a good friend who had some good vision. He said, Go look over there, see what’s going on.
Amit Rosenthal 21:29
Right, exactly. So we look into it, we say to ourselves, alright, how we found the first customer like, I didn’t know, any of the Amazon groups, nothing. Like the same, same situation as four years ago in 2013. So we said to ourselves, all right, how should, how can we find the first customer? What should we do? So I look into the internet. Like, I didn’t have any agent in China, I’ve nothing like at this moment. So eventually, I came across one customer. He asked me Listen, do you have any experience with shipping goods from China to Amazon? Yeah, of course. Of course, I have. No problem. So I think it’s typical to Israelis, you know, to act like this. So I started understanding…
Yoni Mazor 22:18
I think when you heard the question, what you heard was, do you have experience of shipping products from point A to point B? Right? From China to Amazon, Amazon to Walmart doesn’t matter, from point A to point B. Do you have experience? Yes, I do. That’s kind of sometimes the Israeli character will lead you to know, the mindset to understand, you know, maybe be more basic components where there’s a big truth into that. And so you took it into consideration.
Amit Rosenthal 22:48
Right. So I started driving his shipment. I didn’t understand at this moment. What does it mean to ship goods to Amazon? What is this industry? I didn’t know even there is an industry right from farmers and sellers.
Yoni Mazor 23:04
Just for perspective, you are, you live in Israel, you are from Israel, Amazon was not active in Israel yet. They only became active in Israel, I believe, at the end of 2019. And you’re talking about 2017. So for an Israeli, this is an outside power. You know, it’s like, I’m sure American, you know, people, people in the United States, they don’t, they have no familiarity with anything that’s, any retailing activities in Israel, you know, local original players. And that was kind of the same, what is Amazon? I don’t really have an idea. Today, everybody knows it is one of the most important or largest and valuable companies in the world in the stock market. Back then, in 2017 it was there, but not completely, you know, I think really the global domination and the stock reaching a trillion dollars came around the 2019 era.
Amit Rosenthal 23:48
100%. So like everybody knew, what is Amazon, yeah? But we didn’t know there is so many entrepreneurs, so many Amazon sellers focusing on selling just on Amazon. So on this case, I really have