Ole Karlsson

Sr. International Development Research Specialist

Ole believes that thorough research is critical whenever evaluating the feasibility of a newly-proposed project, venture, program, or service. Accurate, relevant, and timely market intelligence is essential to properly gauge the feasibility of ideas, concepts, and opportunities.


Positive results provide the confidence to follow through with ideas, programs, or services, while negative results reveal previously unidentified problems or risks which could prove costly - and increase the chances of failure.


Due diligence is the key to success! Ole uses his skills to assist organizations and businesses identify potential risks, recognize discernible trends, and spot a myriad of other considerations. Good research ensures realistic, well-informed decision-making, greatly influencing business plans, especially when investor financing is being sought.


Ole believes statistics are often incomplete “data dumps” which can prove gravely misleading, and need to be thoroughly checked for accuracy, relevancy, and bias.


His extensive experience in research, logistics, and global trading enables Ole to assist others with their analytics, strategic planning, risk management, export promotions, resource developments, and marketing programs.


For several years, Ole was the logistical consultant to BC's government - participating in BC trade missions to Peru, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and New Zealand. Often, working closely with the Canadian trade officers in those countries. Ole's international experience extends to CIDA and EDC projects in Peru, Benin, El Salvador, Indonesia, Ghana, Senegal, Sudan, and Togo.


Ole has taught the CITP (Certified International Trade Professional Program) to university exchange students from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and he has also taught International Marketing, Electronic Commerce, Cross-Cultural Training, Internet Search Techniques, and Transportation & Logistics.


The Canadian International Freight Forwarders' national accreditation program was based on a course originally designed by Ole. He also developed a curriculum to teach Chinese immigrants planning to start their own trading companies. Ole has always stressed that textbook theory must be tempered with “real life” practical experience.


Ole specialized in logistical surveys for large projects in remote regions of faraway, underdeveloped nations (often those with very limited infrastructures.) His surveys were a blend of logistics, and both qualitative and quantitative research. Projects would typically consist of several thousands of tons of heavy machinery - valued in excess of $100 million dollars -requiring transport on several specialized "break bulk" ships.


Ole's responsibility was to determine the most efficient, economical way of ensuring a safe, damage-free delivery to project sites. His task was to identify obstacles which would impede deliveries, or otherwise negatively impact the project.


One single mishap, or missed connection, anywhere along the entire transport chain could easily cause a disruptive domino effect, resulting in severe penalties and surcharges. Invariably culminating in financial losses to all stakeholders (arising from operational delays, lost production- and lost sales!)


Everything was about timing! Requiring all elements to come together in a timely, seamless, orderly fashion - and without any expensive surprises!


Immediately upon his arrival, Ole received briefings from local Canadian embassy staff about the nation's current economic and political situation. Then Ole would examine all aspects of its transportation system, heavily focusing on its national highways and seaports. He would confer with customs officials, dock operators, stevedores, trucking firms, airport managers, and any others who would play a critical part.


Often it was nearly impossible to obtain up-to-date data from either national or local governments. Consequently, Ole found it necessary to drive all prospective routes in order to guarantee that every potential obstacle had been thoroughly investigated.


Photos were taken for every bridge, overpass and tunnel encountered. Notes were made about height clearances, road widths, and load-bearing limits. Steep road grades were noted, as well as travel times between key points.


On his returning to Canada, Ole's suitcases would be bulging with a huge collection of tidal charts, road maps, customs regulations, climate tables, and port guides.

Fun Fact

Ole’s passion is traditional archery, and he is often found roaming the woods with his longbow. He has always had a strong interest in history and geopolitics. Due to Ole's lifelong fascination with geography, he collects maps. Ole's wife is Chinese, so he has developed a keen interest in China’s future role in the world.