Monday, September 30, 2013

Austrian Forwarder Opens Freight Terminal for Expansion of Groupage and Project Logistics Operations

New Development Intended to Extend Services Further East
Shipping News Feature

GEORGIA – AUSTRIA – In January of this year, at about the time we wrote of the delicate shipment which Austrian freight forwarder Gebrüder Weiss was undertaking when the company delivered a helicopter to the Georgian capital Tblisi, the company was embarking on the development of its own logistics hub in the city with an eye on future cargo development in the region.

After eight months of construction, Gebrüder Weiss officially commissioned its new distribution facility which the company intends should be a hub between Europe and the Near East as well as a gateway into Central Asia in the longer term. At the inaugural festivities, Wolfram Senger-Weiss, Board Member of Gebrüder Weiss said:

“This branch will allow us to offer our customers improved access to the upcoming markets in the East. Additionally, we can offer our full range of services according to western quality standards in the Georgian and Caucasian region as well.”

The terminal has 10,500 m² handling and logistics space as well as 600 m² office space and with its 95,000 m² footprint the company says the total area offers a great deal of scope for expansion. The hub is located close to the airport and offers direct links to important through-roads around the Georgian capital and there are plans for a connection to the rail network which the Georgian government is currently expanding nationwide.

A Gebrüder Weiss groupage-freight service has already been in operation since the start of 2012 on the Passau – Tbilisi line. Standard transit time for the freight which is transported on a weekly basis is a maximum of eight working days. Thomas Moser, Regional Manager South-East/CIS at Gebrüder Weiss, commented:

“A groupage-freight service of this kind is unique to Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All of our customers can benefit from the link through the integration of the Passau location into the European-wide general cargo and groupage freight transport network GW pro.line. The good transport links make Tbilisi an ideal hub for traffic between East and West.”

Gebrüder Weiss currently employs around 50 staff members at the new terminal. It is planning to increase the total to 80 employee transporting commercially available goods such as clothing, metals, engines and food on the northern and southern overland route between Europe and the Causacus, plus extending project services such as the helicopter, destined for heliskiing, in the Caucasian Mountains, or most recently, 150 tractors for the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture.

Photo: Gebrüder Weiss executive Aleksandre Kharlamov and Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, walk the new logistics terminal.