Thursday, January 29, 2015

Two Very Different Anniversaries for Freight Forwarding and Logistics Groups

Minnows May Grow to Be Giants Given Time and Effort
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – UK – Two companies in the field of logistics are celebrating birthdays this year, whilst Independent Freight is celebrating the completion of its first ten years in business with a new HQ and warehousing facility in Nuneaton, forwarding group Kuehne + Nagel has a considerably longer pedigree in this, its 125th anniversary year.

Originally founded by August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel as a Bremen based freight forwarder, the company moved from the transport of raw materials to the point today where it has around 63,000 employees at 1,000 locations in over 100 countries engaged in every facet of the supply chain. All the group’s success however can be traced back to the dogged determination of the two original partners and successive family executives. In the second generation, Alfred Kuehne shaped the organisation for six decades and not only achieved its special positioning among the leading forwarders in Germany but also initiated the first steps towards internationalisation.

Latterly, under the guidance of third generation Klaus-Michael Kuehne from the 1960’s the group has moved to being one of the truly powerful forces in global logistics. The majority shareholder and Honorary Chairman of Kuehne + Nagel International AG commented:

"In the history of Kuehne + Nagel, Bremen continues to have an unrivalled significance. This is where the company originated and even today valuable initiatives are spread from there to the world, whether from the sea freight competence centre or the contract logistics business unit.

"It has always been one of our principles that we motivate employees, develop them within the company and strive for success through teamwork, which is essential for a logistics company with its complex tasks and cross-sectional functions as a service provider."

At a launch event to kick off the company’s special anniversary year Karl Gernandt, Chairman of Kuehne + Nagel International AG noted only a few companies in the logistics industry have been able to demonstrate such tradition and development, saying:

"There are specific strengths such as the entrepreneurial spirit, innovative power, efficiency, the ability to learn and a special company culture lived by all employees that enable Kuehne + Nagel to achieve sustainable success, building on these strengths and a good mixture of tradition and further development, the Kuehne + Nagel Group is ideally prepared for the future and will not only master the challenges of the coming decades but will also be able to shape them. That is what is meant by the ‘Plus’ in our anniversary logo."

Meanwhile in the UK, founded in 2004 by entrepreneur and international logistics expert Jenny Hooper, Independent Freight has marked its own first decade with the new facility and a significant increase in its team of logistics operations professionals.

The company was initially set up and managed from a spare room in Jenny Hooper’s home in Nuneaton using her 20 years of expertise in international trade. The formula proved to be highly successful and within 18 months Independent Freight moved to offices in Hinckley and began recruiting staff to help grow the business. David Hooper joined the business in 2010 having come from a background in a regional development agency, brought a wealth of expertise in economic development and Government business support. Jenny Hooper observed:

“I have always been passionate about helping people and businesses to move their valued goods from one place to another. For many of our customers, importing and exporting goods is not their primary business, so they really appreciate our support and advice. We have been able to build a great team of people with all the expertise we need and the same passion for customer care. I am sure that is why we have been able to grow.”

Photo: As part of the year’s celebrations K + N are shipping 2 x forty foot containers (one eastbound, one westbound) on a tour of the world.