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LEAP INTO A NEW ERA

WHAT IS THE BREMEN-BASED LOGISTICS FIRM KIESERLING DOING IN THE ANNUAL
REPORT OF THE LOGISTICS INITIATIVE HAMBURG? QUITE SIMPLY: PUSHING OPEN THE DOOR TO THE WORLD.



‘The future is logistics’, a rough translation of the Logistics Initiative Hamburg’s motto for the year (Logistik lebt Zukunft), is perfectly suited to a company that changed course in 2013 from being a very traditional, regionally based forwarder to becoming an international logistics firm. Are Kieserling’s green trucks soon to be seen in the desert sands of Dubai, in the port of Shanghai or in Mumbai? ‘In the past, our market had a regional focus. Today, our market consists of logistics services in the growth regions of the world’, says Michael Müller, describing the change. As the new owner of Kieserling Holding, the logistics manager has been working since the end of 2012 to develop the traditional Bremen-based company into a modern service provider for trade and industry clients. The move away from business segments which are not the focus of the expansion strategy is likewise part of the realignment, as is the purchase of companies that will smooth the path to internationalisation. ‘Clients now demand that their logistics service providers keep pace with their expansion into new, global markets’, says Müller.


NETWORK FOR INDUSTRY CLIENTS

As a former member of the board of a major contract logistics provider, the 44-year-old has international connections which are now paying dividends for Kieserling clients. It means that Kieserling can open the door for export-oriented industry clients who want to operate in the Middle East, Asia, India and North America. Companies in the oil and gas industry, furniture and fashion manufacturers, plant construction firms and customers from the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector, the beverage industry for example, use Kieserling’s network and contract logistics expertise. To make ‘a standing jump’ into international business, Müller established Compass Logistics International AG (CLI). CLI is the parent company for a joint venture with Compass Ocean Logistics, a rapidly expanding air and sea freight company, which has its headquarters in Dubai. ‘We have merged two market offerings in CLI’, says Müller, explaining the joint venture. ‘Kieserling is delivering sophisticated logistics solutions into markets in which Compass Ocean Logistics already has established network structures.’


A PRESENCE IN 18 COUNTRIES

Just 12 months after the company was established, the new parent company has a presence in 18 countries with 35 branches. To promote the consolidation of the companies, Müller is focusing on cultural exchange and an open information policy. It means that employees in Dubai can spend a few months at the Kieserling sites in Germany as part of an exchange programme; in return, Kieserling staff in Bremen can work temporarily at Compass in Dubai, where they can familiarise themselves with the thinking and national customs of their new partner. The new direction taken by the Kieserling Group is also starting to bear fruit in Germany. Following an investment of EUR 18 million, a second 32,000-square metre logistics centre was built in the Freight Village (Gütervehrszentrum, GVZ) in Bremen, where the Group has its headquarters. Of the six new sites which began operations in 2013, two of them are located in Hamburg: Kieserling now operates logistics centres in Wilhelmsburg and St. Pauli for world-famous brands in the beverage industry. How wide open is the door to the world for Kieserling? Even today, the logistics company handles several thousand containers in Hamburg’s port. Over the course of the next two years, the city on the Elbe is expected to see an increase in both the quantity of containers and the number of Kieserling employees.

Click here for the complete article in LIHH’s Logistics Report for 2014.


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