Heavy lift, long distance

22 transformers and associated equipment from Shanghai to Port Sudan – that was the order for Militzer & Münch China. The heaviest cargo weighed 67 tons – the total weight of the goods was too much for a normal bulk carrier.

The customer, a company from the energy and utilities sector, needed the transformers for the construction of several transformer stations. The volume of the freight: circa 11,000 cubic meters, the equivalent of around 78,500 water-filled bathtubs – a challenge for the team.

“The obvious solution: we used a heavy lift carrier for the transport”, says Sara Zhang, Project Operation Manager M&M Beijing. “That allowed us to cover the 7,000 sea miles smoothly.” For Militzer & Münch China, this break bulk shipment was the first order from the customer, and also the first transport to East Africa.

The transport had been planned in detail beforehand so the entire freight could be collected at one point and shipped out simultaneously. “Not only the transformers, also the associated equipment differed a lot and came from several places of origin in China”, says Sara Zhang. “A time-consuming endeavor; but together our team and our local partner coordinated the project perfectly and cooperated successfully to handle the transport within the time frame set by the customer.”

Polish food exported worldwide

Polish foodstuff is popular worldwide, as export figures prove. Beside Europe, new markets such as Asia and America are important destinations for Poland’s exporters. Artur Wojtczak, Sales Director at Militzer & Münch Poland, comments on the chances offered by this trend in the foodstuff industry.

Food products are among Poland’s top exports. In 2017, the value of food exported amounted to 23.6 billion euros – an increase by 9.4 percent in the year-on-year comparison.

Early on, Militzer & Münch Poland recognized the rising demand and offers comprehensive services in national and international food transportation including the storage of food products as well as transport via road, rail, air and sea. “Poland’s food exports will continue to grow”, says Artur Wojtczak. “We benefit from this development to further strengthen our market position and to offer our customers additional services.”

Artur Wojtczak, Sales Director at Militzer & Münch Poland

Export partner number one: Germany

Militzer & Münch recently handled big project transports. The team shipped dairy products to Africa and eggs to the Arabian world. The transports also included various plant fibers that are used for diverse products. Although African and Asian markets are gaining more and more relevance, EU countries remain the top export destinations for Polish food products – with Germany at the top of the list, followed by Great Britain, the Czech Republic and France.

“Our reefer containers are perfectly suited for temperature-sensitive cargo – a must for many foodstuffs transports”, says Artur Wojtczak. Another challenge: transporting goods with a short shelf life. Here, choosing the right mode of transport is decisive. By vessel, the transit time from Poland to China is circa 35 days. Rail freight travels faster: within 14 days, the products arrive in China – a significant difference for time-sensitive food transports.

“Owing to our know-how, Militzer & Münch is a valued partner to the Polish foodstuff industry”, says Artur Wojtczak. “We are confident that in the future we will also use the air freight segment more intensively for food transports.”

What goes where?

Among the food exports from Poland, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, juices, sweets and organic products are in especially high demand.

  • The export of dairy products such as milk powder and UHT milk is growing mainly with transports to Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, India, Ethiopia, and Australia.
  • Polish sweets are popular in Cameroon, Nigeria, Taiwan or Maldives.
  • Hen’s eggs and blueberries are popular in Arabian countries.

Award-winning airfreight services

Top performance is rewarded: the team M&M Air Cargo Service (ACS) Bulgaria Ltd. was able to win five prizes in 2017.

Militzer & Münch’s Bulgarian airfreight services team has received the “Best Agent in Bulgaria 2017” award three times: by two airlines, Lufthansa and Fly Dubai, and the logistics services provider time:matters.

A further highlight was the festive award ceremony of Turkish Airlines. The airline honored M&M ACS Bulgaria Ltd. with two awards – as “Best Cargo Partner of the Year 2017” and as “Best Partner for Turkish Airlines & Premium Products”.

These awards again emphasize the continued appreciation of Militzer & Münch Bulgaria. Already in 2016, Turkish Airlines and Fly Dubai honored M&M ASC Bulgaria Ltd. as their best cargo partner.

Daniela Toneva (Sales) and Plamen Stoyanov (Export) of M&M Air Cargo Service (ACS) Bulgaria Ltd. at the award ceremony of Turkish Airlines.

Record results in North-East Europe

At the base of the good business development of Militzer & Münch in the Baltics is, among others, the close cooperation with affiliate Cargomax in Latvia. The concept works – transports are reaching record figures. Last year, Cargomax was able to increase its turnover by 16 percent.

A new high: Cargomax transported more than 13,000 shipments by truck in 2017 between Western Europe and the Baltics, among others in cooperation with Militzer & Münch. The record result is mostly based on the growth in road transports. The sales team was also able to increase the number of customers – by seven percent.

“The new figures even top the previous record figure from 2016”, says Dmitrijs Vorniku, Managing Director of Cargomax. “With 6,800 shipments, groupage road cargo traffics (CargoLine) improved the result of the previous year by 13 percent and has the biggest share in increase of gross profit.” The traffic planning team handled almost 5,000 FTL and LTL shipments and achieved an increase of 11 percent, having the biggest share in 16 percent turnover growth. In addition, Cargomax handled 1.500 jobs from and to Great Britain.

Half of the deliveries come from or go to Germany. “We can get goods from Germany to the Baltic states within no more than 72 hours”, says Dmitrijs Vorniku. “In cooperation with our colleagues from Militzer & Münch in Germany for instance, we handle regular transports to deliver parts for a car manufacturer.”

Cargomax, an affiliate of Militzer & Münch, achieved a new record turnover with its truck transports between Western Europe and the Baltic States in 2017.

Liquid foods perfectly packaged

For a worldwide operating producer of packaging solutions headquartered in France, M&M France transported three big machines to dairy plants and beverage producers.

The transport to Omsk was especially urgent – the customer needed the delivery of several machine components to be perfectly synchronized. Militzer & Münch assigned two teams for the project, organized block customs clearance as well as the parallel delivery of all modules. In no more than twelve days, the trucks covered the 5,500 kilometer distance to the Siberian metropolis.

Two more plants went to Krasnodar in Southern Russia, and Samara in the country’s South East. It took two drivers per truck seven days to cover the 4,000 and 3,500 kilometers.

Close cooperation

Employees from the manufacturing company supported the loading and supervision of the modules in Le Havre and Lagny. The customs clearance of the door-to-door transports was done by the customer’s agent.

The project was not the first successful cooperation: in 2014, Militzer & Münch France already handled a transport to Russia for the producer of packaging solutions. Follow-up orders are already in sight – among others, with transports to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Attracting: Militzer & Münch as 4PL provider

Militzer & Münch Greece has added 4PL to its portfolio. The first big contract comes from a US fashion label.

Militzer & Münch Greece’s Managing Director Panagiotis Manolopoulos and Commercial Director Efi Moucha are personally involved in the project. With their team, they ensure that the store shelves in the big shopping malls and at international airports are always well stocked with lingerie and beauty products from the USA.

“We are the control tower for the distribution in Europe”, says Panagiotis Manolopoulos. “We organize all transport, storage, order picking and logistics services for the European representative of the brand.

From the US, the goods reach Denmark by sea freight container. They are temporarily stored by a forwarder with a big Europe-wide network selected by M&M Greece. The Danish location is the hub for the distribution of the goods across Europe.

Militzer & Münch Greece is closely connected to the Danish partner, has an eye on all orders received in Denmark at all times. Some transports are handled by the Danish partner; others are executed by Militzer & Münch organizations or third parties. “We can offer the customer the optimal solution for each country – within the Militzer & Münch Group, but also externally”, says Efi Moucha.

Furniture for new stores is also among the goods transported. In Athens and Thessaloniki, Militzer & Münch already supplied two boutiques.

Aiming at expansion

“Adding 4PL services to our portfolio helped us a lot in the past few months, mainly in view of the economically difficult situation in Greece”, says Panagiotis Manolopoulos. Plans are to expand the business eastward. First transports already went to the United Arab Emirates.

Conquering the steppe

On some roads in Kazakhstan, you have camels crossing, and  some routes are sand tracks only. Difficult circumstances for the transport of parts for a compressor station to Bozoi in Kazakhstan – the perfect task for Militzer & Münch.

The gas pipeline will cover a distance of almost 1,500 kilometers, from the west of Kazakhstan to Shymkent in the south. For the gas to be able to travel long distances unhindered, compressor stations regulate the pressure. Like in Bozoi, a region in the middle of the Kazakh steppe.

It’s the place where one of several state-of-the-art compressor units is being built for the new pipeline. The components come from all over the world. For instance from Shanghai, more than 6,000 kilometers away. Or, almost as far off, from Europe: Great Britain, Germany or the Netherlands.

“This order was quite a challenge.”

Nikolaus Kohler
Regional Managing Director Middle East / Central Asia

These enormous distances are business as usual for Natalie Andriyevskaya, Managing Director Militzer & Münch Kazakhstan. In the world of logistics assignments, she is up to the task. What she needs are partners who support her in meeting the challenges. Across all borders, across all cultural, linguistic and national differences. And also across rough terrain.

Multimodal transport concept

“This order was quite a challenge”, says Nikolaus Kohler, Regional Managing Director Middle East / Central Asia. “We had to transport five complete compressor units from Europe via Russia to Kazakhstan. We were glad to be able to rely on our strong teams in Germany, Russia, and Kazakhstan.”

From the beginning it was important to proceed strategically, to leave nothing to chance. A multimodal transport concept set the course.

Militzer & Münch first of all gathered the parts from England, the Netherlands and Germany at the port of Rotterdam, from where they were shipped to the port of St. Petersburg. The cargo was stored here, and was then loaded onto 36 trucks and transported to the Bozoi construction site. The components from China were stored in Shanghai before they were loaded into 35 containers and sent to Aktobe, Kazakhstan, via rail. From there, they reached Bozoi by truck.

Road survey reveals challenges

Months before the transport, an M&M Kazakhstan employee traveled to the construction site to draw up a detailed route plan. The report brought some weak points to light. For one: from Saksauls to Bozoi, there is only one unpaved road, which is used exclusively for gas pipeline service purposes. Any other general traffic is completely prohibited. And second, in the Chromtau region in northwestern Kazakhstan, a pipeline crosses the road. The pipeline is too low for the uncustomed goods – which have been loaded onto special Kazakh trucks and trailers in the customs warehouse – to be transported under it and continue the route to Bozoi.

“We decided to route the transport via Shalkar to solve the first problem”, says Michail Underov, Head of Project Logistics at AO Militzer & Münch in Russia. “As this meant we had to go about 400 kilometers across the sandy steppe, we used special Kazakh four-wheel drive tractors with higher loading platform trailers.”

Shortly after passing the pipeline, Militzer & Münch, with the support of the local customs office, transferred the uncustomed goods from low bed trailers to the desert-proof trucks outside the customs warehouse. A bulldozer was carried along, too – in an emergency, it was to dig the trucks out of the sand if they should get stuck.

Teamwork pays off

“The cooperation between the teams was perfect”, says Natalie Andriyevskaya. “It was of big help that we share similar experiences and the same know-how. The perfect coordination of such a huge project across several country organizations is one of the special services that Militzer & Münch offers its customers.”

Once finished, the pipeline will measure 1,475 kilometers in length. The first part was taken into operation already in 2013, the second part followed in 2015. Construction start of the last segment, which includes several compressor stations, was ordered by the Kazakh government in 2017.



Deeply rooted in Eurasia

What are the current customs regulations between Belarus and EU? How to transport temperature-sensitive goods safely from Asia to Europe? Which is the fastest route from Ukraine to China? Don’t ask just anybody; ask the Militzer & Münch specialists.  Eurasia runs in their blood.

Each of the Militzer & Münch organizations in Ukraine, Belarus and Uzbekistan boasts over two decades of experience. “And this is what distinguishes our Group”, says Dr. Lothar Thoma, CEO M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. “We have strong roots in Ukraine, Belarus and Uzbekistan, our managers and employees have created the organizations there.”

Be it the language, logistic challenges, laws or customs formalities – the Militzer & Münch teams are thoroughly familiar with all that. Giving proof of resilience and expert know-how, the Militzer & Münch country units have secured a safe position in the logistics industry of their country, each branch characterized by deep roots and individual strengths.

Belarus: Success with the company-owned fleet

25 years of Militzer & Münch Belarus: in 1993, with a five-member team, Simone Barch and Viktor Blazhukevich opened the first Byelorussian office in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Today, SOOO M&M Militzer & Münch Belarus employs a staff of 400 at eleven locations and steadily follows its growth course. In 2017, M&M Belarus started construction on a logistics center in the northeast of Minsk, near the Minsk MKAD ring road.

“With our own fleet of 180 vehicles, we offer comprehensive logistics services, including hazardous materials and valuable goods transports as well as customs clearance”, says Viktor Blazhukevich, Managing Director Militzer & Münch Belarus.

In 2001, Militzer & Münch Belarus added national express services to its portfolio – the first company to offer this service in Belarus. Today, the team handles over 40,000 express shipments per month. The big sorting plant within the new logistics center is urgently needed.



Ukraine – a well attuned team

25 years of Militzer & Münch Ukraine: in 1992, Militzer & Münch Ukraine GmbH was founded in Kyiv; branch offices in Boryspil and Odessa were inaugurated  a few years later. “All in all, we now count a staff of 36”, says Viktor Korol, Managing Director  M&M Militzer & Münch Ukraine GmbH. “Many of our employees have been with us for over 15 years already. The often long-time cooperation within the teams generates efficient service and collaboration based on trust.”

The EU is the most important market for Militzer & Münch Ukraine, but growing trade between Ukraine and Asia causes rising demand for transports to Asian destinations, with especially sea transports increasing; but air freight, too, is highly popular at this time. “On demand, we handle complete transports including customs clearance”, Viktor Korol says. “For us, the customer’s satisfaction is always top priority.”


Uzbekistan transports pharmaceuticals, too

20 years of Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan: M&M Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan S.C., founded in Tashkent in 1997, offers the entire logistics service palette. Whether road transports or rail freight, airfreight or sea freight, the 15-member staff of Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan always finds the ideal transport solution for their customers.

“At request, we do complete transports from warehousing to customs management”, says Khurshid Kasimdzhanov, Managing Director M&M Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan S.C. “Apart from nationwide distribution, we also offer weekly groupage shipments from Europe to Central Asia. But for the majority of our activities, we focus on project logistics.”

Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan has also specialized in the transport of pharmaceutical goods. “With pharmaceuticals, an end-to-end cool chain is decisive”, Khurshid Kasimdzhanov says. “If the cool chain is interrupted even for a short time, the entire cargo is in jeopardy. Other strict quality standards have to be met, too, to protect the sensitive goods – our teams are well-versed in this field.”

The world’s longest railroad line

The world’s longest railway connection crosses eight time zones. Covering over 13,000 kilometers, it runs from Yiwu in Eastern China to Madrid in Spain. InterRail, a Militzer & Münch sister company, offers regular transports along the record route – also to the benefit of Militzer & Münch customers.

When compared to air and sea freight, the overland transportation comes with two advantages: rail transport is decisively faster than sea freight and much more cost-efficient than air freight. On the longest freight train connection of the world, the container block trains usually transit eight countries: Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.

Along the route, the containers usually have to be transshipped several times, as there are three changes in rail gauge. With transports such as these, all processes have to be coordinated a hundred percent.

No problem for Militzer & Münch. Nikolaus Kohler, Regional Managing Director Middle East / Central Asia, is responsible for the Militzer & Münch national subsidiaries in the region. ”We are deeply rooted in many countries along the New Silk Road – this plays an eminent role for our customers”, says Nikolaus Kohler. “Not only can we offer them flexible solutions on the freight train connection from China to Europe and vice versa, we can also offer them solutions for the markets along this route.


Pioneer InterRail

InterRail was the pioneer with container block trains between China and Europe. The first open trains were operated in 2014 by InterRail affiliate TransRail Belarus between Chengdu, China, and Łódź in Poland. As a neutral operator, InterRail also started the train connection from Yiwu to Europe in 2015, with such prominent destinations as Madrid, London or Prague. InterRail also works for other platforms in China like Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Xi’an and others.

Race track for fashion, food and electronics

In most cases, these containers carry consumer goods from China for Spain. Yiwu is the world’s biggest trading platform for numerous products such as textiles and electronic devices. And the Chinese market again is supplied with Spanish ham, wine, water and olive oil. Rail traffic is very important for China – with a destination in Eastern or Southern Germany for instance, rail traffic saves the detour via the ports of Hamburg or Rotterdam.

The transition from Asia to Europe poses a challenge. The railway network in Europe is used to full capacity, border crossings are especially precarious. Here, controls and operative changeovers usually take longer than in China or Kazakhstan.

China invests billions

At least 900 billion US dollars – that’s the amount the Chinese government has set aside or already invested in projects along the New Silk Road. Over 60 countries are involved in the project. Owing to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), roads, railway lines, pipelines, power stations, telecommunication networks, ports and airports are being constructed or modernized from Asia to Europe and Africa.

Prospects for further projects along the New Silk Road are good. In November 2017, the annual meeting of 16 European countries plus China was held for the sixth time already. At this meeting in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, China took the opportunity to promote its “New Silk Road” project. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang promised a three-billion dollar investment for Eastern Europe, thus supporting the further realization of infrastructure projects in numerous countries.

How German companies can benefit

The Belt and Road Initiative entails a far-reaching modernization of the global economy. The German business community, too, can profit from the mammoth project. To advise German enterprises of the opportunities, Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) initiated an information campaign.

In the paper “Neue Seidenstraße – Chinas massives Investitionsprogramm” (The New Silk Road, China’s massive investment program), reasons are given why it is important to participate in the New Silk Road project.

Introducing a new HGV toll

The German Federal Government’s legislative draft for the new HGV tolling scheme is stirring up the logistics industry. As of July 2018, the road toll is to be extended to include all 40,000 kilometers of federal roads – at the moment the road toll only applies to motorways and a few federal roads. For many logistics companies, this means an additional financial burden.

According to the government, the new toll regulation will generate approximately two billion euros of extra revenue per year. The legislative draft does not yet indicate the exact charge per truck. The government aims to facilitate the financing of federal roads and to improve traffic infrastructure.

At this time, trucks are obligated to pay toll for about 15,000 kilometers of motorways and some federal roads. With the new law, the number of kilometers will more than double. About 130,000 additional trucks will be affected by the amendment – given the currently 1.6 million vehicles, it’s an increase by eight percent. Electric trucks will most probably also be included in the new toll scheme.

New toll terminals

By the end of May 2018, the old toll stations are to be disassembled or shut down to be replaced by new, modernized terminals. Construction of the 1,100 new toll terminals already began in December 2017.

“For the logistics industry, this change of course means higher costs, but at the same time it promises an improvement of the road infrastructure”, says Dr. Lothar Thoma, CEO M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. “Investments are urgently needed in Germany. Conditions are disastrous in some areas, endangering the German economy and thus indirectly the economy in the whole of Europe.”

Momentarily, the truck toll is only compulsory for trucks exceeding a maximum permissible weight of 7.5 tons. But this might change with the new toll scheme. The draft leaves the possibility to include smaller trucks between 3.5 and 7.5 tons as well as long distance busses.

HGV toll in other countries

Nowadays, almost all European countries levy a charge for using their motorways and federal roads. There are two types of road toll: each truck is either charged by distance or time. In England, the Netherlands, Sweden and Bulgaria the toll has to be paid for the time spent on the road; whereas in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Poland, Spain and Italy, the charge is based on distance travelled on toll roads.

To compensate hauliers for the toll fees, the German government promises the goods transport industry to continue providing up to 450 million euros per year in financial assistance for employment, qualification as well as environment and safety programs.