M&M Strengthens Position in Maghreb Region

A new location for automotive services in Morocco, a new groupage line from France to Bejaïa in Algeria – Militzer & Münch continues expanding operations in the Maghreb countries.

With the additional location in Morocco, Militzer & Münch is ideally positioned for the automotive sector. The 1,100 square meter warehouse is situated in Northern Morocco, just 30 kilometers from Tangier Automobile City and 60 kilometers from Tanger Med, the port. To operate the warehouse, Militzer & Münch founded M&M Automotive Logistics, a separate company.

The advantages for the customer: the location within Tangier Free Zone allows faster customs procedures. Moreover, Tangier Free Zone is optimally connected; in vicinity to the international airport, the Free Zone is also connected to Tanger Med and the highway system.

The Morocco team cooperates closely with Militzer & Münch France – M&M France is registered with the major European automotive manufacturers as logistics service provider and offers such services also in France. “Militzer & Münch France owes its position as market leader on the Europe-Maghreb trade lane to good cooperation with its country units”, says Guillaume de Laage de Meux, Managing Director Militzer & Münch France and Regional Managing Director South West Europe / Maghreb. “The opening of the new location is the most recent example of our cooperation with Militzer & Münch Morocco. Strengthening our position in the field of aviation and automotive logistics is part of our strategy.”

Algeria Transports Expanded

On February 29, Militzer & Münch France moreover launched a new groupage transport service to Bejaïa, a port in Algeria. With Algiers 2009 and Oran 2018, there are now three direct groupage transport lines from Marseille to Algeria. This service meets the rising demand for exports to the country’s east. Militzer & Münch offers two groupage departures per month with direct connection from Marseille and a five-day transit time. The goods are ungrouped in a dry port at Tixter, only six kilometers away from the East-West highway, the major road axis in Algeria. Plans are to launch service also to Annaba on Algeria’s northeastern coast soon.

What is an Advanced Supplier Store?

An Advanced Supplier Store (ASP) is a local logistics solution that allows logistics service providers to offer their customers just-in-time delivery according to a number of specifications. For the customer, the ASP guarantees reactivity, flexibility and reliability. In the automotive sector a widespread logistics solution, ASP allows industrial enterprises and constructors to secure their supply chains, to avoid production stoppages, and to optimize and monitor their costs.

At the new ASP, Militzer & Münch Morocco offers the following services:
•    IT supported warehouse management;
•    bonded warehouse:
•    order picking management;
•    kitting;
•    co-packing;
•    distribution and pick-up within and between Free Trade Zones

“We Want to Be the Market Leader Two Years From Now”

In an interview, Filip Simovic, CEO, and Nikola Vasiljevic, COO of Militzer & Münch Serbia, talk about their ambitious growth plans. In October 2019, Militzer & Münch founded the joint venture with Serbian logistics company Invictus System Transport & Logistics D.O.O. to further develop its network in the Balkans.

Mr. Vasiljevic, how is the joint venture perceived in the Serbian market?

Nikola Vasiljevic: Before the joint venture was founded, Militzer & Münch was more or less unknown in the Serbian market. We had first of all to acquire a customer base and win the customers’ trust. At this time, we focus on establishing Militzer & Münch more firmly in the national logistics market. 

Mr. Simovic, you have set yourselves an ambitious goal for the Serbian logistics market. How are you planning to reach it?

Filip Simovic: Our objective is to be the market leader in Serbia two years from now. Customer satisfaction is our number one focus. We analyze the demand in the Serbian logistics market and adapt our services optimally to our customers’ requirements. All our logistics services are customized. Our top-quality performance and the commitment of our team already distinguish us from our competitors; there is high demand for our logistics solutions. Since the joint venture was founded last autumn, business has developed well, and we are confident that we will be able to reach our goal.

“Our top-quality performance and the commitment of our team already distinguish us from our competitors.”

Filip Simovic
CEO Militzer & Münch Serbia



What have been your biggest successes so far?

Nikola Vasiljevic: From the beginning, we used substantial advertising campaigns to market each of our services – they include road transport, customs clearance and storage. With our marketing campaign, we have already been able to position ourselves as a serious player in the Serbian market.

We are very proud to see that our services are in such high demand after such a short time. Especially the groupage transport we launched from Germany, Austria and Italy is a very big success for us. Recently added were Militzer & Münch groupage traffics for exports to Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania.

How many Militzer & Münch locations are there in Serbia?

Filip Simovic:
 One office is in Dobanovci – an industrial zone near Belgrade – and the other is at Leskovac, in the south. In Dobanovci, we are currently renting a 1,000 square meter storage area for customs clearance services, and we are constructing our own warehouse and office premises at this time. The property will cover 10,000 square meters. In May/June we will already be able to take into operation the first 5,000 square meters.

How is the cooperation with other Militzer & Münch country units?

Nikola Vasiljevic: We soon realized that we can always cooperate with the entire Militzer & Münch Group in a reliable and trustful way. As many German companies have production plants in Serbia, we often handle projects together with the German Militzer & Münch unit. Especially the collaboration with the German Militzer & Münch branches in Stockstadt, Nuremberg and Hof works excellently. The German colleagues give us their full support.

What services are you offering in Serbia at this time, and what services are planned for the near future?

Filip Simovic: At the moment, our focus is on road transports – part loads, full loads and refrigerated transports. We also offer the whole range of customs services and warehousing. We aim to extend our activities also to air and sea transport as well as rail freight.

What industries are you serving?

Nikola Vasiljevic: Most of the transports we handle are for companies from the chemistry, textile, automotive, pharmaceutical and beverages sectors. There is lots of investment in Serbia at this time, mainly from abroad. Most investors are from the automotive industry, and to a large extent, they are from Germany. Which is why we at Militzer & Münch Serbia place a strong focus on this sector.

Have you already done first transports in the field of project logistics?

Filip Simovic: In November 2019, we successfully handled the first project transport. For a renowned Serbian textile manufacturer, we transported big machinery for textile production. I am very proud of my team: they worked with untiring commitment to meet the customer’s expectations.

140 Years of Militzer & Münch

In 1880, Richard Militzer and Werner Münch merged their forwarding companies and founded the Militzer & Münch rail forwarding company in Hof, Bavaria. In the course of the years, the company developed into a worldwide operating logistics services provider with about 2,100 employees today. On 1 April 2020, Militzer & Münch celebrate their 140-year anniversary. 

“We look back on 140 eventful and successful years”, says Michael Albert, President of the Board of Directors of M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. “Over the decades, we have again and again opened up new fields of logistics, with our pioneering spirit, with plenty of courage and of course with lots of committed employees.”

From Horse and Cart to the Truck Fleet

It all began with Richard Militzer and Werner Münch founding a joint company at Neuer Bahnhof [engl. New Station] in Hof. With the Bavarian and Saxonian railway lines now joined, new long-distance railway connections were available to the young company far beyond the operating range of horse and cart. The limited range of the horse-drawn vehicles required creating a tight branch network, connected by the railway. The first regional branch offices were founded. For the local porcelain, glass and textile industries, Militzer & Münch opened up markets in Europe, for instance in Italy and England.

The first M&M truck did regular traffic between Hof and Oelsnitz, a 30-kilometer distance, at the beginning of the 20th century. “For us today, it is difficult to imagine, but the purchase of the first truck and thus the switch-over from horse to motorized vehicle must have been something really special at that time”, Michael Albert says. “Nowadays, we have hundreds of trucks and trailers, from our own fleet or chartered, running for us.”

Venturing into New Markets

Militzer & Münch continued growing steadily. At the time of the 50-year anniversary in 1930, the company counted 40 commercial employees and 17 blue collar workers. After World War II, Militzer & Münch added sea and airfreight to its portfolio and opened a branch in Hamburg plus the first airfreight office Frankfurt Airport. In 1951, the first M&M unit abroad was founded in Athens, Greece. In the countries of Eastern Europe, in the Middle East, in Central Asia and China, Militzer & Münch was a trailblazer in developing international forwarding and logistics business. Decades of robust growth began. In 1980, the individual country units were united under the umbrella of a holding in St. Gallen.




•    1880: Founding of Militzer & Münch
•    1892: Founding of the first regional branch office
•    1949: M&M appointed official IATA agent
•    1951: Opening the first office abroad in Athens, Greece
•    1962: Opening the first airfreight center at Frankfurt Airport
•    1980: Founding of M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG in St. Gallen
•    2017 & 2018: Founding of country units in Algeria and Sri Lanka
•    2019: Founding of a joint venture in Serbia

At Home in the World

With circa 100 locations in 28 countries and numerous partners, Militzer & Münch today offers forwarding and logistics services around the globe – especially opening up
difficult-to-access markets for its customers. Thus, in the past few years, Militzer & Münch took into operation its own country units in Algeria and Sri Lanka. Intensifying the Central Asia and Far East traffics is also essential part of the growth strategy. For many years already, Militzer & Münch has been operating its own branch offices in almost all countries along the New Silk Road; among them, locations in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Russia and China.

“We want to convince our customers also in the future with our unbreakable enthusiasm and our first-class performance, and further expand our range of services”, says Michael Albert. “The anniversary is also occasion for us to look towards the future. For values like quality, responsibility and security count now as they did then.

140 years – an opportunity also to give thanks to our employees and especially to our customers.”

A Happy encounter

He was at the right place at the right time: at a trade fair, an importer of Chinese laser cutting machines met Barbara Zablocka from Militzer & Münch – in the meantime, he has transported, with her help, already his 25th delivery to Poland.

The entrepreneur from the machine building industry was faced with a challenge two years ago: he wanted to import Chinese machinery to Poland, but had little experience in this field. When he participated in EXPO-SURFACE, the trade show for surface treatment systems, Barbara Zablocka, Business Development Manager, Militzer & Münch Poland, offered him a solution.

“The entrepreneur had already received an offer from another transport service provider”, says Barbara Zablocka. “It was cheaper than ours. But for the customer, the price was secondary. Due to the high value of the goods, it was important to him to get professional care.”

Intensifying Partnerships with China

Owing to the good cooperation with Militzer & Münch China and long years of experience on this trade lane, Barbara Zablocka and her team were able to provide comprehensive advice to the customer. In the end, they were awarded the contract.

“With transports from China, we cooperate closely with our local colleagues and with the German colleagues”, Barbara Zablocka says. “Our partners picked up the laser cutting machines in Qingdao, the East Chinese port.” From there, the team shipped the containers via sea freight to Gdynia on the Polish Baltic coast or – with destinations near the German-Polish border – to Hamburg. The last mile to the consignee, the machines are transported via truck.

“I am happy that the importer and I had the chance to talk at the trade show”, says Barbara Zablocka. “In the meantime, this has developed into very good cooperation. The customer is in good hands with us, and we are developing our existing partnerships on the China trade lane more and more intensively.” Until now, Barbara Zablocka and her team have already handled 25 imports from China for the customer, and they are planning more shipments.

Cell Phones in Flight Mode

Cell phones are regarded as dangerous goods – because of their batteries. This and more factors have to be taken into consideration when cell phones are transported via airfreight. No problem for Militzer & Münch: the Chinese Militzer & Münch unit handles time-sensitive transports to Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia for a leading cell phone manufacturer.

Since 2010, Militzer & Münch has been working with a leading cell phone manufacturer from China. “We transport cell phones and other telecommunication equipment from Shenzhen in China to Moscow and several other destinations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, says Andreas Löwenstein, Regional Managing Director Asia / Far East, M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. “The customer regularly calls for tenders – in 2018, we were awarded the two-year contract again. Under this contract, we have so far transported a total weight of 800 tons.”

A Tight Time Frame

Apart from the Russian capital, destinations are Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), and Kyiv (Ukraine). But before the cell phones reach their destinations, the Militzer & Münch team has to master some challenges. “The customer only plans a very short turnaround time for every transport – from door to door, depending on the destination, between four and seven days”, says Andreas Löwenstein. “Our pledge to the customer is to adhere to this tight schedule.”

Another challenge is posed by the lithium batteries that are integrated in the cell phones. If lithium has contact with water for instance, this will trigger intense chemical reactions. The resulting heat build-up is so strong it might lead to fires and explosions.

Owing to these risks, lithium batteries are regarded as dangerous goods and may only be transported under strict conditions. Yet, even if prerequisites are met correctly, some airlines and airports don’t accept lithium batteries as freight. Militzer & Münch China handles a large part of the deliveries via Hong Kong Airport, where only a small number of flights offer the right conditions for these transports: one weekly connection to Moscow and two connections to Central Asia, via Istanbul and Baku.

Like Clockwork

“As this is a door-to-door contract, we do multi-modal transports”, says Andreas Löwenstein. “The goods are not only transported by air, but also by water, by rail and by road. The different phases of the transport must fit together like clockwork for the goods to arrive in time.”

The ten-year cooperation with the customer demonstrates that Militzer & Münch offers the right mix of knowhow, coordination and efficiency to meet even the highest customer demands.

For coffee lovers

Coffee is popular in Poland, and has become an export hit, too: After years of successful cooperation, one of the largest Polish coffee producers has opted for Militzer & Münch as his sole transport service provider.

For a long time, the producer had worked with different transport companies. Militzer & Münch, too, had won the company as a customer some years ago and delivered coffee all around the world. “With this project, our team is fully committed”, says Michał Styrylski, Manager of the Cracow branch, Militzer & Münch Poland. “And Pawel Twardokęs, our airfreight and sea freight director, keeps our customer posted on every process.” For each order, the team draws up customized schedules with flexible options to choose from.

Convinced in Every Respect

“Our customer soon realized that he can rely on us”, Michał Styrylski says. “From the first order on, we have always responded intensively to their needs.” After only a few months, the customer invited the Cracow team personally to gather information on additional Militzer & Münch services.

With responsibility, trust increased, too, and the team got more and more opportunities to handle transports. And one day, the producer awarded Militzer & Münch the contract for the biggest delivery so far: the team was to transport airfreight – a total weight of over 40 tons – from Poland to Japan, and mastered the challenge successfully.

“This convinced the coffee producer”, says Michał Styrylski. “At our next meeting, they informed us that they were going to work with us exclusively from now on. It confirms us in our daily commitment: of course, we get the goods to their destination in a fast and smooth way. But what counts is long-term commitment and good communication. We regularly ask our customers if there is anything we can do better, and thus, we both grow.”

The Militzer & Münch Poland team. From left: Szymon Marzyński (Operations), Marta Gęsiak (Operations) and Michał Styrylski (Branch Manager Cracow)

Freshly Polished

How do online retailers get the goods they sell? One of the largest international e-commerce corporations orders shoe polish, brushes and insoles from a popular Polish manufacturer – and Militzer & Münch was contracted to get the products across the Atlantic.

Three years ago, the Militzer & Münch Poland team was given the first chance to work for a big international online retailer via an American agent. “The agent asked us to deliver various shoe care products from a Polish manufacturer to the USA”, says Barbara Zablocka, Key Account Manager, Militzer & Münch Poland. “The time frame was tight, so we agreed to ship the pallets via airfreight to Indianapolis airport; they were then trucked to the customer’s warehouses in other US states.”

Barbara Zablocka and her colleagues did such a reliable job that the agent ordered further deliveries. Soon, he asked the team for additional services, and new conditions were negotiated. In the meantime, Militzer & Münch has begun transporting the goods via sea. Which means longer transit times, but lower costs.

“Working for such a large international corporation is a special challenge, but also an opportunity” says Barbara Zablocka. “We have to meet strict regulations and tight schedules. At the same time, we are developing our abilities and the Poland-USA trade lane enormously, which is to the benefit of our other customers, too.”

Express delivery for the aviation industry

In the aviation industry, spare parts supply is a key factor for efficiency. Militzer & Münch China has specialized in a highly critical segment of spare parts availability: “Aircraft on Ground” (AOG).“Aircraft on Ground” poses a complex challenge to logistics companies. In case of an AOG, an airplane is not able to fly for technical reasons. When a plane is grounded because spare parts are missing, this often leads to delays in the flight schedule, long waiting times for passengers, and enormous financial losses for the airlines.

A Closer Look at AOG

To be able to transport passengers and freight as fast as possible, many airlines bank on Militzer & Münch as their AOG service partner, for the Beijing-based eleven-person team is specialized in this business segment. “We have been active in the AOG sector for over 20 years already”, says Andreas Löwenstein, Regional Managing Director Asia / Far East, M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. About three to five percent of the monthly transports are AOG shipments. Militzer & Münch ensures that the spare parts are available at the location of the aircraft in the shortest possible “total turnaround time”.

Acting fast

Before the parts reach their destination, Militzer & Münch has to clear several hurdles. One challenge is that emergencies cannot really be anticipated, which is why it is important for the aviation team to be available to customers 24/7. “We work in shifts; emails and calls are answered in time also after business hours. One of our employees has his/her cell phone with them at all times, including on holidays. Whether the AOG requirement is received from a Chinese customer or our partner abroad, our person on duty takes immediate action”, says Yue Sun, Head of Aviation Spare Parts, Militzer & Münch China.


“The colleagues know the main aircraft parts, and are experienced in handling oversized and dangerous goods shipments.”

Yue Sun
Militzer & Münch China


Cross-national cooperation

The Chinese Militzer & Münch unit is strongly positioned. To guarantee the smoothest possible procedures, the team handles AOG transports in cooperation with the Militzer & Münch Hamburg branch. Point of contact for the Chinese airline customers is the aviation spare parts department in Beijing, which communicates all deliveries to Militzer & Münch Hamburg. The cooperation with agents in the EU and Great Britain is also coordinated by members of the Beijing team.

For the express delivery of the spare parts, Militzer & Münch China takes several steps that connect seamlessly with each other: experts and specialized engineers have to be made available, the activities of all persons involved have to be synchronized, and the AOG order has to be fulfilled as fast as possible.


Militzer & Münch China – Strong in Airfreight

Militzer & Münch expanded overseas when for other enterprises, the idea of globalization was still in its infancy. Militzer & Münch took first steps towards the aviation industry already in the mid-1950s, and has been able to expand its network continuously since then. The first Militzer & Münch owned representation in Asia was founded in 1981, and Militzer & Münch China was one of the first foreign logistics companies to be awarded the Forwarding License Class A. Today, airfreight is the biggest business segment of Militzer & Münch China, accounting for about 60 percent of the turnover of the Chinese unit in the 2018 business year.

State-of-the-art IT solutions

So the necessary spare parts can be delivered to their destination, IT must allow fast and precise information exchange. “AOG does not only include operational issues but also strategic ones such as aligning the customer’s IT / data requirements with our systems”, Andreas Löwenstein explains.

What spare parts are needed can be as diverse as the incoming AOG orders, emphasizes Dirk Bukowski, Regional Manager North at Militzer & Münch Germany and responsible for the Hamburg Aviation Control Tower. “The parts we deliver range from a single pouch containing some special screws to complete cabin segments like toilets, engine parts, structural components, or parts of the interior fittings.”

Reliable transport

Especially trained Militzer & Münch employees supervise the entire cycle of each AOG order from beginning to end. “Every member on our aviation spare parts team is familiar with the requirements of all our customers and with the handling procedures in the EU countries. The colleagues know the main aircraft parts, and are experienced in handling oversized and dangerous goods shipments”, says Yue Sun.

The tasks are clearly defined for each team: Beijing monitors upcoming shipments and local stocks. If there is a customer request for parts from German suppliers, Beijing informs the Hamburg branch office with precise transport instructions. The Hamburg team then contacts the supplier; when the part is ready, pick up is organized and the part is delivered to the Hamburg AEROSPACE warehouse; including special pick up and emergency booking with the carrier. Tracking and tracing are available, too. The parts then go to China as per instruction. The Beijing colleagues receive the goods and do the customs clearance.

Militzer & Münch Expands Network in Africa

The Militzer & Münch team is analyzing and developing new trade lanes in Africa. Local agents are giving support. Two countries have been defined already for new activities.

For many years, Militzer & Münch has been active in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. In some emerging markets south of the Maghreb region, Militzer & Münch is seeing big potential, too, in view of economic growth. Recently, the Militzer & Münch Group began intensifying relations with these countries.

The decision which new markets are to be the field of activities for Militzer & Münch was preceded by an intensive study: Holger Seehusen, M&M Group Manager Air & Sea, and his colleague Stéphane Grèze, Managing Director, Militzer & Münch Tunisia, analyzed countries in view of suitable starting points for future transports.

Militzer & Münch already operates in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Among the new markets that are of interest to the Militzer & Münch Group are Ethiopia and Senegal.


New Trade Routes

Among these markets are Ethiopia and Senegal. Both countries provide an infrastructure that Militzer & Münch can optimally build on. Moreover, the Militzer & Münch team already has good contacts to local partners. Situated in the east of Africa, Ethiopia ideally complements the traffics from and to Asia, and with activities in Senegal, Militzer & Münch would expand the existing Maghreb traffics towards the south west and Ivory Coast.

“We are currently developing a network of reliable agents in Ethiopia and Senegal”, says Holger Seehusen. “We are strengthening our local relationships and make use of the local knowhow, which is specifically important in rough terrain such as Ethiopia. That way, we ensure smooth transports. We are confident we will soon be able to offer our customers comprehensive air and sea transports along these trade lanes.”


Senegambia Bridge Opens New Route

In 2019, the government of The Gambia in West Africa completed an important trade route with the construction of Senegambia Bridge. The bridge over the Gambia River, almost two kilometers in length, connects the northern and the southern part of the country that is surrounded by Senegal.  That way, trucks can now use the so-called Trans-Gambia-Highway (in Senegal: la Transgambienne) in its entire length. The newly created transport route benefits local economy as well as international trade relations.