New subsidiary in Algeria

Logistics business with Morocco and Tunisia has been successful for years. Militzer & Münch France in particular is the leading forwarder to and from the Maghreb countries, relying on its close cooperation with the well established Militzer & Münch Morocco and Militzer & Münch Tunisia teams. Algeria transports have also continually been on the rise. This is why Militzer & Münch decided to open a subsidiary in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

For the new country unit, Militzer & Münch cooperates with a renowned shareholder active in international transportation. “For us as a specialist in Maghreb traffics it was only a matter of time before we founded our own subsidiary in Algeria”, says Dr. Lothar Thoma, CEO M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG. “With our long-time organizations in Morocco and Tunisia and now with the new setup in Algeria, we are going to consistently develop our Maghreb activities. Our clearly defined objective is to even better tailor our services to this special and challenging market.”

For Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, Militzer & Münch offers services that go far beyond mere transportation. Thus, the Maghreb solutions comprise, among others, weekly groupage transports of hazardous goods, packaging and quality control, labeling and order picking as well as container stowing at the company-owned 5,000 square meter logistics terminal with 17 loading docks in Vitrolles, France.

The Algerian market

Algeria, the largest of the Maghreb states, has approximately 41 million inhabitants. The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is rich in resources – currently, oil and gas exports account for 60 percent of the state revenue. With 85 percent of the goods flows being imports, the market is characterized by an export-import imbalance. Contrary to other Maghreb countries, there is not much relocation of production.

In order to reduce the dependency on the oil and gas sector with its drastic decline in prices, the government aims at enforcing economic diversification. It opens up the country for export; the mining of iron ore and phosphates is to be increased while at the same time, industrial production is to go up, too. Country-wide, industrial cluster zones are being established. All this will benefit the transportation industry and, in the long run, balance the volumes of Europe-Algeria and Algeria-Europe transports.

To the Maghreb and back

Militzer & Münch France has entered into a partnership with Davies Turner, a leading forwarder in the United Kingdom. The objective: developing the traffics between the United Kingdom and the Maghreb states.

The collaboration started in early October. In cooperation, both companies offer groupage transports as well as full truck load traffics. Militzer & Münch France handles imports and exports between the UK, Morocco and Tunisia as part of the partnership. The Algeria transports handled are mostly exports.

The advantage of the cooperation: Militzer & Münch can offer its customers additional transport capacities from and to the United Kingdom, while Davies Turner can further develop its access to the Tunisian and Algerian markets. Davies Turner already operates successfully in the textile sector in Morocco, but will nevertheless profit from the Militzer & Münch expertise in coordinating industrial goods flows via Militzer & Münch Morocco. Finally, Militzer & Münch Morocco facilities in Casablanca and Tangier may offer its clients customs clearance solutions in private bonded warehouses.

Transformer on Tour

How to get a huge transformer for a new power station to cover a 2,000 kilometer distance? The Militzer & Münch team in China had the solution: on a 20-axle bridge trailer.

The order for the heavy lift transport came from the Chinese electric utility company. Militzer & Münch organized the complete door-to-door transport from the manufacturer’s plant in Boading, northern China, to the construction site in Tianshui. At 450 tons, the transformer was too heavy for a standard low platform trailer; on the axles of the bridge framework trailer, the weight was evenly distributed.

Precise preparation

To make sure the roads can bear the high strain, the team did a preliminary road survey for the entire distance. Only then were they able to apply for a special authorization to use the roads. Militzer & Münch had to obtain a special permit from each of the four provinces the transport crossed – Hebei, Neimenggu, Ningxia and Gansu.

In order not to overly hinder traffic, a large part of the distance was covered by night. The bridge trailer covered the 2,000 kilometers in 15 days. An escort vehicle accompanied the transport from start to destination.

Azerbaijan: first transports

In March 2017, Militzer & Münch opened a representation in Azerbaijan. Business is doing well: different industries are already relying on Militzer & Münch‘s Middle East expertise to import their products to the landlocked country in the Orient.

Nijat Shabanly and Nasimi Mammadov represent Militzer & Münch in Baku. About six months after the office was taken into operation, Nijat Shabanly looks back on a successful initial period: “So far, we’ve handled groupage transports form Germany, Italy, Belgium and Turkey”, he reports. “But we also had a full truck load transport from Germany and a refrigerated shipment from the Netherlands.” Among the handled goods are products for the food industry, the baby care- and the cosmetics industries, as well as goods for the construction and medical engineering sectors.

By now, Militzer & Münch Azerbaijan was able to realize even more transports – for example full truck load shipments with equipment from Rotterdam, Netherlands, and from Heinsberg, Germany, to Azerbaijan. The team also successfully works in air shipments and collaborates with Militzer & Münch offices in Istanbul, Frankfurt, Hannover and Balice (Poland).

First project

The two employees in Azerbaijan already handled a big project successfully as well: they organized the transport of tiles in 41 containers from Foshan, China, to Baku. The boxes went via sea from Foshan to Poti, Georgia. From there, the freight was hauled via road to the destination in Baku. Total transit time was 40 days.

The two Militzer & Münch representative’s confidence about the future is owed to big infrastructure projects in Azerbaijan: the international Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project, the new port of Baku, and the new railway connection between Baku and the Iranian border.

“These projects will positively impact the logistics landscape in our country.”

Nijat Shabanly
Representative from M&M Militzer & Münch in Azerbaijan

The BTK railway project was launched to directly connect Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan can be connected to the new railway as well via the Caspian Sea. The official opening ceremony took place in the end of October.

“These projects will positively impact the logistics landscape in our country”, says Nijat Shabanly. “We are confident that Militzer & Münch will benefit from them, and that we can soon offer our customers additional destinations. These infrastructure projects will also contribute to turning Azerbaijan into an important transit country.”

The international Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project (BTK) connects Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey directly. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan can be connected to the new railway as well via the Caspian Sea.

Close cooperation for North Africa transports

For a German forwarder who has to handle traffics to North Africa, the cooperation with Militzer & Münch as a long-standing Maghreb specialist is an optimal solution. That holds true for a southwest German forwarder who transports rigid film for a local manufacturer in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

The customer’s order: The palletized goods are to be picked up at the plant, temporarily stored, and then shipped. As Militzer & Münch is well positioned in the Maghreb, the forwarder decided on cooperating with Militzer & Münch on these connections. The Militzer & Münch teams in France deliver the goods to Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria.

The cargo is stored at a big warehouse in Breisach, Baden-Württemberg, until it is dispatched. For shipments over five tons, Militzer & Münch picks up the goods directly in Breisach. For cargo up to five tons, the cooperation partner delivers the goods from the warehouse to the Militzer & Münch location in Mulhouse. The French team routes the road transports headed for Morocco or Tunisia with the ro-ro procedure ex Marseille. Transports to Algeria go by sea, also ex Marseille.

Good coordination is essential

Most transports are destined for Tunisia. Since late May, Militzer & Münch France has already delivered seven thermo trailers, six part loads and four full normal trailers to the Maghreb. They also transported six 40 foot containers to Algiers and one 20 foot container to Oran (Algeria). “The project requires close cooperation and exact coordination with the forwarder and his customer”, says Bart Kok, Militzer & Münch Business Development Manager Maghreb. “We have a great cooperation.”

Refreshments delivered by Militzer & Münch Tajikistan

In June, Militzer & Münch Tajikistan signed a one-year contract with a soft drink manufacturer. The customer operates a bottling plant in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and needs his products to be distributed nationwide.

In 5, 10 or 20 ton trucks, the soft drinks are delivered from the Dushanbe factory to over 20 consignees. Most delivery destinations are distribution centers in the greater Dushanbe and Khujand areas and in Khatlon province. Some transports go directly to supermarkets and gas stations. On average, the Militzer & Münch team Tajikistan loads and handles five to ten truckloads per day. In the first month alone, the volume transported amounted to 191 full truck loads.

Extending the service

“We are very happy with the project and hope to be able to extend the transport volume soon, also across borders”, says Aziz Sharipov, Managing Director M&M Militzer & Münch Tajikistan. “We are currently discussing this intention with our customer.” The negotiations are about a delivery service from the bottling plant in Dushanbe to Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan, with transit via Afghanistan.

Tajikistan – fast facts

Population: 8,921,000
Dushanbe (ca. 780,000 inhabitants)
More than 70% of the area is high mountain ranges
Form of government: 
presidential republic with two-chamber parliament
 Emomalij Rahmon (since 1994)
The economy relies mainly on the cultivation of cotton. The cultivation of grain, vegetables, fruit and tobacco plays a minor role. The most important export commodity is aluminum. Tajikistan is landlocked, which hampers economic development.
 Tajikistan’s many mountain ranges make the development of transport infrastructure rather difficult. Owing to the Trans-Caspian Railway, Dushanbe, the capital, is linked to the international railway network. The railway connects the city via Tashkent in Uzbekistan with Moscow in Russia.

A successful team effort

Chewing gum, sweets, and tooth paste – three totally different items. And yet, they have one thing in common: they can all contain xylitol. In June, Militzer & Münch transported this food additive from Dezhou in China to Poznań in Poland.

Sweet and fresh on the tongue – that’s what xylitol tastes like. The chemical is used by the ton in the food industry, where it goes by the code E 967. Militzer & Münch’s order was to transport powdered xylitol from the production site in China to a food manufacturer’s plant in Poland.

“We developed a highly effective, multi-modal transport chain for this project.”

Glenn Bai
Managing Director Militzer & Münch China

For this project, the staff of Militzer & Münch in China arranged the road and rail transport from Dezhou to Malaszewicze, the central rail trans-shipment hub in Poland. The longest part of the journey was done by rail: the 25 sealed containers were transported on board seven trains. In Malaszewicze the team of Militzer & Münch Poland took over. The bonded containers were hauled to the destination in Poznań by road.

“We developed a highly effective, multi-modal transport chain for this project”, says Glenn Bai, Managing Director Militzer & Münch China. “A combination of road and rail transports is optimal for the leg between China and Poland. Thus, the transit time was only 20 days.”

Safety specifications implemented

Since xylitol is a chemical substance, strict safety regulations must be observed. Especially owing to the detailed SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), the cooperation between the Polish and the Chinese teams was exemplary. The team at the Qingdao branch in China had provided the material safety data sheet SOP.

“The cooperation was perfect”, says Glenn Bai. “We are proud we succeeded in developing our rail service and our product portfolio with this first transport ex Dezhou.” So far, Militzer & Münch China had concentrated on full container load (FCL) transports from Zhengzhou and less than container load (LCL) transports from Yiwu. Right now, Eric Wang, Rail Freight Director M&M China, is working on additional destinations ex Wuhan, Chongqing, Zhengzhou and most recently also ex Dalian in Northeast China.

Xylitol – low calorie and tooth-friendly

Xylitol is mostly used in the food industry; its code is E 967. It serves as a naturally occurring sugar substitute that can be produced in trees, plants, vegetables, fruits, but also in humans via their sugar metabolism. Xylitol is used, among others, in toothpaste for caries prophylaxis. German chemist Emil Fischer discovered xylitol in the late 19th century. He later won a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research in the field of sugar chemistry.

High-Tech from Brazil

More than 9,000 kilometers from Brazil to Poland: in summer, Militzer & Münch Poland coordinated the transport of machinery for a new paper factory. This marked another step in the cooperation with the customer, one of Brazil’s leading manufacturers of machinery for the paper industry.

The Polish Militzer & Münch team handled the door-to-door transport from the manufacturer’s plant in Brazil to the factory of a leading Polish paper product manufacturer in collaboration with long-time Brazilian logistics partner Pirâmide SeaAir. The print cylinders, steel frames and screens are part of a production line for the new paper factory. The factory produces, among others, greeting cards, children’s coloring books and paper gift bags.

Apart from the transport, the Militzer & Münch team and their Brazilian logistics partner did the customs clearance and coordinated the loading and lashing of the bulky goods. In Mid-June, the 18 containers – 40-footers as well as flat racks – reached Gdansk safe and in time.

“We are happy that the customer chose us for the project.”

Artur Wojtczak, Business Development Manager M&M air sea cargo S.A.

Thanks to the new road department in Warsaw, Militzer & Münch also delivered 15 additional full truck loads with machinery and parts within two days from Slovakia and Italy to the building site at Iława.

Successful cooperation

“We are happy that the customer chose us for the project”, says Artur Wojtczak, Business Development Manager M&M air sea cargo S.A., Warsaw. “I’m sure our experience, the short transit times and the high safety and security standards we guarantee have played a role there, too.” Militzer & Münch Poland already handled several projects for the manufacturer in recent years.  With the heavy lift transport from Rio do Sul to Iława, Militzer & Münch Poland successfully continues its cooperation with the Brazilian company.

The pearl of the Baltic Sea

Owing to its situation on the Baltic Sea, the Hanseatic City of Gdansk is a popular logistics location. Gdansk has been known as a place of trade since the Hanseatic era. The main industries: ship building, the petrochemical and chemical industries as well as high-tech. The Port of Gdansk is Poland’s major port and still an essential transshipment hub for the entire country, with about 3.6 million tons of goods transshipped in June 2017 alone.

“I am aware of my great responsibility.”

Russia is not only the largest country in the world by surface area, it also shares land borders with 14 neighboring states – unique factors that come with special challenges for the team of Militzer & Münch Russia. Marina Dshegrij told us how the employees master them, how the new US sanctions on Russia impact the business, and the objectives Militzer & Münch Russia is pursuing. Marina Dshegrij is Managing Director of Militzer & Münch Russia. She has been with the company since 2010.

What did you do before you joined Militzer & Münch? What made you choose the logistics sector as your profession?

I was with logistics services provider Schenker RUSSIA for 15 years. Directly after graduating from university, I began working there and was soon promoted from an employee position in operations to deputy director. I have always known what field I wanted to work in. My father was in logistics, too, so I could not have imagined myself working in any other job.

What is the biggest challenge in your position? 

One of the challenges is to accurately predict the market behavior. We have to keep an eye on the continually changing industry and develop a suitable strategy for our company. What is important today may be obsolete tomorrow. Doing business in times of stagnation or of sinking market activities is a challenge for staff and management.  We have to invest the profits we generate wisely in the future of our company.

Internationally, the logistics industry is more or less a male domain. What are your experiences as a woman in your position in this sector?  

I feel good. Nowadays, women hold leading positions in governments. Thus, women in management are not so exotic any more.

What are the main projects implemented in the 2017/18 business year? 

We are introducing new software. At this time, this is our top priority.
It will improve our attractiveness in the market and increase productivity.

“We regularly organize the complete delivery of big production lines – we offer our customers all services from planning to operative implementation.”

Marina Dshegrij, Managing Director Militzer & Münch Russia

What are the main industries Militzer & Münch Russia is working for? 

We are active in numerous sectors. Our most important customers come from the automotive industry, from consumer goods production, equipment goods and microelectronics.

Are there any unique selling points that Militzer & Münch can boast and that maybe even distinguish Militzer & Münch from the competition?

Apart from services in transportation, warehouse logistics and customs clearance, we are also highly active in the field of project transports. We regularly organize the complete delivery of big production lines – we offer our customers all services from planning to operative implementation. Moreover, we have many years of experience in the transport and storage of highly sensitive equipment in so-called clean rooms. For numerous sports associations, we transport equipment to competition sites. Another point that distinguishes us additionally is our internal travel agency. It allows us to offer our customers an almost complete service-portfolio – from one source from the transport of goods to arranging a business trip.

The USA has decided to impose new sanctions against Russia. In your opinion, does this impact the transport business of Militzer & Münch?

The sanctions impact the situation in Russia: investments from the West decrease, the share of investments from the South East increases, the market re-orients itself, for instance towards domestic production. Of course, all this affects diverse industries and also the transport logistics sector. We are aware of these changes and try to adapt quickly to the new conditions.

Russia is the largest country in the world by surface area and an extremely vast country. What challenges does this entail for goods transports?

The Russian Federation extends from west to east over 10,000 kilometers, from north to south over 4,000 kilometers. The entire country covers an area of more than 17 million square kilometers and spans eleven time zones. Advanced traffic infrastructure is not available at all locations, which creates differences in the goods flow in different parts of Russia. We have to always know exactly when, how and by which transport mode the goods can be transported to the region in question. This adds to the workload and impacts delivery dates and costs. The demands on logistics are constantly rising – yet those are challenges we like to meet.

Russia shares borders with 14 neighboring states, with China being one of them. Does this entail advantages for the logistics sector? 

The proximity to many other countries is of course propitious to goods exchange – our main focus however is on the further development of the transit goods flows through Russia. Owing to our infrastructure – the quality of ports, airports and roads as well as the complexity of border and customs clearance – we are not able to fully tap the potential at this time. But we are already registering positive developments.

What countries and regions does Militzer & Münch Russia have especially close business relations with? 

The largest goods flows come from Germany and China. This is also mirrored in the official statistics on the trade between the countries. Goods turnover between Russia and China accounts for 14 percent, between Russia and Germany for eight percent of the country’s entire goods turnover. Accordingly, our business relations with Germany and China are very intensive.

What are your objectives for Militzer & Münch Russia?

To me, it is important for Militzer & Münch to remain a successful, dynamically developing entity. I am aware of the great responsibility I have for our 300 employees. Our customers, but also our staff, are to feel well cared for and look to the future with confidence.