Metal roof tiles – from Poland to the USA

An entire roof on one pallet? No problem for a roof tile manufacturer in Poland. His products are also in demand in the USA. Militzer & Münch Poland guarantees that the innovative roof tiles arrive reliably.

In 2017, Poland exported goods for over 230 billion USD, an absolute high (source: Statista). Most goods are still going to the European neighboring countries, especially to Germany. But the supply of high-quality competitively viable products encourages many companies to export also to countries outside EU borders.

For example, a manufacturer of innovative products for roofs and facades. In comparison to the regular clay or concrete roof tiles, his modular metal roofing tiles are more durable, they weigh less, they are easier to install and also more storm-resistant.

All in all, a modern competitive product that finds buyers not only in Poland but also in far-off markets such as the USA.

Export consultancy right from the start

“In order to venture into exports to these countries, for many companies smooth logistics processes are among the prerequisites”, says Paweł Twardokes, Deputy COO Militzer & Münch Poland. “We advise our customers from step one, looking for the optimal logistic solution and implementing it.”

And there are a number of challenges that have to be mastered: customs clearance must run smoothly, and the driver shortage in the USA is not allowed to turn into a problem either – this is business as usual for Militzer and Münch Poland.

Road, sea, rail: pallets in 20-foot containers

Packed onto pallets, the innovative metal roofing tiles have been reliably and safely shipped since late 2017 to the USA via Norfolk in Virginia to their destination in Chicago. The shipments are exceptionally big: about 50 to 70 standard 20-foot containers per shipment. Militzer & Münch organizes the door-to-door transports via road and sea.

Delivery to the end destination in the US takes no more than 28 days from pick up. “Our customer is now thinking about exporting his goods to additional countries”, says Paweł Twardokes. “Canada, Australia and also, much nearer, UK are planned.”

Every Millimeter counts

Two days to send a complete packaging system from Schwäbisch Hall in South Germany to Dammam, Saudi Arabia – via airfreight, not really a big deal. And still, at the end of the day, every millimeter counted. 

Militzer & Münch wanted this to be a really impressive performance for this customer: Hamba-Gasti GmbH is a leading supplier of form, fill and seal machines specifically designed for the dairy and food industries. The company is part of the Italian IMA S.p.A.

The task: difficult, but not impossible. Heavy-lift, out-of-gauge cargo, a complete packaging system including accessories, around 17,000 kilogram weight – to be sent to its destination in Saudi Arabia at short notice.

Understandably huge was the surprise at the pick-up of the goods: the 17,000 kilogram cargo was stowed not in three, but instead in two, over-dimensioned, wooden crates. But packed like this, will the cargo even fit into the Boeing 747?

Time constraints did not allow any alternative. Thus, the Militzer & Münch team and the employees at Luxembourg Airport performed precision work to maneuver the boxes undamaged into the cargo hold of the airplane.

“It was a nerve-wracking situation, but in the end everything went smoothly”, says Felix Luz, Senior Sales Manager Militzer & Münch Karlsruhe. “With the fast delivery and our commitment we were able to really convince our customer – follow-up orders are in prospect.”

South Germany – an important location

  • The Militzer & Münch Sales Office Karlsruhe was taken into operation in December 2017
  • Like the Militzer & Münch teams in Munich, Stuttgart and Nurnberg, Militzer & Münch Karlsruhe, too, caters to the high demand for logistics in South Germany
  • Militzer & Münch Karlsruhe has already won orders for regular worldwide spare parts deliveries via airfreight
  • In August, the team handled another heavy lift goods transport, this time via sea to China

Militzer & Münch benefits from Uzbek investments

Uzbekistan is one of the biggest cotton fiber producers worldwide. The Central Asian republic has been investing in its textile and garment industry for some years, banking on technology and know-how from abroad. The industry continues to anticipate massive expansion of capacities.

Militzer & Münch and its customers are also profiting from the investments in the textile sector. For one of the biggest textile exporters in the CIS, Militzer & Münch delivered the equipment to a new production site in the Fergana Valley. Here, in the Uchkurgan region, the exporter combined two of his factories into one plant. The Fergana Valley is famous for its thriving silk production.

For the new production site, the exporter required machinery and other equipment from Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Korea, China, India, Switzerland and Turkey. The goods traveled tens of thousands of kilometers by plane, vessel, rail or road. The total transport volume was 650 units, loaded into 150 full truck loads and 500 40-foot containers.

“The project took about one year, it was very exciting, but also challenging”

Renata Gafarova
Project Manager at Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan

The equipment comprised, among others, a complete laboratory, cotton spinning equipment, a rewinding machine, a compressor unit, weaving machinery, winding equipment, a knitting machine as well as an air conditioning system.

“The project took about one year, it was very exciting, but also challenging”, says Renata Gafarova, Project Manager at Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan. “We had to coordinate the deliveries from ten different countries very precisely, observe the different customs regulations – and match all this with the customer’s requirements. We are proud and really happy that everything worked out so well.”

Textile industry in Uzbekistan invests one billion dollar

In revenue, the textile and garment industry is the second biggest sector of Uzbekistan’s manufacturing industry, the biggest being the food, beverage and tobacco industry. All the more reason for the Uzbek government to invest in the textile industry. In 2015, the state joint stock company “O´zbekyengilsanoat” announced a development program until 2020. During this period, projects worth one billion US dollars are to be carried out in the Uzbek textile industry.

The investments offer Militzer & Münch potential for further orders. “The textile exporter is one of our biggest customers and we are proud to be working for the eight factories he operates across the entire Uzbek Republic”, says Khurshid Kasimdzhanov, Managing Director M&M Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan. “The expansion of the textile sector enables us to extend our cooperation with this customer and win new customers from the industry.”

“We’ve come a pretty long way”

Wojciech Łyżwiński has been with Militzer & Münch Poland for more than a quarter-century. This year will be his last as Managing Director of M&M air sea cargo S.A. Afterwards he will continue as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. In this interview he speaks about his journey with Militzer & Münch: the challenges, the achievements, and the future. 

What was your motivation to work in the logistics industry? And what did you do before you joined Militzer & Münch in 1992?

I worked as administration director at Warsaw’s School of Economics, the biggest economic school in Poland. The political transformation in Poland in 1989 gave the Polish people many possibilities. A lot in our lives changed: both in politics and in economy. It was a huge chance for us to develop, to move on. I asked myself: `Am I ready to reposition my life?´

I think change always offers an opportunity to achieve new goals. So after getting a phone call from my colleague at the academy, who proposed starting a new company in the logistics area together, it didn’t take me long to make up my mind – and I said `yes´.

I had to learn a lot of things from scratch. Studying these new tasks was very exciting. After a few days of training in Germany, I began to hire new employees to join our organization. The first of them was Marek Ziemniewicz – a newly promoted graduate in transportation of the Warsaw School of Economics. He still works in our company as a board member and operational director.

What are your tasks as Managing Director M&M air sea cargo S.A.?

I am responsible for the company’s development and for strengthening its market position. Our management team consists of two persons, who are also members of the board: Marek Ziemniewicz supervises the operational side of the company as well as the sales of our freight services.

I manage everything else: our branch offices in Poland as well as finance and HR issues. I also represent M&M air sea cargo S.A. in Polish organizations like the Polish International Freight Forwarders Association. In this organization, for example, I was a member of the Management Board until June this year. Marek Ziemniewicz took my place in the new term.

Wojciech Łyżwiński

Managing Director M&M air sea cargo S.A.

What are the biggest challenges in your position?

We’ve come a pretty long way in our history. A successful way. We started as a small team doing customs clearances. Today, in 2018, we operate in all areas possible: air, sea, rail and road freight. My biggest challenge was to create a team of great specialists and to keep them for many years. Because the most important asset of our company are the people and their know-how.

You can compare it to a football team that plays for the cup. If the team wins, the best players often want to change club colors. I managed to keep the basic players. Many of them have been working in our company for up to 25 years. They play an important role in the growing volume of TEUs transported and in the increasing sales figures of Militzer & Münch Poland.

What were the most important milestones for Militzer & Münch Poland in the last 25 years?

We built up a customs agency first. The next steps were an air freight department and afterwards a sea freight department, and then FTL transports. We opened new offices in Wrocław, Kraków, Pruszków near Warsaw, and Rzeszów. Militzer & Münch Poland gained AEO status and is ISO certified.

In 2017 we decided to move forward, launching the very successful road division under the management of Radek Brejnak. We also created a strong sales team managed by our Sales Director Artur Wojtczak, who helped us to increase our sales by over 30 per cent.

The team of Militzer & Münch Poland.

What were the most important logistics projects that have been realized in 2018 so far? What are the main logistics projects for the second half of the year?

If you follow this and last year’s issues of `Compass´ and `Team & Motion´, our internal employee magazine, you will come to the conclusion that Militzer & Münch Poland has become a rising star in the holding. We are definitely one of the most active companies in the group. I truly appreciate it, and I am so proud of my team.

We handle a lot of interesting projects and follow the trends of the Polish market – which sometimes can be difficult due to a fierce competition between all the global players in the logistics sector that are present in Poland. But we never give up – quite the opposite.

The volume of goods exported from Poland has increased rapidly. We are part of that development by, for example, handling milk, fruit and beverage exports. On the other hand, the increase in exports necessitated some additional regulations and restrictions. We had to move on and implement some new solutions to take care of our clients’ goods: therefore we applied for Regulated Agent status. With this certification, we can guarantee the security of the supply chain for cargo that is transported on passenger aircraft.

Are there any strategic changes at M&M air sea cargo S.A. planned for this year?

After 26 years with Militzer & Münch, I am retiring at the end of this year. Until then, we will have to complete the composition of our Board. But I will stay close to the company as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. So I will keep on supporting my colleagues and especially Marek Ziemniewicz, who will take over my position. I trust in his success with all my heart.

Earlier changes like promoting some colleagues upgraded the quality of our everyday work and pushed us to another level of development and management. For example Artur Wojtczak, who is extremely active in promoting the cooperation between the Militzer & Münch offices worldwide and establishing B2B connections – he now is our new Sales Director. Our Business Development Manager Paweł Szelest acts as Head of Procurement and Tender Manager, and Beata Antolak was promoted to Financial Director. I am a lucky person to be able to attract the best people from the Polish market.

For which industries is Militzer & Münch Poland mainly active?

We are active in all areas: starting from food and beverages shipped out by air or in reefer containers to air shipments that are temperature controlled. Our team also handles complex heavy weight project cargo, for example repositioning factories or transporting huge machines abroad.

What is the potential of Poland as a logistics location?

Poland’s potential is huge: the country is centrally located in Europe and we continuously record excellent economic development. Our country is a hub for rail freight, sea shipments – with direct connections from China – and has many logistics centers used by global companies. I see the future in bright colors. Let our success story continue.

Militzer & Münch Poland

  • Founding year: 1991
  • Member of PIFFA ( Polish International Freight Forwarders Association)
  • IATA Cargo Agent
  • ISO 9001:2015 certified by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance
  • AEO (Authorized Economic Operator)
  • Employees: 65
  • 2 offices in Warsaw; branch offices in Wrocław, Rzeszów, Kraków, Pruszków
  • Products: air, sea, rail and road freight, customs service, project logistics
  • Among the main customers are companies from the automotive sector, from machine engineering, from the aviation, cosmetics and fashion industries, the electronics and food sectors

Militzer & Münch grows in Germany

Including the new branch in the Ruhr district, the Militzer & Münch network now comprises 16 locations across Germany, thus covering the important logistics regions in the country. And there are plans for further growth.

Germany is one of the most important logistics markets worldwide, and was once again appointed top logistics location among 160 countries by the World Bank in 2018. This fact is also mirrored in the business development of Militzer & Münch. In 2017, Militzer & Münch generated above-average growth in the fields of air and sea freight as well as in road traffics.

This development also enables Militzer & Münch to further expand its network: at 16 branches, Militzer & Münch Germany now employs a staff of roughly 250 that take care of their customers’ needs. The service portfolio comprises project logistics, air and sea freight as well as the handling of road and rail shipments and transports along the New Silk Road. In all these fields, there is potential for growth.



A strong location in the Ruhr district

This spring, Militzer & Münch expanded its network in Germany by opening a new location in North Rhine-Westphalian Sprockhövel near Wuppertal, where Militzer & Münch offers international logistics services mainly to customers from the Ruhr district.

The Militzer & Münch team in Germany already has interesting large orders. “To give an example: For an internationally operating do-it-yourself chain, we supply their branches in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia”, says Tom Rosman, Managing Director M&M Militzer & Münch GmbH. “And for a leading technology corporation, we handle rail freight services between China and Germany”, adds Marc Pinheiro, Managing Director M&M air sea cargo GmbH.

Two companies – one goal

The two operational German Militzer & Münch units, M&M Militzer & Münch GmbH and M&M air sea cargo GmbH, both under the umbrella of M&M Militzer & Münch Deutsche Holding GmbH, work in close cooperation.

“Together, we are expanding the service portfolio for our customers in Germany, and we aim to continue growing”, says Tom Rosman. “With the introduction of a new CRM (customer relationship management) system, our activities have become more transparent and can be more easily coordinated.” Currently, Militzer & Münch Germany mainly serves the following sectors: consumer goods, industrial commodities, technical engineering, and automotive.

Plans are also to continue expanding the traffics to and from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey and Russia in the course of this year. To achieve this, the team in Germany cooperates closely with colleagues from the other country units of the Militzer & Münch Group handling, among others, extensive logistics projects.

Germany is “Logistics Champion”

  • For the third time in a row, Germany was selected top logistics location among 160 countries by the World Bank (2014, 2016, and 2018).
  • Decisive criterion is the Logistics Performance Index, LPI. Here, on a scale from 1 to 5, Germany reaches 4.2 points.
  • There are six factors that are evaluated for the LPI: customs clearance, infrastructure, service quality, the price of international shipments, the possibility for tracking shipments, as well as the frequency of goods reaching their destination on time.
  • Germany is especially strong in terms of infrastructure, where the country again tops the list.
  • Rank 2 among the top logistics locations is held by Sweden, with Belgium being third.

More services with the Rail Competence Center

For all rail transports between Europe and China, the new Militzer & Münch Rail Competence Center (RCC) is not only an important interface to the customer, but also to all country units. Michael Spitzlei and his team are working from Dusseldorf, Germany.

The demand for rail transports between China and Europe has been rising steadily for years – a development that is also noticed by Militzer & Münch. Thus the group’s rail transports are all handled via one central point of contact – the Rail Competence Center. Since the beginning of 2018, Militzer & Münch has regarded the RCC in Dusseldorf as a branch in its own right.



The advantages of the RCC are obvious: Militzer & Münch customers profit from the many years of experience the team combines. “We are familiar with the various import and customs regulations and the different rail track gauges of the countries, and we know how to obtain licenses and certificates”, says Michael Spitzlei, Head of the Rail Competence Center at M&M air sea cargo GmbH. Rail freight from Europe to China takes only 18 to 20 days, which is faster than sea freight and cheaper than airfreight.

An increase in FCL and LCL transports

“We are glad that our services have been so well received”, says Michael Spitzlei. “On the connection Europe-China, we registered a rise of about 30 percent in the full container load segment in the year-on-year comparison. With less than container loads, we even had a 50 percent increase.” The newest service: on the Duisburg-Wuhan route, Militzer & Münch offers rail transport of LCL consolidation boxes with departures from Duisburg every Saturday.

The RCC Team handles eastbound and westbound rail traffics in cooperation with other Militzer & Münch country units. That makes it easier to individually meet customer requirements. Via Militzer & Münch locations in North, West and South Germany, customers from all over Western and Eastern Europe can handle their freight.

The Rail Competence Center – contact details:

Person of contact: Michael Spitzlei
M&M air sea cargo GmbH
Ungelsheimer Weg 6
40472 Düsseldorf
Phone: + 49 211 43 71 86 0
Fax: + 49 211 43 71 86 25

New country organization in Sri Lanka

Back in 2015, Militzer & Münch started operating in Sri Lanka via a delegation office. The local team witnesses the growing importance of the country as a logistics location – a good reason to found a country unit here.

Over the past few years, Sri Lanka has become a logistics hub on the maritime Silk Road in South Asia, also owing to the generous expansion of the Port of Colombo. Initially, Militzer & Münch tapped the country´s potential via a delegation office.

Now, Militzer & Münch founded its own country unit in Sri Lanka. The inauguration of the new location was celebrated in May 2018. From here Militzer & Münch offers its customers comprehensive services in the South Asian area.


The team serves a niche market

At the new location, Militzer & Münch handles sea freight transports to the regions of the Indian Ocean and Asia. The portfolio of Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka also contains the consolidation of shipments as well as transports to Europe: among the goods are tea shipped to Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and Denmark, and airplane tires destined for Belgium, Germany, Russia, Denmark and Great Britain.

The five-person team moreover offers standard transportation, airfreight and comprehensive solutions for complex projects. “With shipments to the CIS countries, we additionally serve a niche market”, says Dilum Stembo, Managing Director M&M Militzer & Münch (Pvt) Ltd. “For the future, we are planning to add door-to-door transports to Europe and the USA to our services.”

Logistics in Sri Lanka

The logistics sector in Sri Lanka is constantly gaining momentum. The country’s government has decided to meet the requirements of modern logistics and to sustainably strengthen the sector. Since 2008, the Port of Colombo has been massively expanded. The concept is bearing fruit: The “Liner Shipping Connectivity Index 2017” of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD declares Sri Lanka one of the best connected countries for sea freight in South Asia – which makes the Port of Colombo one of the most important logistics hubs in the region.

Servicing niche markets

There are countless logistic companies. So, in order to be successful as a medium size logistics provider in China, you need two things: a clear business plan, and a market niche – knows Glenn Bai, Managing Director Militzer & Münch China.

With exports of about 2.26 trillion USD, China was export world champion in 2017. For Militzer & Münch, this upward tendency of Chinese economy offers new opportunities. Due to the constantly growing e-commerce sector, Militzer & Münch transports increasing volumes of goods from China to Central Asia, Russia and Europe. For these traffics, Militzer & Münch also uses the New Silk Road trade lane.

Since taking office in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pushing the development of the New Silk Road through his Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China invests up to 1,000 billion USD in the construction and expansion of transcontinental trade and infrastructure networks between Europe, Asia and Africa. President Xi Jinping’s term of office is unlimited, which means continuity for the New Silk Road project among others.

“We are a specialist for transports along the New Silk Road.”

Glenn Bai
Managing Director Militzer & Münch China

Militzer & Münch with a new product on the New Silk Road 

Militzer & Münch benefits from the investments in infrastructure projects, too. In many countries along this trade lane, Militzer & Münch has been operating its own country units for years already. “We are a specialist for transports along the New Silk Road”, says Glenn Bai. “Thus, we organize exports of Chinese industrial plants to Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. We also handle imports from Europe and the USA. To grow, we target niches like project logistics and the aviation industry.”

Militzer & Münch China is constantly extending its product portfolio to meet the customers’ requirements. The latest addition: an LCL consolidation box service via rail from Duisburg to Wuhan. For this freight consolidation or groupage transport, the team bundles and ships smaller consignments as LCL (Less Than Container Load). Militzer & Münch China is the only one in the market to provide this service on this route.

The transport starts from Duisburg every Saturday and is routed via Małaszewicze in Poland and Alashankou in China. Without customs clearance, the transit time is only 18 days. Currently, Militzer & Münch China mainly transports products for the automobile industry to Wuhan. Since the early 1990s, Wuhan has been regarded as a hub for the automotive industry, which accounted for 20 percent of the city’s economic strength in 2015. Yet Militzer & Münch China also wants to expand its new customer business.

Tianjin’s free trade zones offer potential

Strategically selected locations are also part of Militzer & Münch China’s clear cut business plan. The activities of Militzer & Münch in China’s North East, in the port city of Tianjin, are a good example. Here, Militzer & Münch operates the M&M Tianbao joint venture to be able to offer its customers warehousing services via partner Tianbao Logistics.

Tianjin offers numerous advantages to companies. This includes the many different free trade zones, where goods can be imported and exported without customs clearance or any other fees.

“Owing to the free trade zones, many companies from the aviation and automotive industry have settled in Tianjin – they are our potential customers”, says Glenn Bai. “Our customers welcome our strategy to enter into a joint venture in Tianjin and thus be in a position to offer local storage facilities.” From Tianjin, Militzer & Münch for instance delivers spare parts from Europe to Chinese airlines. Moreover, the city is home to China’s seventh biggest sea port. The proximity to the port is ideal for the Chinese team: in 2017, Militzer & Münch China generated 45 percent of its turnover with sea freight.

Glenn Bai
Managing Director Militzer & Münch China

Never losing sight of the clear plan 

With its products, Militzer & Münch China services niches in the market: whether it is the specialization on transports along the New Silk Road or offering the unique LCL consolidation box service via rail from Duisburg to Wuhan. Strategically chosen locations like Tianjin also support the clear plan that aims to offer customers optimal and tailored services. In order to be successful as one among numerous logistics providers, Militzer & Münch China makes use of these niches and of the huge potential of the Chinese market – thus pursuing a clear cut strategy.