Rail as an alternative

Containers are currently in short supply worldwide, and there is a lack of capacity on ships – a problem, especially during the Christmas peak season. Militzer & Münch Germany meets this challenge by using rail transport. Thus, for two customers, six complete block trains were put together to run between China and Duisburg.

Due to the imbalance in trade between China and Europe, a large number of containers are stranded at European ports and terminals. This often results in a shortage of containers for transports from Asia to Europe – especially during the important fall and Christmas business.

“It’s like in real life: if you plan early enough, it’s easier to make ends meet,” says Michael Spitzlei, Head of Business Segment Rail at M&M air sea cargo GmbH. ” For transportation by rail, individual containers or space are always offered. However, handling shipments by sea to and from Europe is challenging in many respects at the moment, and the booking situation is critical.” Industrial customers often get their space from shipping companies only at the current daily or market rates, instead of the originally agreed contract rates. That is why many shippers are currently switching to rail, like some of Militzer & Münch’s key accounts, for example.

For the customers, one of them a global wholesale chain, Militzer & Münch set six complete block trains on their way from China to Duisburg in August. The German Rail team worked closely together with their colleagues from Militzer & Münch China on these transports. Total transit time from terminal to terminal was 25 days – despite congestion at the borders, it was thus within the usual time frame. The trains were all fully Militzer & Münch trains, exclusively transporting 50 x 40’ high cube containers with goods for the Militzer & Münch customers. Thus, especially in times of crisis, rail proves to be a reliable alternative to sea transport.

At Militzer & Münch France: selective growth continues

Militzer & Münch France has acquired the supply chain management specialist ACTE International based near Grenoble. A good investment: Customers benefit from top service – Militzer & Münch identifies new growth opportunities.

Whether smooth supply chain, customs and foreign trade regulations, or the avoidance of corruption risks: cross-border business continues to be a challenge for companies. With ACTE International, Militzer & Münch now has experts on board in Grenoble, experts who offer customers consultancy, service, and training on all aspects of the supply chain (see info box).

This way, Militzer & Münch is consistently expanding its competence in France: In 2018, the company already founded its own customs agency with offices in all its transport branches, i.e., Lille, Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes. And a few months ago, Militzer & Münch France took over ITP and ITPL, two companies of the LPS Group (Logistique et Prestations de Services), which specialize in transporting goods to the Maghreb countries – one of Militzer & Münch’s key markets.

“The specialists of ACTE International complement our portfolio in the fields of global supply chain management, customs, CSR, and compliance,” says Guillaume de Laage de Meux, who is Managing Director of Militzer & Münch France and at the same time Regional Managing Director South West Europe / Maghreb. “We are confident that with the new offer, we will also be able to convince new customers of our potential.”

“Militzer & Münch has been active between Europe and North Africa for many decades. We manage procurement and distribution logistics for our customers, relying on our profound industry know-how – for example in the pharmaceutical, textile, and automotive sectors. And we see that shipment volumes are increasing from year to year, as for our customers in Europe, the Maghreb states are the logistical bridge to Africa.”

Guillaume de Laage de Meux
Managing Director Militzer & Münch France, Regional Managing Director South West Europe / Maghreb and Member of the Board of Directors of M&M Militzer & Münch International Holding AG

ACTE International – a supply chain management specialist

As an expert in cross-trade, ACTE International has been active in all aspects of supply chain management since 1995: as a freight forwarder and full AEO customs agent, as an auditing and consulting company for international import-export trade, and as a recognized vocational training center. Here is an overview of the services:

Supply Chain Management

  • Coordination and optimization of global supply chains
  • Engineering and management of cross-trade transactions
  • Subcontracting export sales administration
  • Operation of complex import/export logistics

Customs management

  • Customs expertise and consulting for European operators (import/export)
  • International customs coaching
  • Customs and tax optimization
  • Operational customs centralization

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

  • Consulting on CSR implementation at local and international level
  • Social, environmental, construction safety, and anti-corruption audits
  • Assessment and mapping of CSR and corruption risks in the international supply chain
  • ETHIC Intelligence certification* of anti-corruption programs and systems


* ETHIC Intelligence is a certification agency which focuses in compliance and anti-bribery audits according to ISO standards. Specialized auditors certify against ISO 37001 and ISO 37301, while also providing general audits for channel partners, suppliers, and against ISO 19600.

New terminal inaugurated in Sofia

Smart, efficient, and future-oriented: on May 19, M&M Militzer & Münch BG Co. Ltd. officially inaugurated its new transshipment terminal in Sofia. The cross-docking facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, thus ensuring the efficient handling of general and groupage cargo. At the same time, it forms the basis for Militzer & Münch Bulgaria to continue growing in the road freight sector.

The new facility was built to fully meet the requirements of Militzer & Münch Bulgaria. Its transshipment area covers 1,800 square meters. Incoming and outgoing shipments are handled via 16 loading gates, and scanned with the latest generation industrial tablets. A high level of security is ensured; among other things, the entire facility is video-monitored by 60 cameras.

In addition, the facility offers 880 square meters of state-of-the-art office space, creating ideal working conditions for the entire administrative and road transport team of Militzer & Münch Bulgaria. From the terminal, Militzer & Münch mainly serves Germany, Italy, France, Benelux, Spain, and Northern Europe.

“With the new cross-docking facility, we intend to continue expanding in the road segment,” explains Sacho Todorov, CEO M&M Militzer & Münch BG Co. Ltd. “Thanks to modern technology, our cargo handling operations have become more digital; we are increasing efficiency and raising the quality level even further. We are thus opening up additional opportunities for our new and existing customers.”

Too big for any door

Out-of-gauge: between May and October 2021, Militzer & Münch transported seven autoclaves to Uzbekistan for a manufacturer of construction and household materials. The weight – 83,000 kilograms each – and the dimensions of the autoclaves posed some challenges for the Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan team, but these were not the only hurdles they had to overcome.

An autoclave is a sealable high-pressure chamber that can take various forms. In industry, autoclaves are used for such purposes as curing building materials, vulcanizing tires or for sterilization. Autoclaves can also be found in the kitchen at home, as pressure cookers are also classified as autoclaves.

The dimensions of the seven autoclaves Militzer & Münch transported for the customer from Northern Germany to Chirchiq near Tashkent, however, hardly remind one of cooking pots. “With a length of 45 meters and a diameter of four meters, the autoclaves are so big that the factory where they are going to be used for manufacturing aerated concrete building blocks has to be built around them. No door would be big enough for them to be installed afterwards,” says Yulduz Babajanova, head of the projects department at Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan. “On-time delivery was therefore an essential factor in the time schedule for the construction of the Chirchiq factory.”

Multimodal – and via different routes

Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan delivered the autoclaves to their destination in three shipments. Since there are no standard solutions for transports of this scale, the project team worked with three subcontractors; different routes and various multimodal combinations were used. “Nikolaus Kohler, our Regional Managing Director for Central Asia, advised us on our own choice of subcontractors,” says Yulduz Babajanova. “A shipment with these dimensions entails various challenges. For example, after arrival in Uzbekistan, each of the three shipments had to be taken to the construction site with a convoy of escort vehicles to ensure maximum security. In addition, we were not flexible with transit times.”

Delays in St. Petersburg

The first transport was started in May 2021. Militzer & Münch transported two autoclaves from the point of origin in northern Germany, first by truck and then via inland waterway to Antwerp. There, they were loaded onto a freighter and shipped to St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg, however, there were severe delays because the Russian Railroad was unable to meet transit times due to a rail platform overload. The cargo then continued by rail to Shymkent in Kazakhstan and from there by truck to the construction site in Chirchiq.

Due to the delays, the first transport took 135 days – the longest transit time of the three transports. To prevent this from happening with the second shipment, Militzer & Münch chose an alternative route. Up to St. Petersburg, the two autoclaves took the same route. From there, however, the cargo did not continue by rail, but was carried on the Volga-Don Canal across the Caspian Sea to Aktau in Kazakhstan. There, the cargo was transferred to trucks and covered the rest of the way by road – the entire transport took only 60 days.

Transport number three was even faster. It took only 55 days to transport the three autoclaves from northern Germany to Chirchiq. Here, too, the cargo was first taken to St. Petersburg, but then continued via the Volga-Don Canal to Tolyatti in Russia, and from there by road to the construction site.

A satisfied customer

“Despite the delay, we were able to handle the transport to our customer’s full satisfaction and deliver the autoclaves within the scheduled time,” says Khurshid Kasimdzhanov, Managing Director of Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan. “The customer had already cooperated with us on several projects, and we were able to convince him of our merits also this time. This success is primarily due to the good performance of our team in Uzbekistan, but also to the flexibility and resourcefulness of our subcontractors.”


Containers are in short supply – what is important now

First Corona, then congestions at the ports, and a change in the flow of goods – worldwide, obtaining loading space in containers has become difficult.  Militzer & Münch has intensified cooperation with customers to meet the challenge by providing pragmatic solutions.

There are about 25 million containers in circulation worldwide, transporting about 90 percent of all merchandise traded[1]. But it is only now, as they are becoming scarce and freight rates are skyrocketing, that containers  are gaining the public’s attention.

Unpredictable dynamics – what caused the shortage

The reasons for the shortage are quickly explained: fewer containers were already ordered worldwide in 2019, a consequence of the trade war between the U.S. and China. With Corona the economy went into lockdown, fewer boxes were ordered during this phase as well. At the end of March 2020, more than four million empty 20-foot containers were stored at container manufacturers’ facilities and at Chinese ports – no one anticipated a shortage at that time.

Then economy started to pick up again, but not everywhere at the same time, and not in all industries to the same extent. The flow of goods no longer follows the familiar pattern, and containers have been piling up ever since at the ports where they cannot be handled because there are also fewer operational ships available. In rail traffic on the China-Europe trade lane, congested border crossings are currently complicating the situation. The problem is exacerbated by construction sites in the rail network and flooding, which means that wagons are not available on time either.

Container manufacturers are currently producing the coveted steel boxes at full speed. But the (shortage) situation is unlikely to ease in the coming months, hampering international trade and raising freight rates.

Militzer & Münch offers customers pragmatic solutions

“It is absolutely crucial that we inform our customers early on, in case there are deviations from the original schedule. Because for our customers, the situation is more than challenging”, says Holger Seehusen, Managing Director of M&M air sea cargo GmbH and member of the Militzer & Münch Group Management. “In order to find viable and sustainable solutions, our globally operating teams are cooperating even more closely with our customers, but also with all partners involved in handling the transport, to offer pragmatic and, above all, affordable alternatives.”

Comprehensive and real-time information

Missing equipment, overload at border crossings, or construction sites – when logistics come to a standstill, Militzer & Münch informs its customers promptly. Thus, there is still enough time to look for alternatives, as some deliveries simply must not be late.

Assistance in finding affordable alternatives

Then follows the search for feasible and affordable alternatives. “In consultation with our customers, we look for solutions on how to work around the bottlenecks,” says Holger Seehusen. “This includes finding alternative routes, modes of transport, and procuring equipment. Our big advantage: we can offer all modes of transport.”

New Militzer & Münch containers

Militzer & Münch has also increased its container stock: the Rail Segment, a business unit of M&M air sea cargo GmbH, has purchased a number of 40-foot containers together with Militzer & Münch China. Some of them got branded.

“Delays will not be entirely avoidable in the coming months,” says Holger Seehusen. “But our customers can count on us to do everything we can to mitigate the situation. This requires a lot of extra work from us, which we are happy to do to serve the interests and needs of our customers. Together, we can do it.”



[1] This and the following figures on the market situation are taken from Guillaume Dhamelincourt, Business Development – Product Specialist at JK Capital Management, a company of the La Française Group: www.institutional-money.com/news/maerkte/headline/schiffscontainer-knappheit-bedroht-globalen-handel-205915/

 A Militzer & Münch train arrives in Hamburg after its long journey from China.

52 trucks – from door to door

More than 50 trucks with numerous components started on their route in Germany and Estonia in spring. Overland and by sea, they went to Novocheboksarsk, where a hydrogen plant was to be built from the finished parts. A challenging project – but not uncharted territory for the experienced Militzer & Münch team.

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future. It has many uses and is a key element in ensuring the successful energy shift. So far, hydrogen has been used primarily in the chemical industry, but is also gaining in importance as a fuel for vehicles. However, hydrogen is not a primary energy; like electricity, it has to be produced in special plants.

Such a plant for the production of hydrogen went on its way to Russia – via a total of 52 trucks, most of them special transports with permits and escort vehicles. Over a period of about two months, Militzer & Münch delivered the individual components from Germany and Estonia to Novocheboksarsk. Depending on the pick-up location, part of the cargo went from Hamburg by ferry across the Baltic Sea. The majority of the transports, however, was purely overland.

Good planning leads to the goal

There were no detours for the hydrogen factory to arrive in St. Petersburg for customs clearance, as the project was a door-to-door delivery: the individual parts were picked up from their respective manufacturers and delivered directly to the consignee in Russia. Moreover, to make customs clearance as uncomplicated as possible, the consignee requested classification. Thus, it was possible to declare several parts under the same customs tariff number, and to clear them through customs en bloc.

For a transport of this size, the key issues are good organization and coordination. No problem for the Militzer & Münch team at Filderstadt headed by Hardy Rosentreter. For the customer, a manufacturer of gas purification and gas generation plants, this was not the first order of this kind. Militzer & Münch had already successfully delivered similar plants to Poland and Turkey before.

“The hydrogen factory in Novocheboksarsk is an important contribution to the energy turnaround,” says Thomas Winter, Managing Director at M&M Militzer & Münch GmbH, M&M air sea cargo GmbH. “We are glad that we, as a logistics service provider, are involved in advancing projects in our core regions that support alternative energy sources.”

First LNG truck at Militzer & Münch

Low-emission transports owing to natural energy: Militzer & Münch Serbia now operates its first LNG (liquefied natural gas) powered truck. The specially branded vehicle runs between Serbia and northern Germany, and significantly reduces CO2 emissions on this route.

Thus, the LNG truck is part of the company’s global climate protection strategy. By using the environmentally friendly truck, Militzer & Münch also wants to stand out even more clearly from its competitors. “In the future, we want to expand our fleet by as many LNG trucks as possible,” says Nikola Vasiljevic, Executive Director of Militzer & Münch Serbia.

An eco-friendly alternative to diesel

Like gasoline-powered vehicles, LNG trucks are powered by an internal combustion engine. The natural gas is cooled down and stored in liquefied state, usually in a tank on the side of the truck. While offering the same performance as diesel trucks, LNG trucks cause lower emissions of particulate matter, CO2 and nitrogen.

A premiere: Militzer & Münch Serbia is using a truck powered by liquefied natural gas.

“Flat hierarchies give us space to implement ideas”

Holger Seehusen is a member of the Militzer & Münch Group Management and Managing Director of the German M&M air sea cargo GmbH. Thanks to his 30 years of experience in the logistics industry, he is particularly familiar with the market in Asia. In the interview, he explains why the Militzer & Münch Group’s business has developed well in the past months, and why he considers it a privilege to work in the logistics industry.

Mr. Seehusen, you are responsible for the Militzer & Münch Air & Sea business. How have the two segments developed this year?

Holger Seehusen: Since 2018, based in Frankfurt, I have been responsible for the Air & Sea activities in Germany. As a member of the Militzer & Münch Group Management, I am also responsible for the product development of the Air & Sea sector worldwide. We drive the product development in our de-centrally organized group of companies taking a joint approach and banking on a corresponding implementation, which also means a certain amount of persuasion work needs to be done at the individual country units. Currently, we are working on various projects in these business segments. In particular, the focus here is on sustainability. I must say this is a very interesting task.

Last year, after the difficult COVID-19 months in spring, business development in the Air & Sea activities, but also in particular in Rail transports, was very satisfactory. This extremely positive development has continued in the current fiscal year. Thanks in part to the restructuring measures implemented in previous years, we were already well positioned at the start of the pandemic, and able to master the temporary uncertainty in the industry.

In recent years, we invested heavily in our Trade Lane Management for the USA, Asia and India regions, and opened a subsidiary in Malaysia, thus laying important groundwork for further growth. Yet despite the generally positive sentiment in the industry, I believe we must not allow ourselves to be blinded by the currently good results. Challenges such as digitalization, junior staff, promoting young talent, reducing CO₂ emissions in transport handling and the resulting shift in procurement markets are topics that we have on our agenda. The answers to these issues are indicative of the future of our industry.

What distinguishes Militzer & Münch from the competition?

Holger Seehusen: Militzer & Münch is a family-owned company, and we see ourselves as a medium-sized enterprise. To me, this means that we have high social responsibility towards our employees – probably more than is the case with other large companies. Flat hierarchies give us the leeway to implement ideas. Our colleagues learn early on to take responsibility themselves and to simply try things out. Success and failure depend on open communication and constructive feedback, all of which serve to support personal development in leadership.

Customer satisfaction is Militzer & Münch’s top priority. Where are you in terms of customer satisfaction at the moment?

Holger Seehusen: Before the pandemic, we did a survey among our customers – and at that time, satisfaction was high. In view of the shortage across all modes of transport, the current situation is, frankly speaking, somewhat different. In supply chain management, the general conditions throughout the industry are not satisfactory at this time. It is important to inform customers at an early stage if a transport cannot be carried out as planned. Our customers in the textile industry in particular sometimes have tight contracts with their customers, with conditions where every day really counts. We enter into dialog with the customer very early on, and try to offer alternative transport routes and solutions. Often, we cannot influence whether, for example, a container arrives later, and at a different destination port, than originally planned. The subsequent hinterland transport has then to be rescheduled at short notice.

At some airport warehouses, there is a backlog of several thousand tons! Truckers sometimes wait 48 hours before they can load their freight. In the meantime, some trucking companies have stopped accepting orders that involve picking up goods at airports. In some cases, the shipments may have arrived on time, but it takes long to locate them in the crammed warehouses of airlines and handling agents.

In addition to transportation bottlenecks, we are also facing challenges in finding skilled personnel. Since the September 11 attacks, very strict rules have been in place for personnel at airports – and this also applies for the commercial staff at the transshipment warehouse. Anyone who wants to work there needs a background check as required by the Aviation Security Act.

Have there been any new products in the Air & Sea business in recent months?

Holger Seehusen: We have developed a relatively new product together with our Greater China Trade Lane Management in Frankfurt and our country unit in China: from China by truck via Kazakhstan to Europe, among other things to deal with the shortage of cargo space on other modes of transport. We can draw on our expertise and benefit from having our own country units in Central Asia here. We have been offering this transport alternative to our customers with growing success since the end of 2020.Another exciting project is in the planning stage, namely an air – road service between China and Europe. From Shanghai, goods are to be transported by air to the Kazakh city of Almaty, and from there on to Europe by truck. As a freight forwarder with particular expertise in niche markets, we are experienced in such alternative transport models. In view of high freight rates and a shortage of capacity for sea transport, this product is certainly an attractive alternative for our customers.

As a matter of fact, we can claim to have recognized and understood the potential of rail transport between Asia and Europe at an early stage. The new Silk Road still holds a lot of potential for the Militzer & Münch Group. Which is why, some time ago, we incorporated the Rail segment into M&M air sea cargo GmbH; a team of four coordinates all our rail transports from Düsseldorf.

From the Düsseldorf office, we have also further expanded our project logistics by sea segment. In Hamburg, we would like to continue growing in air freight, especially in AOG together with our colleagues in China. Moreover, the Militzer & Münch Group is striving for GDP certification, the certificate of Good Distribution Practice, so we can expand our service portfolio for pharmaceutical companies.

For some time now, container shortages and transport bottlenecks have been affecting the industry, and Militzer & Münch is feeling the effects, too. Have there been any shifts in transport modes?

Holger Seehusen: Oh, absolutely. To give an example, we had to fly 40 tons of steel from Europe to Mexico – a shipment that had originally been planned as ocean freight. Our great advantage is that we cover all modes of transport and can quickly offer alternative solutions. One thing applies here, however: we need to keep an eye on the liquidity of our customers and partners, who in turn depend on their own customers to pay on time. Some shipments were planned well in advance, but freight rates skyrocketed, and that’s not easy for every customer to shoulder. We always have to be beware of financial risks.

You’ve been active in the logistics sector for a long time. What fascinates you about the industry?

Holger Seehusen: I have been at home in the industry since 1991. Before I joined the Militzer & Münch Group in 2018, I had been with Rhenus Logistics for over 17 years in various areas of responsibility and working in different regions. This included Germany as well as interesting assignments in CIS countries, but especially in Asia and then for many years in Southeast Asia, before I decided to go back to Germany in 2016. After returning, I realized after a while that it was just not my “home” anymore, and that I wanted to try something new. Despite my long years in this industry, I have a lot of fun and am still learning every day. Frankly, I feel it’s a privilege to still have that fun and that daily challenge – that’s what drives me. I think I can transfer that enthusiasm to my colleagues with whom I work directly. At least that’s what I hope, but my professional environment is a better judge of that.

What advice would you give to young people who want to pursue a career in the logistics industry?

Holger Seehusen: The industry is very diverse and offers great development opportunities. What is particularly appealing is the internationality, which often gives us a different perspective on things. If you’re curious, you can make good use of the opportunities this industry offers – and that’s what I hope to convey every day with my management approach.

Our challenge as an industry is to improve the image and the multifaceted opportunities of the profession. For example, as part of our cooperation with the University of St. Gallen (HSG), we sponsor the annual Supply Chain Innovation Day and, in September 2021, were part of the panel. In my view, this is exactly the right approach to being visible as a company and getting more young people interested in logistics.

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.”

New partnership for transports to West Africa

The contracts have been signed, first transports are already underway: the OMA Group, headquartered in Accra, Ghana, is the new partner for the West Africa transports of the entire Militzer & Münch Group. In addition, some of the country units have joined the African transport network ALNA.

In the future, all transports from the Militzer & Münch network to West African countries will be handled by the new partner. Customers benefit from good area coverage, as the OMA Group has offices in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Senegal and Togo as well as strategic regional partners in Cameroon, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.

The OMA Group has already been successfully cooperating with Militzer & Münch France for the past two years, now the whole Militzer & Münch group has signed an agreement with the company. Initially, the cooperation will focus on transports between the subsidiaries of the OMA Group and the Militzer & Münch country units in France, Turkey, Poland and Morocco. The OMA Group has more than 30 years of experience in the business and offers specialist logistics support services for customers from industries including mining, oil and gas, energy and infrastructure as well as the transport of spare parts for ships in transit.

“With this new partnership, we offer our customers reliable and safe transport solutions towards West Africa,” says Stéphane Grèze, Group Delegate for Africa, who is developing Africa transports for the entire Militzer & Münch Group. “And the demand is growing – already now we see that customers with shipments to the Maghreb also want to handle transports to West African destinations.”

A strong network

In order to strengthen Militzer & Münch’s position in Africa even further, the country units in Germany, France, Switzerland, Uzbekistan, UAE, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey have joined the Airfreight Logistics Network for Africa (ALNA), a powerful network dedicated to airfreight to and from the African continent. “The network will grant us access to a safe and reliable network of companies in many countries in Africa”, says Stéphane Greze. “Allowing us to increase sales and to develop our Africa business. We will also have the opportunity to receive shipments from the network and thus increase our volumes.”

The cooperation with the OMA Group as well as the ALNA membership are part of Militzer & Münch’s strategy to grow in Africa. Reliable partners and their local expertise as well as a strong network in western Africa will strengthen the position of the logistics service provider on the continent and offer many opportunities in the future.



The African Free Trade Area – a growth market of the future

The commercial launch of the African Free Trade Area – the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) – on January 1, 2021 was primarily a formal act. With the exception of Eritrea, all 55 member states of the African Union have signed the agreement; 36 have ratified it so far.

The goal is to create a single African market for 1.3 billion people, with a combined economic output of more than USD 2.3 trillion. The aim of the agreement is to increase intra-African trade, drive forward industrialization and establish regional value chains. The agreement is a milestone for the economic and political development of the African continent.

OMA Group

  • Founded: 1982
  • Head office: Accra, Ghana
  • Staff: 200
  • Management: Group CEO Gerrit Van Der Merwe and Group COO Samad Osman
  • Good networking:The OMA Group is partner in logistics networks including FIATA, ICS and WACO
  • Website: www.omagroup.com

Caption: Stéphane Grèze, Group Delegate for Africa – he drives the development of African transports for the entire Militzer & Münch Group

„Our employees are our most important asset“

After more than a year of the pandemic, the Militzer & Münch Group looks back on 2020 with an overall sense of satisfaction. The results of the individual regions vary – but one thing is certain: The employees are committed to creatively mastering the small and big challenges, and to always having an open ear for their customers.

The Militzer & Münch Group’s 2020 business year was, on the whole, satisfactory. “The term ‘mixed fortunes’ sums up the past year quite well,” says Alexei Kovalenko, Chief Financial Officer TransInvest and Militzer & Münch, and spokesman of the Militzer & Münch Group Management. “Except for the spring, especially the month of April, which was marked by lots of uncertainties due to the completely new situation, the rest of the year went largely in line with our expectations.” Among others, there was positive business development in Western Europe, particularly in France and Germany, as well as in the Maghreb.

The Militzer & Münch teams in the individual countries played a substantial role in this development. “These past months have confirmed once again that employees are our most important asset,” says Alexei Kovalenko. “Besides the framework conditions imposed on us by the governments, development is closely related to the colleagues on site. In many cases, the local management did a good job of communicating the temporary and necessary measures, such as short-time work, and the teams went along with them – that was crucial in order to prevail also in the future.”

In addition, the politico-economic framework conditions in some countries were favorable, especially in France and Germany, and Militzer & Münch made use of government support. “In Germany, we experienced some tough weeks in Q2 across all business segments,” says Holger Seehusen, member of the M&M Group Management and Managing Director M&M air sea cargo GmbH. “The option of short-time work was important for the German country unit, and our team fully backed the decision.” In Central Asia, for example, there was no such form of government support, which made the situation far more difficult. There, Militzer & Münch is active in the project business, among other things – this segment however declined noticeably during the pandemic. “Central Asia has been and will be badly shaken by the pandemic,” says Alexei Kovalenko. “However, we are confident that the situation will ease again, and we are still expecting great opportunities in the project business along the new Silk Road.”

Positive signals from the industries

After minor declines, demand from automotive customers already recovered in 2020, and also in the textile and cosmetics sectors, Militzer & Münch records only minor dents in transport demand. “Especially with cosmetics and hygiene products, our expectations of an increase in demand were perhaps a bit higher than it ultimately turned out to be,” says Holger Seehusen. “A positive example is the good cooperation between the teams in China and Germany on the transport of corona protection materials.”

Asia is also benefiting from the e-commerce business, which is particularly noticeable at EMEX, the M&M courier and express service in Kazakhstan – a development that was already apparent in 2020 and continued in Q1/2021. The 1st quarter of 2021 was good in all Militzer & Münch regions, with the country units in Asia still needing to catch up more than their European counterparts.

In some regions, the signs are even pointing to growth: the former delegation in Malaysia has been turned into a full country unit as a joint venture. Militzer & Münch France has taken over ITP and ITPL, companies of the LPS Group (Logistique et Prestations de Services), to further strengthen the Maghreb business. In Vienna, Austria, Militzer & Münch has been represented by its own branch office since October 2020. And the joint venture in Serbia is also developing promisingly. “2020 was the first full year of business for the highly motivated team,” says Alexei Kovalenko. “Thanks to the good development, we decided in March 2021 to acquire the previously rented property with 10,000 square meters of warehousing and 3,000 square meters of office space in Dobanovci near Belgrade, thus giving Militzer & Münch Serbia even more space for growth.”

Ready for the extra mile

The Militzer & Münch Group has always been flexible, and the pandemic once again confirmed it. Where activities allowed, home office options were created at short notice, with both the central IT in Hof and the local IT teams contributing. Some sites relied on a rotating model, which ensured that the offices were never fully staffed.

For the sales teams, among others, however, the pandemic with its many restrictions has been a challenge. “At times, one-on-one customer contact was not possible at all, and digital-only meetings are not easy for either side – neither for forwarders nor for their customers,” says Holger Seehusen. “The creativity of the employees in approaching customers has shown that even in difficult times they are motivated to go the extra mile, to always be close to their customers and understand their needs.” And they demonstrate a great deal of flexibility: telephone conferences called at short notice across national borders and time zones go very well – proof that intensive and efficient exchange is also possible digitally.

Maintaining customer relationships is easier in pandemic times than acquiring new customers, but Militzer & Münch was already well positioned before the pandemic and was able to rely on existing contacts. Thus, the Rail segment at M&M air sea cargo GmbH, for example, developed well in cooperation with the InterRail Group. The relatively new project department in Düsseldorf also gained a foothold and completed some exciting project shipments, including on-carriage to the hinterland, within a very short period of time. In view of the positive business development, Militzer & Münch decided to join the worldwide Atlas Breakbulk Alliance (ABA) network, whose members are forwarding companies with a focus on project shipments only. Thus, participation in the Breakbulk Europe trade fair, which will hopefully take place next year, is a must.

Alexei Kovalenko, Chief Financial Officer, TransInvest and Militzer & Münch, as well as Spokesman of Militzer & Münch Group Management

Holger Seehusen, member of the Militzer & Münch Group Management and Managing Director M&M air sea cargo GmbH.

New country unit in Malaysia

The Militzer & Münch network in Southeast Asia has been expanded: Since May 10, Militzer & Münch has been operating its own country unit in Malaysia. M&M Militzer & Muench SDN BHD, as the company is officially named, focuses on worldwide air and sea freight with comprehensive services.

Militzer & Münch has already been represented in Malaysia by delegate Gopal Krishnan since 2019. He has now taken over the management of the new country unit. “We want to position ourselves in the growth market Malaysia with top quality and comprehensive services,” says Gopal Krishnan. The team’s office is located in Subang Jaya, a major city just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, with direct connections to both Port Klang and KLIA – the country’s most important seaport and airport, respectively.

“Malaysia is one of the fastest-growing countries worldwide, and is also gaining increasing importance as a logistics hub. With the new country unit, we are making a clear commitment to the location,” explains Andreas Löwenstein, Regional Managing Director Asia / Far East. “We see great potential above all in the air and sea freight sectors, but definitely also in cross-border trucking to the neighboring countries of Singapore and Thailand. In addition, from Malaysia we aim to further expand all our activities in the ASEAN countries.”

75 Tons from Bursa to Ploieşti

Barely 900 kilometers separate the Turkish city of Bursa from the destination, the city of Ploieşti in Romania. Not too long a distance, one might think, but the transport route leads through a total of three countries, two capitals, and across the Bosporus. The load: a 75-ton metal press. A task that Militzer & Münch Turkey mastered flawlessly.

We don’t get to see them very often, but they have long been an integral part of the industry: mechanical and hydraulic presses. With the help of high pressure, they cut, punch, bend, rivet, and shape almost any material. Preston Makina, a good customer of Militzer & Münch based in Bursa, manufactures exactly such machines and relies on Militzer & Münch for the transport.

This time, a metal press measuring 8.60 x 2.35 x 3.20 meters and weighing a total of 75 tons had to be transported from Bursa in Turkey to Ploieşti in Romania. A proverbial mammoth task, thoroughly planned by Militzer & Münch Turkey in collaboration with customer Preston Makina. First, the heavy cargo had to be lifted onto a low-bed trailer with the help of a crane. After the freight had been properly secured and wrapped, the special transport was ready to start: From the northwest of Turkey, it first went along the Sea of Marmara, across the Bosporus and through Istanbul. The convoy then passed through Bulgaria before crossing the Romanian capital Bucharest and reaching its destination just under 100 kilometers further on: Ploieşti in Romania. “The order was handled to the customer’s full satisfaction, and the team did a really good job,” reports Kostas Sandalcidis, member of the Management Board.

Road transports are Militzer & Münch’s specialty. But the Militzer & Münch Bursa branch office also has a sound knowledge of sea transports. Within the Turkish Militzer & Münch country unit, the branch office is considered the country’s No. 1, an impressive achievement for the six-member local team, which is already looking forward to the next cooperation with Preston Makina.

Militzer & Münch France strengthens Maghreb competence

In Vitrolles, near Marseille, France, Militzer & Münch France has acquired 100 percent of the shares of ITP and ITPL, two companies of the LPS Group (Logistique et Prestations de Services). The management of the business units remains with experienced company founder Jean Louis Poirier.

Both companies specialize in transporting goods to the Maghreb countries, particularly to Algeria. At the Vitrolles site, the business units offer specific logistics solutions with value-added services for:

  • pharmaceutical and paramedical products – this is what ITP (Inter Transit Pharma) stands for;
  • spare parts, especially for the automotive sector – this is what ITPL specializes in (Inter Transit et Prestations Logistique).

With this entrepreneurial commitment, Militzer & Münch France strengthens its leading position in the French transport market, and the Militzer & Münch Group as a whole reinforces its competence in Maghreb transports.“The Maghreb countries are one of our key markets”, says Guillaume de Laage de Meux, Managing Director Militzer & Münch France, Regional Managing Director South West Europe / Maghreb, and member of the Militzer & Münch Board of Directors.
“With our experienced teams in the Maghreb, in France, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey, as well as with the cross-divisional business development team, we are optimally positioned to offer individual transport solutions for different industries.”

The site at Vitrolles

  • Modern facility for warehousing, transit and handling;
  • High security standards: indoor and outdoor video surveillance, remote monitoring, volumetric attendance control, access to each area of the site only with individual badges;
  • Separate areas for cooling products (+ 02° C and 08° C) and storage at constant room temperature (+ 18° C and 21° C) – the areas are accessible via air locks;
  • Areas for order preparation, labeling of goods and packaging; special software for processing labels in Arabic;
  • Modern technological equipment with hydraulic docks, electric pallet trucks, forklifts, compressors for stow bags, etc.;
  • Safe and reliable transportation (with own trucks and drivers).

M&M Business Unit “South West Europe Maghreb”

170,000 – that’s the number of transports handled each year by the Militzer & Münch Group’s business unit “South West Europe Maghreb”. The business unit comprises France, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, and year after year registers an increase in goods traffic between these countries.

“With our experienced teams in the Maghreb, in France, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey, we are ideally positioned to offer customized transport solutions for different industries.”

Guillaume de Laage de Meux
Managing Director Militzer & Münch France, Regional Managing Director South West Europe / Maghreb and Member of the Militzer & Münch Board of Directors

For breakbulk, a broader position

To strengthen its own project business, to further improve service quality in the breakbulk cargo segment, and to offer customers new trade lanes – strong motives for Militzer & Münch to join the Atlas Breakbulk Alliance (ABA).

ABA is part of Atlas International Network Ltd, a global logistics network of local companies active in the air and ocean freight business, which consists of freight forwarders, NVOCCs, and other related service providers. Founded in 1998, the international organization operates on five continents and admits only a limited number of representatives from each country.

Based in Antwerp, Belgium, ABA specializes in breakbulk cargo and project cargo as part of the network and, like the parent network, sees itself as a non-profit service broker. All profits generated by ABA are reinvested in the development of smart tools and (marketing) programs to enhance the members’ breakbulk business and to further optimize the network.

A global network of carefully selected partners

“The membership offers us a global network with profound know-how explicitly in the breakbulk sector, and above all the opportunity to make new contacts,” explains Marco Fischer, Operations Manager Sea Freight & Project Logistics, Düsseldorf. “All carriers and forwarders that are part of ABA were carefully screened beforehand. A classic application process takes place, which also requires external references that are checked by ABA. Membership is subject to a fee, which is another element of the Alliance’s claim to exclusiveness and quality. We have undergone this selection process and have been accepted.”

What is special here is that Militzer & Münch will initially be the exclusive German representative of the Alliance – a strong position and a good opportunity to generate more business in the breakbulk sector.

Benefits for customers

ABA offers a wide range of proven service features to support breakbulk cargo handling at a high service level. Militzer & Münch customers with project cargo and breakbulk cargo will benefit from the new alliance. Not only in terms of service, but also in terms of new trade lanes. “The African continent is gaining more and more importance for our customers,” says Marco Fischer. “This makes Africa an interesting market for us as well, a market where we plan to offer more heavy load transports. But our trade lane managers will also focus on regions such as the USA, India, Southeast Asia, China and South America.” Growth in Africa is increasingly coming into focus for Militzer & Münch. Stéphane Grèze is Group Delegate Africa and promotes the development of the Africa traffics for the entire Militzer & Münch Group. Moreover, Militzer & Münch France has been active in the Maghreb countries for decades, and plans to grow further there. Recently, the French country unit acquired the LPS Group with ITP and ITPL, companies specializing in goods transports to the Maghreb countries.

Exploiting competitive advantages

Militzer & Münch will use the network to position itself more broadly, to close strategic gaps, to strengthen existing out-of-gauge services, and to offer customers a comprehensive overall package. Militzer & Münch’s current breakbulk and project logistics portfolio as well as the already existing network, will be further strengthened through the Atlas Breakbulk Alliance. “This should enable us to participate in new tenders and to provide significant support for existing tenders,” says Marco Fischer. “After all, we can now act as a full-service provider worldwide in this field, offering door-to-door deliveries, professionally executed.”

Handling breakbulk with ABA

  • Several global member meetings per year in collaboration with Breakbulk Europe – there was, for example, a digital member conference in May 2021
  • Preferred access to innovative partners in ICT and supply chain
  • Global NVOCC with FMC and Chinese MoT license
  • Ethical code of conduct including anti-corruption policy
  • International credit risk analysis in numerous countries
  • Container repositioning at 2,500 locations worldwide for more than 250,000 boxes
  • Container Trade Lane Benchmarking Club

“The strategic partnership with Atlas Breakbulk Alliance (ABA) will strengthen the project business and further improve service quality in the breakbulk cargo segment,” says Marco Fischer, Operations Manager Ocean Freight & Project Logistics (photo: center), with department management team Bobby Phan (left) and Sabine da Costa Soares (right).

300 tons for the glass industry

Eleven trucks, ten of them oversized, on the road in two convoys, with special permits and escorts, three nights each, through five countries. A task mastered jointly by the Militzer & Münch teams in Romania and Germany. The concerted action served to transport a plant for industrial soda production –  anything but an everyday job.

Soda ash is an important ingredient in many products of everyday use. The largest consumer is the glass industry, which uses soda ash in the melting process. Soda ash is also used in the production of detergents and cleaning agents, of textiles, paper, food and many more products.

The Ciech Group, which operates eight factories in Poland, Germany and Romania, is the second largest soda ash producer in Europe. In late 2020, subsidiary Ciech Soda Germany commissioned the Militzer & Münch team in Berlin with a special transport: to move a so-called carbonation column from the Romanian Ciech plant in Ramnicu Valcea to its new place of use at the Staßfurt site in Germany.

Two convoys with special vehicles

“This was our first order for this customer; it was a recommendation from another industrial company,“ says Sven Sange, Sales/Transport Scheduling at M&M Berlin. He organized the transport of the 300-ton colossus together with Militzer & Münch Romania.

Daniel Din from the team in Romania inspected the plant on site, then prepared the loading scheme. Subsequently, he synchronized the entire process. Eleven trucks, ten of them oversized, were needed to transport the dismantled chemical plant from Romania via Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to eastern Germany. The door-to-door transport started in two convoys just before and after Christmas.

“The parts of the dismantled plant were loaded in three days,“ says Daniel Din. “Five trucks on the first day, three trucks on the second day, and three trucks again on day three, as the last six loads were more complicated and couldn’t be handled on one day.“

Special permits had to be obtained for the oversized vehicles. The trucks were only allowed to be on the road at night, and traveled in two convoys. Each convoy took three nights to cover the 1,600-kilometer distance. “This transport is a good example of the successful cooperation between Militzer & Münch Romania and Militzer & Münch Germany,” says Militzer & Münch Romania Managing Director Valentin Dragu. Sven Wolthusen, Branch Manager M&M Berlin, takes a similar view: “From the first call to Daniel Din to the delivery, everything went smoothly, and the customer was fully satisfied.“

In demand: the new route to Baku

Launched last year, already firmly established today: Militzer & Münch’s new truck route Germany – Azerbaijan is in high demand among customers. Every week, two to three groupage trucks are on their way from Eichenzell to Baku, a distance of more than 4,000 kilometers.

Militzer & Münch organizes the transports in cooperation with Nijat Shabanly, the Militzer & Münch delegate in Baku, and TP Logistik, the new local partner. “The first transports started in August 2020,” says Julian Backenstoß, Manager of the Militzer & Münch Eichenzell branch. “Since then, transport volumes have developed very positively. Our customers ship goods from all sectors, from household appliances and electrical goods to pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and products for the food industry.”

There are two options for the route to Azerbaijan: via Poland, Belarus and Russia, or via Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia. The decision on which way the shipments are routed is mostly based on the current permit conditions and the political situation. While the truck is in the EU, it can take on additional cargo; the trailer or semitrailer is not sealed until it reaches the EU’s external border. On request, the Militzer & Münch customs departments in Hof or Bad Reichenhall handle customs management.

The trucks are on the road for a total of ten to 14 days each way. Upon arrival in Azerbaijan, the shipments are received at the Baku customs terminal and cleared by the consignee or their agent.

Spare parts 24/7 – further industries benefit

Spare parts supply around the clock, seven days a week – Militzer & Münch already successfully offers this service to airlines and their fleets. Now, other industries that depend on the fastest possible spare parts delivery can benefit from the offer, too.

When an aircraft has to be grounded because an important spare part is needed, utmost urgency is imperative. For the Hamburg air freight office of M&M air sea cargo GmbH, such emergencies therefore have top priority. “An aircraft that is grounded causes high costs,” says Dirk Bukowski, Regional Manager North Germany. “That’s why it’s enormously important to respond as quickly and flexibly as possible in the event of an AOG emergency.”

From combine harvesters to wind turbines

AOG stands for ‘Aircraft on Ground’, and it is for aircraft spare parts that the 26-person team has primarily been in action to date. “Our customers mainly include airlines in China, Taiwan and India,” explains Dirk Bukowski. “We have now expanded our AOG service to other industries. ”Whether the maritime industry, manufacturers of large vehicles such as combine harvesters and forklifts, or of wind power plants and the workshops assigned to them – many companies rely on short-term delivery of spare parts and can now take advantage of Militzer & Münch’s offer.

On duty, non-stop

The special feature: Militzer & Münch assures its customers of a reliable 24/7 service, completely independent of the logistics provider’s other workload. Shipping and inventory are controlled by the Militzer & Münch branch office in Hamburg via a control tower, which is the interface to customers and partners.

“Our team can directly access our own warehouse, which has not been common in the industry for a long time,” says Jennifer Bastkowski, Branch Manager Airfreight. “The warehouse is connected to our office and is located just a few hundred meters from the cargo area of Hamburg Airport. This allows us to process urgent orders within the shortest possible time. Already, our service is attracting a lot of interest from ocean carriers and commercial vehicle manufacturers.”

Stability even in the pandemic

While expanding its service to new customer groups, the Hamburg team is currently coping with the effects of the Corona pandemic. This is because, although global passenger traffic in particular has fallen sharply, an above-average number of spare parts are currently being ordered that have to be sent on their way immediately – often outside normal working hours or on weekends and public holidays.

At the same time, order handling is now much more time-consuming. “In the times before the pandemic, we transported a significant proportion of our airfreight in passenger aircraft as so-called ‘belly loads’,” explains Jennifer Bastkowski. “Due to the restricted passenger air traffic, this cargo space is largely eliminated, especially on the long-haul route to China.” For the time-critical spare parts transports, there are currently almost exclusively cargo flights available, but they operate irregularly during the pandemic. That makes planning more complex. “Our team has mastered the challenges with flying colors, and the new procedures have long since become routine,” says Dirk Bukowski. “Now we’re looking forward to new tasks in new sectors!”