2022: Turnover increased by more than 100 million euros
- 40 percent organic growth in two years
- Digitalisation of core operational processes completed
- Crisis countered by giving local teams more decision-making freedom
With a jump from 542 (2021) to 648 million euros, Quehenberger Logistics increased sales by more than 100 million euros or 20 percent in the past year. In the current strategy phase since 2019, an increase of 40 per cent without acquisitions has been achieved (2019: 463 million euros). This was announced by the managing partners CEO Christian Fürstaller and CFO Rodolphe Schoettel today, Thursday 23rd March, at the company's headquarters in Straßwalchen. Lower growth is expected for 2023. There was growth in all four core business segments: FTL and LTL solutions, Air + Ocean, Contract logistics and Industry networks, as well as in all focus sectors: retail, fashion, tyres, automotive and consumer goods/FMCG.
There has been a very positive development with existing customers, Schoettel explained. As examples, he mentioned digital solutions for e-commerce logistics and store distribution or digital control towers, with which major customers with several production plants and sales markets get an overall view.
According to Schoettel, the segment contract logistics has grown strongly, especially in Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The largest warehouse Quehenberger has ever set up, with 85,000 square metres, was implemented in Romania. The total area of warehouse space managed in the last quarter of 2022 was 715,000 square metres.
Quehenberger Air + Ocean again recorded an increase of more than 40 percent in 2022. "Reliable supply chains in the air and at sea were and remain very much in demand. Quehenberger always provides a back-up for thes transport options in order to deliver quality even in the event of unex-pected problems," says COO Klaus Hrazdira.
Fürstaller: "Digitisation became a competitive advantage!"
The strategy adopted in 2018 - focusing on the core business areas and their complete digitalisation - has contributed significantly to coping so successfully with the crisis years from 2020 onwards, Fürstaller said. The complete digitalisation of the supply chains now gives Quehenberger a competitive advantage. The customer service portal (QCCP) and a comparable platform for freight forwarders generate full transparency about orders in real time. This would accelerate processing and improve processes. Higher flexibility and greater customisability of the service are possible because know-how and resources have been built up in the IT area of the company, says Fürstaller. "Our services have been raised to a new level," said the CEO with satisfaction. The scepticism towards the greatest possible transparency between customers and logistics service providers is clearly decreasing because the advantages are recognised, the CEO noted.
Strong teams with more freedom of choice
This new operational strength forms the basis for the strong sales increases in 2021 and 2022: "The economic situation in the industry was a factor. But the decisive factor was our flexibility to keep the supply chains stable even in highly volatile conditions. Without digital tools, this would not have been possible." Fürstaller also mentioned the employees as another success factor: "During the crisis, we increased personal responsibility and encouraged the teams to make decisions quickly and independently in difficult situations. The investment in young, highly motivated teams, some with new job profiles, has paid off.
Change in the corporate structure
Due to the uncertain political situation and in order to minimise risks, a restructuring was carried out in the holding company Augustin Quehenberger Group GmbH (AQG). The country units Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan were spun off from AQG to CF Logistics GmbH in the fourth quarter. Only the group structure has changed; for the employees and customers everything remains unchanged: The name, the ownership structure, the management
Ukraine and Russia
"Many of our employees and their families have been hit by hard blows of fate. All of them have refused the offer to work for us in other countries. We are very committed to them," stressed COO Klaus Hrazdira. After a short closure, the Kiev branch is working again at three quarters of its pre-war level. The Odessa office was closed because of the port blockade. In Russia, contract logistics had been hit hard, and the number of employees had been reduced from 500 to 80. The focus is now on transport services.
Quehenberger expects increasing digitalisation of supply chains in the current year. Therefore, logistics must prove its ability to innovate. "Due to the still very volatile business environment, flexibility, quick reactions, but also handshake quality will become more important than ever. Quehenberger Logistics is well prepared for this," concludes Christian Fürstaller.