Editorial department: Rhenus Road Freight is making extensive investments in upgrading existing facilities and building new ones. What does Rhenus hope to gain from all this?
Nenad Lukic: Rhenus Road Freight is growing in Germany and this is not only evident from the new business sites that we’ve purchased during the last few years. We’ve reached our limit in terms of capacity at both Dietzenbach and Nuremberg because of our workload there. However, if we’re going to be able to continue growing organically in these important business regions, we’ve decided to make investments geared towards the future. We’d like to be viewed as a modern employer and an efficient service provider; modern working conditions with idea workshops, brainstorming rooms and even areas for relaxation were therefore important for us. After all, our employees form the basis for our fantastic growth at Rhenus Road Freight and we’d like to use these measures to give something back to them and be an attractive employer for future employees too. As a forward-looking company, we’ll also continue to invest in sustainable solutions of course – for example, solar panels, green roofs or using rainwater. It has been just as important for us to create added value for our customers. As a result, we’ll be able to offer flexible solutions for demanding, temperature-sensitive chemical or pharmaceutical products in the hazardous goods building at Dietzenbach in future, to quote one example.
Editorial department: How will customers benefit from the investments being made in the business sites?
Nenad Lukic: We’ll be able to offer even better services to our customers so that we can support their supply chains from one source through the additional capacity and we’ll further expand our coverage for domestic and European general cargo traffic. Warehousing related to transport operations is becoming increasingly relevant overall, as many companies only have limited internal warehousing capacity and therefore hand over this task to an outside service provider. There’s a huge need for all-round supply chain solutions and our additional warehouse capacity will enable us to provide both short-term interim storage and longer-term warehousing with value-added services. In order to be able to offer a standard product portfolio, we’ve also responded to developments at our business site in Pleidelsheim, which has been part of Rhenus since 2021, and we’ve invested in a high-shelf warehouse with approximately 5,000 pallet spaces, for instance. We’ve also been handling the entire supply chain in Munich since our modernisation work was completed there; that involved increasing the transhipment space to more than 9,500 square metres and having 6,000 pallet spaces.
Editorial department: The takeover of Mannheimer Transport-Gesellschaft by Rhenus Road Freight, backdated to 1 January 2023, was announced at the beginning of July. Is this another step towards greater growth?
Nenad Lukic: Mannheimer Transport-Gesellschaft is a long-standing company and its core business focuses on domestic and international shipments of general cargo, part loads and full loads. Thanks to our long-standing cooperation, both sides have been able to get to know each other as a trustworthy partner. The Mannheim/Ludwigshafen region is an important business area, particularly for the chemical industry. Thanks to having this new company on board, we can continue to expand our business presence in the region – that is to say, between our business site at Dietzenbach in Hessen and our location at Pleidelsheim near Stuttgart. 150 motivated and well-trained employees with a great deal of expertise are also strengthening our existing team and we’re looking forward to that.
Editorial department: You’re also a member of the European Road Management Team (ERMT) and are privileged to be able to develop Rhenus Road Freight within Europe together with colleagues from other countries. What kind of growth potential do you believe is possible for Rhenus Road Freight in the European market?
Nenad Lukic: First of all, I am very proud and happy that I represent the German Road Organisation in the European committee and that I can develop Rhenus Road Freight strategically and sustainably together with five other European colleagues. We already have an excellent and highly efficient network in Europe at this time. However, we’d like to make further progress in this regard and supply standard products across the continent. To achieve this goal, we’re currently working on a general cargo service that will be available across Europe from 2024 onwards. Standardising our general cargo product will make an enormous contribution to further growth at Rhenus Road Freight as a whole – with even more comprehensive general cargo services to destinations all over Europe – and they’ll also be available for our customers in Germany. This project is an important and future-oriented indicator in my view – particularly in the economically difficult times that we’re living in. The Rhenus Group has a broad basis with its different divisions – and Rhenus Road Freight also enjoys the trust of the Management Board to introduce these kinds of projects. That gives me a sense of security and it provides us with the freedom to develop new ideas. Our employees benefit from this too and it’s also the reason why I appreciate working for Rhenus so much.