Business, Freight News, Logistics, Sea

Kuehne & Nagel super-hub set to open in June

[ March 6, 2012   //   ]

Forwarder Kuehne & Nagel is all set to open its new super-hub at Bad Hertzfeld in the centre of Germany on 1 June, a senior vice-president told FBJ on 5 March. Jim Hedderwick, in charge of road logistics for north-west Europe said that around 50 direct lines would operate to and from the new hub daily, creating one of the largest forwarder-operated networks of its kind anywhere in Europe.

While the pallet networks have lately shown interest in continental Europe, including Germany, KN’s new network would be quite different in concept, Jim Hedderwick explained. “We are not replicating the pallet networks – we will cater for freight of all sizes – subject to the normal size and weight limits.” He added that while the pallet networks have set up domestic operations in various European countries, it would take them some time before they could join them up and operate a full cross-border network in Europe: “We don’t see them as major competition, at least at the moment.”

Creation of the Bad Hersfeld follows KN’s acquisition of German operator Carl Drude in October 2011. It has a 7,200sq m transhipment terminal with 105 loading bays, specialising in hub operations for international groupage networks. KN says that the new operation will help it increase depatures and reduce lead times while improving vehicle fill rates. KN’s existing international hub at Haiger, which offers links between 38 countries, cannot be expanded any further.

In Germany itself, KN will continue to partner with the IDS groupage network, covering 11 of its franchise areas.

Announcing its annual results, kn said that it had strongly outperformed the market in most of its major segments. In the UK, said Yngve Ruud, president, north west Europe, while the outlook remained uncertain and the first quarter of 2012 was expected to be challenging, KN had seen strong growth in turnover of 14.7% in 2011. Airfreight volumes had grown by 30%, despite a very weak market overall, and KN was now in the top ten service providers with around 3.5% of the total market and focussing on perishables, pharma and aerospace.

Assimilation of RH Freight was moving ahead smoothly and the company’s contract logistics division had also gained significant business. This was in contrast with KN’s French contract logistics work, where the company acknowledged that it had significant issues to sort out.

Globally, KN’s turnover held up well, thanks in part to recruitment of more sales staff, although the fact that the company publishes its accounts in Swiss francs had diminished paper profits somewhat.


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