In order to introduce you to the people behind our services, we would like to regularly introduce an expert from SENATOR INTERNATIONAL in our series "OUR FREIGHT EXPERTS".

For the LOGISTICS segment, we spoke to Manuel Hartwig, our Branch Manager Germany.

Manuel, why don't you start by telling us something about your personal background? What kind of training did you have? How long have you been working specifically in logistics?

The world of freight forwarding and logistics has been with me since I was 18. I trained as a forwarding agent, so I learned the profession from scratch and have now been in the business for 32 years.

How long have you been working for SENATOR INTERNATIONAL?

I have been part of the SENATOR family for 14 years now. Due to constantly increasing requirements, especially in the area of contract logistics, we decided to found SENATOR INTERNATIONAL Logistics GmbH in 2008. In 2012, I then took over responsibility as branch manager.

What constant challenges arise in your work, especially in the area of logistics?

In general, it can be said that the logistics industry is always subject to constant change.

Along with increasing digitalization, customers' requirements for ever more efficient business processes are rising. In addition, topics such as SLA's, sustainability and automation are gaining more presence in the logistics industry.

If we talk specifically about SENATOR INTERNATIONAL Logistics GmbH: What are our unique selling points? What specifically distinguishes the service?

Clearly, our core competence lies in the automotive/production supply sector. Within the supply chain, we are an important link between our customers, automotive suppliers from Asia, and the automotive manufacturers in Europe. Our range of services is broad and includes warehouse services as well as know-how in setting up and ensuring a fully comprehensive supply chain.

Already in the tendering phase, we accompany potential new customers very intensively and create trust through many years of experience, customer references and our Chinese native speaker in key account management.

Looking at the current situation, what are the biggest challenges posed by the Corona crisis for your department?

It is important to note that the logistics industry was affected differently depending on the sector. The automotive sector, for example, had to deal with supply bottlenecks and production stops. This in turn led to considerable capacity bottlenecks in our intermediate storage. The supply chain (door to door) from the supplier in Asia, via our warehouse in Hamburg, to the automobile manufacturer in Europe, takes approx. 6 - 8 weeks. With a warehouse turnover rate of about 6,000 pallets per month, we were forced to create short-term capacity for about 10,000 pallets due to the rapid production interruption.  

In addition to the operational challenges, we have made improvements to hygiene concepts and ensured that SENATOR itself is also doing its best to contain the pandemic and its effects through changes in personnel deployment.

Finally, a look ahead. What will happen in logistics in the foreseeable future?

The automotive industry will continue to be a very interesting market for SENATOR and our goal is to further expand this area. In parallel, however, we also want to focus more on the pharmaceutical and e-commerce sectors in warehousing.

We will also continue to drive forward the digitalization and optimization of our processes in order to offer our customers sustainable and future-oriented first-class services. In this way, we are well positioned for the future.

Manuel, thank you very much for the interesting interview.

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