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2017.2 Upheaval in the German general cargo market

2017.2 Upheaval in the German general cargo market


Upheaval in the German general cargo market

Today we can already see that 2017 will go down as a very special year.

We have seen an increase in the volume of general cargo, especially in Germany, as rarely before.

This erratic, but volatile increase in combination with a shortage of cargo space and driver capacity, coupled with inadequate roll-out payment, has led to an increasing number of companies wondering whether the national general cargo business has a future.

The answer is a clear: Yes!

But many changes are required to make the production of general cargo profitable again. First and foremost, the remuneration structures have to be changed, both for the shipper and the receiving depot and on the basis of this; further necessary restructuring measures must then be implemented.

The VTL network is also affected by this upheaval in the general cargo market.

The first steps of the reorganisation started in 2017, including the local public transport tariff, which will come into force in January 2018 and takes into account the local conditions of the system partner in the pricing. Investments acquired in Mavistics in Mannheim, Weliver in Großbeeren (Berlin) and the strategic alliance of the 3 networks VTL, ILN, S.T.a.R.

The activities of combining the three networks have really taken off in the second half of 2017 and now there are plans to establish a joint company in 2018, which will represent the operation of the 3 networks from January 2019 onwards, using the existing resources. This is a great challenge for all those involved, and one that we need to rise to.
This new production platform will ensure that the system partners will be able to operate successfully in the general cargo market in the future.

We will keep you informed of this exciting transformation in 2018.

I wish all those involved the strength and perseverance to master the challenges ahead and I am very confident – because:
We medium-sized companies can do that!

Andreas Jäschke
Managing Director
VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH

Partner Awards 2017

Best quality and highest growth

In October, Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH (VTL) presented its partner awards for the seventh time. This year the prizes were awarded in the three categories “Best Quality”, “Highest Growth Nationally” and “Highest Growth Internationally”.

The winners were awarded the PartnerAward at the System-Meeting in Warsaw for their outstanding achievements.

Once again Spedition Hoss GmbH & Co. KG from Siegburg, Germany won an award for the best quality. It achieved the highest score in the various criteria of the monthly VTL rankings and was also recognised for its special commitment within the VTL system.

Compared to the previous year, Kurt Rothschild GmbH & Co KG from Ulmen recorded the highest national growth – with an increase of over 5,000 tonnes and 10,000 consignments.

For the same comparative period, the increase in tonnage and the number of consignments of international partners to Germany was assessed.

The award for the highest international growth was given to the Dutch partner CTS Group European Distribution BV in Nieuw-Vennep. Their growth was up over 1,000 tons and over 3,000 shipments.

From the left: Lothar Klatt (Spedition Hoss), Christian Zink (VTL), Thomas Wilberg (Spedition Hoss) und Andreas Jäschke (VTL)
From the left: Andreas Jäschke (VTL), Edwin Beentjes (CTS), Piet Smak (CTS) und Christian Zink (VTL)
From the left: Herbert Rothschild (Kurt Rothschild), Markus Klein (Kurt Rothschild)

New tariff structure

It must be compatible with the market and adequate

The new VTL tariff structure, which was developed in cooperation with FORLOGIC, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Dirk Lohre and 7 partner depots, went down very well at the information event for network partners in October 2017. VTL wishes to use this project to take account of market developments. The new distributor rates are intended to counteract the shortage of drivers and subcontractors in the future and guarantee satisfactory remuneration.

The working group project started on 26 January 2017 with two fundamental questions: How can we factor in the regional differences between the distribution areas? And are the distributor rates created on a causal basis?

As part of this, the current distribution tariff was first evaluated with the aspects calculation, zones, weight and distance levels, factoring in shipment and depot characteristics.
Furthermore, requirements such as easy calculability, market compatibility and adequacy for the tariff were defined and it was stipulated that the activities of handling, delivery and administration must be covered. It is also intended to take account of changes in toll rates and cost increases in the factors defined as they develop.

The presentation of the new VTL tariff structure was approved by the Supervisory Board in July 2017 and will now be introduced in two phases after the information event on January 1 and July 1, 2018.

Participants in the working group “Distributor rates” are the depots barth Logistikgruppe, Spedition Hoss GmbH & Co KG, Spedition Huckschlag GmbH, reimer logistics GmbH & Co. KG, Jos. Rux GmbH, Paul Weidlich Lübeck GmbH, Zippel Logistik GmbH and VTL.

From the left: Prof. Dr. Dirk Lohre (FORLOGIC), Andreas Jäschke (VTL), Manuel Schwichtenberg (FORLOGIC)
Information event for VTL-partner


Network coverage secured

Starting on 01.01.2018, Weliver will take over the entire Berlin and surrounding area, which is currently covered by Raben in Mittenwalde and Emons in Großbeeren. To ensure that the change is as successful as possible, the operational start will be actively supported by the shareholders: VTL quality management and employees of Spedition Hamacher from Gronau will give Weliver guidance in the first days of the phase. Weliver can also count on the staff of the OSA branch office with their knowledge of Berlin, which will be taken over from January 1, 2018.

The story – short and concise

2015 – The middle of the year sees the start of collaboration between MEYER-JUMBO Logistics GmbH & Co. KG and OSA Spedition GmbH at the location in Großbeeren/Neubeeren for distribution in the Berlin area.

2016 – Hamacher Logistik GmbH from Gronau becomes a partner in April.

2017 – The new company “Weliver Logistik GmbH” is set up in January. In July, VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH is included as a further shareholder in Weliver Logistik GmbH. In September, the company moves to Märkische Allee 33 in Großbeeren.

2018 – January 1st marks the start of cooperation between Weliver Logistik and VTL.

Weliver has 4,000 m² of storage space and is a distribution centre/hub for distribution and procurement of general cargo in the Berlin-Brandenburg area with connecting transports to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Poland. In addition, warehouse and contract logistics are also offered for national and international companies that need short delivery times for their customers in the Berlin area.

Shareholder of Weliver Logistik GmbH

ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015


In November 2017, VTL was recertified by DEKRA in the areas of quality and environmental management. A valid certificate of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 is available until 11/2020. Follow the link to our Link to our DownloadCenter.

In addition to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, VTL carries out regular internal and external audits and is constantly in search of new ways to improve quality. Find out more about quality here.


Trainee exchange 2017 – Lithuania

November 2017 – Verena Budenz, 22 years old, in the second year of her apprenticeship as a forwarding and logistics services clerk, took part in a trainee exchange with VTL partner Delamode in Lithuania, in the capital Vilnius.

“I had already heard a lot of good things from other trainees, but the friendliness of the Lithuanians, the international nature of Delamode – it was even better than expected. And Vilnius is even beautiful even in rainy autumn”, says Verena Budenz about her trainee exchange at Delamode. I was very well received, and everyone speaks English well, so communication in the office and in the city was no problem at all. I was fascinated by the fact that there are 12 languages spoken at Delamode.”

Delamode offers its employees and trainees a few good benefits. Alongside amenities such as a lounge with TV, Xbox and football table, it is above all the motivating atmosphere that inspired Verena Budenz: “It was great that I was allowed to work independently from the very beginning and gain so much insight into the general cargo processes, forwarding programmes and the many facets of customer care. In the trucking department, I was allowed to help with the daily route planning of the company’s own trucks, process and calculate enquiries or help with invoicing, which I really, really enjoyed”.

VTL-department at Delamode
Jolanta Diaukstiene,Delamode HR & Training Managerin (left) with Verena Budenz, VTL

Trainee exchange 2017 – Luxembourg

Back in July 2017, Mathis Kritzner had already gained exciting and enriching experience during his three-week internship abroad as part of a trainee exchange in Luxembourg. He got to see a lot in the new central warehouse of VTL Partners CFL logistics S.A.

I found it interesting looking at things from the other side”, the trainee describes getting to know the processes and internal structures of a forwarding company. At the VTL headquarters in Fulda, I always see things through the lens of a transhipment company “In addition to the new activities, the new CFL warehouse with various storage zones also offered a lot. For example, there is a tyre hotel, a cold store and a “hot room”.

“In addition to the technical novelties, I was surprised that several different languages were spoken”. The 19-year-old apprentice found it great that he was able to use his English and French skills here. He was equally impressed by the gardens and casemates in Luxembourg.

“The multicultural city, the friendliness at CFL and the open mindset of the Luxembourgers were an enriching experience, says Kritzner. I am delighted and grateful to have had this opportunity to work abroad.


In 2017, VTL was rewarded as one of five regional companies in 2017 that support vocational stays abroad during training. The certificate was issued by Arbeit und Bildung e. V. in cooperation with the Fulda Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Kassel Chamber of Commerce.

From the left: Kateryna Wilfer, Fabienne Gaschler, Kristina Wassermann, Mathis Kritzner, Verena Budenz

In the coming year, the general cargo cooperation again wants to give its trainees the opportunity to gain work experience abroad. The first preparations are already underway for the next trainee exchange, which will take place in Warsaw for the first time.

New scanner

State-of-the-art barcode recognition

With the aim of faster and better barcode recognition, VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik has compared and tested several scanners as part of a project. The MX1502LR device from Cognex the supplier of Android Smartphones came out best. In this model, all basic functions were adopted and in some cases significantly improved with some completely new functions also being added.

Over the next few weeks, 62 new devices, of which 42 in the Fulda HUB alone, will be replaced. In addition to improved battery and computer performance, the IP65-certified scanners also feature an excellent modular design. The modern devices can also capture 1D, 2D and other barcode types and offer significantly improved scanning quality.

A high-performance imager facilitates variable scanning ranges. The scanning behaviour can also be individually configured, allowing for example adjustments of the exposure through to the selection of certain barcodes.

Another reason that tipped the scales in favour of these devices was the integration of the locator tags. Here, VLS, the supplier of the camera and locating system, has initiated a new development which will make it possible to shift the locating tag into the device.

For VTL, this new development is intended to create a completely new quality of locating security in the everyday freight forwarding business.


Strategic alliance

ILN, S.T.a.R. and VTL found production company

One network, many benefits

VTL sets course for the future: A strategic alliance between the grouped cargo co-operations ILN, S.T.a.R. and VTL has been in place since early 2015. The partners are now going a step further. They intend to establish a joint production company. The three grouped cargo systems thus far operated separately to one another are now to be combined in Netzwerk AG (working title). “All partners will benefit from this,” VTL Managing Director Andreas Jäschke is convinced. The goal is to use the joint network to secure coverage in Germany in the long term.

In addition, the participants also see the centralised, optimised control of the flow of goods as leading to increases in both performance and productivity. Further benefits are improved main legs, smaller delivery areas and faster flow of information. “This is an advantage for every single partner,” the VTL Managing Director emphasises. Ultimately, Netzwerk AG will also become more interesting for other European companies and networks. “This will result in increasing volumes in Germany,” Jäschke points out.

The new network is to be prepared and realised by the end of next year. The plan is to merge the existing structures of the three partners whilst utilising the existing resources. All production processes will then be undertaken by Netzwerk AG, from the beginning of 2019 the partners of the three grouped cargo co-operations will all be able to resort to a single, joint network. Until then, there is much work to do. The first stage will see the examination of the possible legal form. Jäschke expects that each of the three co-operations will have a one-third stake in the operation. The merger of the three grouped cargo co-operations will then be prepared by various working groups, he added. The new network itself will comprise 250 national and 80 European sites.

Picture source: PIXEL AND DOT Photography

Education fair 2018

In February 2018, the 12th Education Fair will take place at the Fulda Congress Centre. As in the previous year, VTL will take part in this event again and over two days of the exhibition, VTL will showcase its training and further education offers under the motto “Go your way! Into a successful future”. Any pupils interested as well as their parents and teachers, work coaches and staff from different educational institutions can find out all about the general cargo cooperation and the transhipment company. Students can apply for an apprenticeship at VTL and they can also draw on application tips from VTL.

From the left: Fabienne Gaschler, Daniel Stederoth, Kristina Wassermann, Kateryna Wilfer

About the fair:
The education fair offers the opportunity to get comprehensive information on all aspects of education and training. Under the motto “Hands-on careers”, numerous job profiles and training courses of regional companies, schools, educational institutions, vocational academies and universities are presented. The organisers are the employment agency, the local job centre of the district of Fulda, the district craftsmen’s association and the Fulda Chamber of Commerce and Industry.



VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH
Werner-von-Siemens-Straße 15
D – 36041 Fulda
Phone: +49 661 9768-0


HERZIG Marketing Kommunikation GmbH
Kristina Wassermann, VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH

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