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Freight’s Global 100


Gerard de Groot G


General Manager, Ge-Ex Logistics


erard de Groot may seem like a particularly obscure choice for many freight operators and customers from Asia and North America, but he


is the architect behind a development that has had profound consequences in the European supply chains – the pallet-wide 45ft container. When de Groot was commercial director at Geest


North Sea Line, before its acquisition by Samskip, he pioneered use of the unit, which overcame European maximum haulage regulations by shaving off the


corner castings, but which was also wide enough to handle 33 euro pallets. The net effect was to bring the container to a whole


range of shippers that had previously been only able to use trailers – in one fell swoop expanding their modal options beyond truck to rail, barge and shortsea options. After leaving Geest. De Groot is now runs Ge eX


Logistics, an NOVCC solely operating 45ft container across Europe.


Rudiger Grube CEO, Deutsche Bahn


orientated successor to Harmut Mehdorn, who had to resign from the mighty German rail and logistics operation following revelations that the company’s management had been spying on its employees for almost a decade. The introduction of Grube’s calm presence defused


W


the febrile atmosphere created during the last days of the Mehdorn regime and allowed DB to resume its


ith a background in automotive and aeronautical manufacturing, Rudiger Grube may not have been the most logistics-


course of dominating the European intermodal industry – which has seen it expand through aggressive acquisitions across the continent and the UK, as well as lunch innovative rail freight services between Germany and China. Following the 2003 acquisition of Stinnes and the


arrival of Schenker and its transformation into DB Logistics, DB now lays claim to being the largest trans-European land transport operator; the second largest air freight forwarder and the third largest sea freight forwarder.


Jost & Klaus Hellmann Hellmann Worldwide Logistics O


f all the privately-owned logistics firms, Germany’s Hellmann Worldwide Logistics is possibly the oldest.


Founded in 1871 by Carl Heinrich Hellmann, who


delivered parcels with his horse-drawn cart in the northern German town of Osnabreuk, the company is still owned by the Hellmann family and is now run by brothers Jost and Klaus, four generations later. The company has been at the forefront of innovation


in the logistics industry, placing particular emphasis on the training of its staff and introducing advanced


18 IFW-Lloyd’s Loading List | Freight’s Global 100 | 2012


track and trace systems. It won a number of industry awards in 2011,


including IFW’s People Development Award and the British International Freight Association’s Environment Award for its mode neutral distribution system. It has been remarkably successful in its staff


retention policies, and its two-year logistics management and leadership programme, run in conjunction with Deutsche Logistics Academy, has been key to identifying its future top executives.


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