The logistics sector is referred to as the litmus paper of the economy and analysts often use it to gauge the condition of the whole market. The previous year, despite many changes and challenges, such as, for instance, the shortage of specialized workers or new EU requirements, can be considered a good one by the Group.
“2017, despite numerous challenges we faced, like the new EU regulations or the shortage of drivers, was very positive in my view. Above all, we have been able to accomplish many plans in the Polish and German markets.” – summarizes Ewald Raben, CEO Raben Group – “We have greatly increased our warehouse capacity in Poland. On the other hand, Germany is the largest market in Europe with 80 million consumers. We want it to become comparable in size to the Polish market by the end of 2018. That is why, as of January we are opening our own independent distribution network in Germany with over 30 depots. I am sure it will be a huge added value not just for our companies but above all for our customers all over Europe.
Raben in Germany
2017 was a busy year for Raben Group in Germany. It focused on preparations for launching the company’s own transport network planned for the start of 2018. Raben has been developing ever since it emerged on the German market in 2005. At present Raben Germany can offer transport services in the whole country from 32 own locations and it employs 3,000 people. Last year, apart from investing in new logistics centres, Raben took over several businesses in Germany, such as the former depots of Rhenus in Fellbach and in Weilimdorf, as well as transport and logistics companies Exice GmbH and RLZ Baden GmbH in Karlsruhe. Other acquisitions concerned the depot of SCHMALZ + SCHÖN Logistik Gruppe in Kamen in North Rhine-Westphalia and shares in Busse Logistik seated in Kassel.
Raben heads East
In the response to the growing interest in the Eastern direction, Raben Group made a decision to launch Raben East sp. z o.o. in July. The new business offers international road transport services, including regular groupage connections to countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The company operates as an independent entity using the Group solutions available in Europe. Raben East supplements Raben Group's portfolio with services of international road transport, including regular groupage connection with Eastern countries. The portfolio also includes Customs Agency services as well as advisory with reference to transport to Eastern markets. Distribution and consolidation of shipments utilizes the groupage network of the Group in the whole Europe.
Last summer Raben Group established cooperation with a new strategic partner, Borusan Lojistik. This expanded the portfolio of Raben services with regular groupage connections between the European Union and Turkey. The Turkish partner is a leader with over 44 years of experience in the Turkish logistics sector.
Raben in Europe
For Raben Group, 2017 was also marked by many investments in Europe. They include the two new depots in Romania, in Sibiu and Cluj in Transylvania. Right now Raben Logistics Romania offers its customers cross-dock warehouses with the capacity of 5,400 m² serviced by close to 40 qualified staff. It is worth stressing that the company has been active on the Romanian market since 2016 and it is developing really dynamically.
Raben also acquired a 20% stake in Sittam company which is the leader of the Italian market of international groupage transport: by road, sea and air. The company seat and its central warehouse is located in Cornaredo near Milan. The transaction was concluded with the aim of strengthening the partnership between the companies. The alliance with Raben is an important alternative for the Board of Sittam as it allows the development of the European logistics network in case of any unforeseen changes in their own transport network.
“Thanks to the cooperation with Sittam in the CEE countries, own network has grown by one more country. The Italian market is export-oriented and we are very interested in this potential. – explains Ewald Raben
Raben in Poland
The most important investment for the Polish market in 2017 was the extension of the logistics centre near Poznań. The new warehouse no. 10 is an innovative high storage facility with the capacity of 20,500 m2, suitable for storing 34,000 pallets, with a designated 400 m2 area for VAS services and 570 m2 of office space. Thanks to this, the existing warehouse capacity of Raben Group in Gądki has grown by over 20%. At the beginning of the year the company also opened a modern warehouse in Gniewomierz in the Legnica Special Economic Zone, sub-zone Legnickie Pole. The facility has approximately 15,000 m2.
Nowadays digitalization is entering all the logistics, transport and distribution processes. That is why, with the view to following new trends and vetting the possibility of implementing them in the company, at the beginning of 2017, a dedicated Research & Development Department was formed in Raben Group under the name of Genius Lab. The topics which will be handled first by the team include predictive analytics, issues of waste processing, industrial automation and the widely understood concept of developing logistics processes without the need of using paper documentation.
“In Raben Group, for many years now we have been focused on innovations and we are very flexible in dealing with changes, for instance by investing in the ecological fleet and implementing many conveniences for our employees, particularly for drivers, in order to attract and retain the best of them. At the same time we are aware that the environment keeps on changing and we are prepared for that.” – says Aleksander Kroll, Operations Manager, Raben Group
For many years now Raben Group has been implementing innovative solutions in warehousing and transport processes. That is why today the company can boast the fleet under its direct management Poland with a 100% share of the Euro 5 and 6 compliant trucks. When it comes to Euro 6 compliant engines, it is 60% of the total number of owned means of transport.