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|Key people||Klemens Rethmann (Chief Executive Officer),
Norbert Rethmann (Supervisory Board Chairman)
The Rhenus group is one of Europe's leading logistics service companies with a turnover of 3 billion EUR. Rhenus has business locations at 290 sites and employs 18,000 people.
- 1912: Badische AG and Rheinschiffahrts AG (formerly Fendel) set up Rhenus Transport-Gesellschaft mbH based in Frankfurt to market and operate shipping and warehousing. Branches are opened in Basle, Kehl, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Mainz, Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Antwerp and Rotterdam. The founding companies secure a majority shareholding in Lloyd Rhenan, Antwerp, which has 34 cargo ships. In addition, transport company William Egan & Cie, which has docks in Frankfurt, is acquired.
- 1928: Rhenus has 21 branches in Germany.
- 1929: Badische AG and Rheinschiffahrts AG (formerly Fendel) along with subsidiary Rhenus and a number of other companies join forces to create a joint venture in response to the increasingly sluggish economy.
- 1934: Hibernia Bergwerksgesellschaft, a subsidiary of VEBA (Vereinigte Elektrizitäts- und Bergwerks-AG) purchases a majority shareholding in the joint venture set up in 1929. Rhenus becomes part of the VEBA Group.
- 1938: Rhenus Kraftverkehr GmbH operates its own fleet of 100 long-distance goods lorries in order to further expand its shipping-related activities such as transhipment and storage.
- 1943: The joint venture firms merge to create Fendel Schiffahrts AG. Rhenus is renamed Rhenus Gesellschaft für Schiffahrt, Spedition und Lagerei mbH.
- 1955: B.V. Rhenus Transport Maatschappij, Rotterdam, is established.
- 1958: The Port of Stuttgart is opened. Rhenus starts building storage and handling facilities.
- 1966: Rhenus expands its lorry operations by acquiring several companies. Newexco in Winschoten (the Netherlands) is founded.
- 1968: Rhenus enters the air cargo business by setting up Rhenus Lufttransport GmbH. WTAG opens an important base in Plochingen on the River Neckar.
- 1969: As part of the restructuring of VEBA, Fendel (including Rhenus) is taken over by Hugo Stinnes AG, which then manages VEBA’s transport interests. Rhenus is hence now part of Stinnes AG.
- 1970: Stinnes increases its stake in WTAG to 71%.
- 1971: Hugo Stinnes AG amalgamates ist inland shipping activities by merging the shipping division of Fendel Schiffahrts AG, Vereinigte Stinnes-Rheinreedereien GmbH and Bremen-Mindener Schiffahrt AG to form Fendel-Stinnes-Schiffahrt AG based in Duisburg. Rhenus Gesellschaft für Schiffahrt, Spedition und Lagerei mbH is converted into the Mannheim-based Rhenus AG and placed in charge of transportation, handling and storage. Meanwhile Rhenus Lufttransport GmbH merges its air cargo and transit business with WTAG, creating Rhenus-WTAG Lufttransport GmbH.
- 1976: Fendel-Stinnes and the shipping division of WTAG are merged to create Stinnes Reederei AG. A joint venture is launched by Rhenus AG, Stinnes Reederei AG and WTAG. Shipping activities are concentrated on Stinnes-Reederei, while all other business is handled by Rhenus, which is renamed Rhenus-WTAG AG and based in Dortmund. CCS (Combined Container Service GmbH & Co. KG) is established. Rhenus holds an 80% stake in CCS since 2002. CCS becomes a market leader in container traffic on the Rhine (2002: 380,000 TEUs) and is involved in various transhipment terminals. Rhenus acquires a majority stake in the French transport companies Transports Mondiaux SA and Jules Roy SA.
- 1978: Rhenus acquires a majority shareholding in Bayerischer Lloyd AG, which is based in Regensburg and maintains branches in all the main ports along the Danube. The Danube connection develops into an alternative to the sea route to the Middle East.
- 1980: Stinnes AG takes over the blocking minority in WTAG from Hoesch.
- 1984: WTAG is integrated into Rhenus-WTAG AG, which is then renamed Rhenus AG. By now, the Rhenus Group has branches, shareholdings and offices at about 100 different locations in West Germany. With companies on all continents of the world, Rhenus is now a truly global organisation. Of its 80 foreign locations, 30 are situated overseas.
- 1988: In connection with the restructuring of Rhenus, three management companies are set up. Rhenus Weichelt AG operates road-based goods transport, Rhenus Lager und Umschlag AG is in charge of warehousing, transhipment and inland shipping, while Rhenus Transport International AG is responsible for international shipping and air cargo.
- 1990: Stinnes AG enters into a strategic alliance with Schenker AG, acquiring a 25.1% stake in this subsidiary of Deutsche Bundesbahn, the West German railway operator.
- 1991: Stinnes purchases Schenker outright. Rhenus Transport International is taken over by the newly founded Schenker International AG, and Schenker Eurocargo is united with Rhenus Weichelt. Shipping agency Rhenus Poland Sp. z.o.o. is established in Szczecin, with additional branches being subsequently set up in Gdansk and Gdingen.
- 1992: Rhenus Lager und Umschlag AG is renamed Rhenus AG. Portlux and Manuport merge to form Luxport SA, Mertert.
- 1993: Rhenus Logistics Praha spol. s r.o. is founded in the Czech capital. Later on, Rhenus purchases a logistics centre in Nucice, just outside Prague. Rhenus’s north Berlin logistics centre in Velten containing 60,000 square metres of modern indoor storage space and its own railway siding is opened. At the same time, Rhenus also sells off land owned in West Berlin.
- 1994: Bremen Steelworks and Rhenus establish Weserport GmbH in Bremen and merge their port operations. Weserport becomes the market leader in Bremen.
- 1995: Raab Karcher Reederei und Spedition GmbH is merged with Stinnes Reederei AG. Midgard Deutsche Seeverkehrs AG, which belongs to Stinnes, is incorporated into the Rhenus Group. Rhenus sells its tanker shipping to Reederei Jaegers GmbH, Duisburg. Bayerischer Lloyd joins Rhenus.
- 1996: The inland shipping activities of Rhenus, Stinnes Reederei AG, Bayerischer Lloyd AG and DDSG-Cargo GmbH are merged under the banner of RS PartnerShip AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rhenus AG. Meanwhile all transport and logistics activities within the Stinnes Group are conducted under the auspices of the new Schenker-Rhenus AG. Rhenus Automotive improves its market position, performing logistics system services for manufacturers and suppliers and also supplying production lines just in sequence.
- 1997: Rhenus’s shipping activities on the Danube are abandoned in response to growing competition from East European shipping companies. Bayerischer Lloyd and DDSG-Cargo are sold off. CuxPort Terminal is opened in Cuxhaven. As of 2001, Midgard holds a 74.9% stake in CuxPort-Seehafen-Dienstleistungs GmbH, established in 1989. Rhenus Mannheim performs its first in-house logistics project – plant logistics for tractor manufacturer John Deere. In connection with the restructuring of its business areas, VEBA decides to sell Rhenus. Negotiations begin with Rethmann AG & Co. in Selm, and a letter of intent is signed on 30 October. The office supplies logistics centre in Langgöns near Giessen measuring 15,000 square metres is opened.
- 1998: Rethmann acquires Rhenus AG, including PartnerShip and Midgard. Some of the companies which are not included in the deal are EVAG (Emder Verkehrsgesellschaft AG) and ELAG (Emder Lagerhaus GmbH), TRILAG Trierer Umschlag- und Lagerhaus GmbH, Rhenus Nederland, Rhenus Belgium, Spedition Bischof in Vienna and parts of Rhenus’s automotive business in Emden, Hanover and Salzgitter. Rhenus is renamed Rhenus AG & Co. KG. Working closely together with Rethmann, Rhenus takes on the role of an innovative full-service operator of logistics services. Rethmann quickly expands its commercial activities and buys up other companies. CCS charters JOWI, the world’s biggest inland container ship, with a capacity of nearly 500 TEUs. It is followed the next year by the Amistade, which is equally large. CCS increases its network of fixed regular services and increases its market lead. Rhenus acquires a modern warehouse complex in Dortmund with 37,000 square metres of storage space. Luxport opens a transhipment terminal for steel products, which is expanded in 2001.
- 1999: Rhenus begins disposing of operations in cities such as Brunswick, Uelzen, Lingen, Osnabrück, Kassel and Cologne. Facilities at the Port of Dortmund are also sold in response to regionally dwindling bulk business, particularly grain. Midgard expands its logistics centre in Bremerhaven.
- 2000: Midgard and RS PartnerShip are renamed Rhenus Midgard and Rhenus PartnerShip. Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund sells Rhenus the Swiss company SRN (Schweizerische Reederei und Neptun AG), which merges with Rhenus AG für Schiffahrt und Spedition in Basle (an owner of large docks) to form Rhenus Alpina. The companies also operate under this name in Antwerp and Rotterdam. Rhenus opens a new glass-processing plant in Essen with an annual capacity of 150,000 tonnes, augmenting its plants in Hamburg, Hanover, Koblenz, Grossräschen and Bennstedt. Rhenus starts operating a new central warehouse in Salzgitter on behalf of IKEA with 103,000 pallet positions. Rhenus Traffic Solutions GmbH is awarded the contract to control all traffic to EXPO 2000 in Hanover. Rhenus launches its Business Networking Platform, using this innovative IT solution to build up its lead over the competition. Rhenus opens its biggest logistics centre in Giessen containing 100,000 pallet positions. Known as the International Consolidation Center, it is another milestone in Rhenus’s development into the leading logistics contractor. Rhenus Alpina acquires a logistics centre containing 12,200 pallet positions from the Philips Group near Zurich Airport. The Rhenus Group increases its share holding in MLS (Mindener Logis tikservice GmbH) to 90%. MLS operates the logistics centre in Minden-Aminghausen containing 35,000 square metres of storage space and a high-bay racking facility with 36,000 pallet positions.
- 2001: Rhenus assumes a new corporate identity with its Rhenus Logistics logo. Rhenus buys a site measuring 90,000 square metres at LogPort in Duisburg for the construction of a logistics centre. eurobahn Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH & Co. is renamed Rhenus Keolis GmbH & Co. KG. Rhenus holds 51% of this subsidiary, which is active in local public transport, including passenger rail services – and lays the foundations for the new business area Public Transport. Rhenus’s new south Berlin logistics centre, 37,000 square metres in size, is opened in Grossbeeren. SBB Cargo sells its 11 cargo service centres to Rhenus Alpina, giving its logistics facilities blanket coverage of Switzerland. Rhenus’s warehouses at the Port of Nuremberg are expanded and converted into a modern logistics centre 23,500 square metres in size.
- 2002: Rhenus streamlines its organisation. With Rhenus AG & Co. KG in overall control, management companies act for the business areas Contract Logistics and Port Logistics. Meanwhile the business area Public Transport focuses on all new road- and rail-based public transport activities. HHLA (Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus AG) and Rhenus team up in a joint venture, using the 100,000 square metres overseas centre together for the purpose. In addition, warehouses for combined logistics projects are planned next door to the new container terminal in Altenwerder near Hamburg. Joint marketing begins. Acting with its long-term partner Rhenus-Kleyling, Weil, Rhenus sets up Rhenus-Kleyling Logistique SAS in Gretz-Armainvilliers near Paris in order to strengthen its network in neighbouring countries. The company operates a modern 16,000 square metre logistics centre. The Rhenus Group is already represented in the French cities of Nancy, Marseille and Valenciennes. Rhenus purchases from HHLA a 50% stake in both Containerterminal Unikai Wörth GmbH and Unikai Ottmarsheim / Strasbourg in order to substantially boost its position in container traffic and handling on the upper Rhine. Rhenus leaves its administrative building at the Port of Dortmund and moves into its new headquarters at Dortmund Airport. Its new address is Rhenus-Platz 1. Rhenus Alpina takes over Cargologic AG, which handles air cargo at the airports in Zurich, Geneva and Berne. DIT (Duisburg Intermodal Terminal) opens as LogPort’s logistical centrepiece. Rhenus holds a majority share - holding in the operating company. A logistics centre is opened as an external suppliers’ store on behalf of DaimlerChrysler at the Port of Stuttgart. As a result, Rhenus Stuttgart now manages 115,000 square metres of warehouse space. Rhenus successfully enters media logistics when the Thalia Group (at this time Germany’s biggest book chain) entrusts Rhenus with its central warehouse and central incoming merchandise.
- 2003: The turnover of the Rhenus Group crosses the 1 billion EUR mark for the first time. Rhenus opens counting centres for the new nationwide deposit system for the return of disposable drink packaging. The Public Transport business area takes over the regional public transport operators in West Saxony. Rhenus Keolis now carries about 5 million passengers annually on its more than 100 buses. At the Port of Basle, Rhenus Alpina opens a new logistics centre designed to be a hub for combined water, rail and road transport.
- 2004: Rhenus buys out the Warsaw-based Polta SA, expanding its Polish network and opening up access to the Russian market. Independent subsidiaries are set up in Hungary and Romania. Rhenus launches automotive logistics for BMW in Cuxhaven. New cars destined for the UK (initially 80,000 annually) are stored at Rhenus’s CuxPort site before being shipped across the North Sea. Rhenus purchases a stake in the famous RMS (Rhein-, Maas- und See-Schiffahrtskontor). Based in Duisburg, RMS adds its expertise and resources in short sea shipping. Rhenus starts operating the overseas dispatch centre at DaimlerChrysler’s Untertürkheim plant, supplying parts to factories all over the world.
- 2005: Rhenus Contargo becomes a fullservice operator for European hinterland container transport. Rhenus acquires Röhrer Internationale Speditions- und Transportgesellschaft mbH in Gross-Enzersdorf (Lower Austria), a company whose assets include an efficient transport network in Eastern Europe. Rhenus considerably builds up its resources for high-quality contract logistics in Poland by acquiring a majority stake in Polish logistics contractor Fastrack. Rhenus acquires a majority shareholding in Maxx Holding NV, Antwerp. Maxx is represented in Belgium, Germany, the UK, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus. Rhenus takes over air cargo handling company AF Logistik & Spedition GmbH based at Frankfurt Airport, finally taking Rhenus’s air logistics into Germany. Rhenus’s Public Transport business area acquires a majority stake in public transport operator NIAG from Wesel District Council.
- 2006: Rhenus purchases IHG (the Hildenbased Interspe Hamann Group), acquiring a dense European land transport network as well as new warehouse locations, not to mention IHG’s global freight services. Together, the two companies are represented at 200 locations in Europe and notch up annual turnover of 2.3 billion EUR. IHG’s transport business makes up Rhenus’s newly created business area Freight Logistics. The HHLA Rhenus Logistics joint venture opens a new logistics centre next door to Altenwerder Container Terminal just south of Hamburg. The logistics centre covers the entire range of storage and contract logistics services on an area of initially 29,000 square metres. The business area Freight Logistics expands its international network into for example the eastern Czech Republic by opening a new logistics centre at Ostrava. Meanwhile the network of branches in Russia is augmented by a new centre opened in Nizhni Novgorod. Other new branches abroad are opened in Bursa (Turkey) and Shenzhen (China).
- 2007: The Rhenus Keolis joint venture is split with Rhenus retaining the bus operations and two railway routes. The Public Transport business area is renamed Rhenus Veniro. Rhenus acquires the Dutch Transport Management International Holding B.V. (TMI), which is strong in air and sea transport. The extensive refurbishment of Rhenus’s land and sea ports continues in order to boost the efficiency of transhipment and information processing. The Rhenus Group’s turnover rises to 3 billion EUR while the number of its locations reaches 230. Rhenus starts managing the files of the BvS (German Office for Special Unification-related Tasks). The assignment entails organising more than 500 articulated-lorry journeys – the biggest removal of documents ever to take place in Europe. Rhenus now uses the files to produce certification and provide information on former workers of East German employers. Rhenus expands in Poland by taking over ComerTrans and opening a glassprocessing plant in Pila. Its Chinese network is also augmented to include branches in the cities of Ningbo, Shenzhen and Xiamen. Meanwhile, Rhenus also gains a foothold in South America by opening a Brazilian subsidiary in Santos entitled RMK Logistics do Brasil. At the end of the year, the Freight Logistics business area is further strengthened by the takeover of the Hamburg-based Hamann International GmbH Spedition + Logistik. Hamann primarily deals with international land-based transport as well as sea and air freight.