50 YEARS OF ZIEGLER GERMANY
5 succesful decades: review and outlook.
50 YEARS AT A GLANCE
- 1967: Founding of the Company in AAchen
- 5 different sites
- Growth at the sites
FOUNDING OF THE COMPANY IN AACHEN
The company’s history began in Brussels – the Belgian metropolis where the ZIEGLER Group now has its headquarters. This is where Arthur Joseph Ziegler founded the ZIEGLER company, named after him, in 1908. His owner-run forwarding company went on to become very internationally oriented. In 1958 ZIEGLER was nominated as an official logistics partner for the Brussels World's Fair. This also marked the start of a period of pan-European expansion.
Germany, an economic powerhouse
ZIEGLER expanded into the Benelux countries, France and Switzerland in the early 1960s. In 1967, Arthur Ziegler finally fulfilled a long-cherished wish of establishing his forwarding company in Germany. Even the first recession to paralyse the German economy, in 1967, was incapable of foiling his plans. "Ziegler & Co. GmbH Internationale Spedition" was founded on 14 July 1967 and was entered in the commercial register on 14 August 1967.
There were certainly also political reasons behind the founding of ZIEGLER Germany. The Belgian ZIEGLER branch in Montzen had established contacts with VEB Deutrans (the only internationally active freight forwarder of the former GDR) to transport goods by rail and road. While the government of the GDR insisted on the existence of two German states, the political viewpoint of the West German Republic was different: the GDR was not regarded as a foreign country. As a result, the same rules applied for Deutrans as for West German hauliers, who were allowed to accept transport orders without any restrictions. However, ZIEGLER Belgium no longer wanted to be in a dependent relation with foreign contact people and service providers and preferred the founding of a subsidiary in Germany.
Foundation at the Aachen West goods station
ZIEGLER moved into its first offices in Germany at the freight station in Aachen West. A rental agreement for a storage location was concluded with the Deutsche Bahn. A minimum volume of 2,000 tonnes had to be brought into this warehouse each year. Aachen was also the perfect logistical site for the launch, at the point where the borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands met, and an ideal starting point for further expansion in Germany.
ZIEGLER GERMANY: NOW PRESENT AT FIVE DIFFERENT SITES
The foundation of ZIEGLR Germany in Aachen was an economic success – right from the first year onwards. The sales figures demonstrate the rapid positive trend: in 1967 the turnover amounted to DM 53,895, in 1968 it had more than doubled to DM 137,500, in 1970 it was DM 223,000 and in 1977 it already totalled DM 310,000. In the early years, the management of and responsibility for German Ziegler GmbH were, however, still in the hands of the management of the ZIEGLER branches in east Belgium.
Construction of a company warehouse
However, new warehouse capacities were soon required: in January 1969, ZIEGLER purchased a warehouse at the Aachen West freight station from the international forwarding company Halbart. The warehouse was constructed on the site of the Deutsche Bundesbahn rail company. This warehouse was merely an interim solution and was sold to the Schenker company in 1972: back in 1968, ZIEGLER had already commissioned the construction of its own 570 m² warehouse as well as office space at the Aachen West train station. The company moved into the warehouse in the spring of 1971.
Increase in the number of orders
Due to the excellent work of the ZIEGLER employees, the number of orders and sales increased in the years that followed. A new location with a new, larger warehouse was ultimately required. In the summer of 1987, ZIEGLER moved to Süsterfeldstrasse in Aachen, where the company had purchased a 3000 m² site. Here it was possible to provide logistics and customer service in a warehouse with a capacity of 885?m² and office space of 354 m². The company's success continued unabated and this site also quickly became too small. All logistics activities were accommodated in warehouses rented by the ZIEGLER Group in Belgium: an interim solution for the expanding company. The idea of a new, large, state-of-the-art warehouse and logistics building matured.
Development of warehouse logistics in Eschweiler
In December 2000, ZIEGLER acquired a site in the industrial and commercial estate in Eschweiler, near Aachen. The planning involved a warehouse that was 3112 m² in size, a logistics building of 5811 m² in size and an office building with 709 m² of floor space. The property was completed in the autumn of 2001. The employees moved in in January 2002. Now ZIEGLER was also able to offer extensive services such as picking and packaging. This represented a massive step forward.
Extension of the business model
The new location in Eschweiler was effectively a springboard for expansion in Germany. ZIEGLER Germany expanded its business model at the start of the new millennium, adding services in the sea and air freight sectors to its product range. Then things proceeded at great speed. On 1 January 2001, the ZIEGLER Ratingen branch was opened, close to the economic metropolis of Düsseldorf and the city's airport. One year later, the ZIEGLER office was opened in Hamburg – the city with the most important German seaport and the third largest port in Europe. An additional important site followed a year later: on 1 October 2003 ZIEGLER opened an office in Kelsterbach, near Frankfurt, immediately adjacent to the largest German airport. On the same day, employees also moved into the new branch office in Stuttgart-Filderstadt – very close to Stuttgart Airport.
Growth at the sites
Looking back, the founding of ZIEGLER Germany was a success. Looking forward, the ZIEGLER teams in Germany will keep up the current trend of local growth. One thing has remained constant from the early days: support from eastern Belgium. While ZIEGLER Germany was initially supported by the management of the eastern Belgian branches, ZIEGLER still manages the company’s finances and accounting in the eastern Belgian town of Welkenraedt. The employees there are part of the success of ZIEGLER Germany.