12/16/2013 15:22 Age: 49 min
Prior to the Bremen State Press Conference, BLG CEO Frank Dreeke made a tentative assessment of the current year now drawing to a close: "We will again significantly surpass the billion mark in sales. However, we were not quite able to reach the previous year's operating result. In 2013 the figure will be around 40 million euros. In view of the sluggish world economy we held our own rather well with this respectable result."
In the Container Logistics Division the problems in Wilhelmshaven and with the terminal holding in Ust-Luga have a negative impact on the results. The terminals in Bremerhaven and Hamburg as well as the foreign terminals can compensate for that, however, thanks to their relatively good results and due to process optimization and special effects. Dreeke expects that the situation in Wilhelmshaven will improve in the course of the coming year and the container terminal will take part in a container market that is experiencing growth again.
In the Automobile Logistics Division Bremerhaven is at the previous year's level with over 2.1 million vehicles. However, the ratio of 80 percent exports to only 20 percent imports leads to lower capacity utilization at the technical centers, which achieve their value added primarily with imported vehicles. The imbalance between exports and imports results in additional empty runs among shipments via truck. Moreover, BLG feels the cost pressure of carmakers that are facing sales problems in Europe. With its 1,300 "whisper wagons" BLG AutoRail profits from the export boom. The demand for automobile shipments via rail remains high. The volume in the High & Heavy segment is about 250,000 tons below the previous year's level due to less large cargo for Australia and the Middle East.
BLG WindEnergy Logistics, whose main business is in Bremerhaven, also makes a lower contribution to earnings this year. The BLG head says: "We handled considerably less volume, especially in the second half of the year. Based on the decisions of the new coalition, however, the prospects are positive, even though the targets regarding expansion of offshore wind energy have been thinned down. Whether we will profit from that depends, of course, on our customers in Bremerhaven. They have to place follow-up orders there."
BLG's particularly employment-intensive services include its work at the logistics centers and the high-bay warehouse: in Bremen primarily car parts logistics for Mercedes' foreign plants at the logistics centers and retail logistics on behalf of Tchibo at the high-bay warehouse. For Tchibo BLG was able to take over logistics activities for the entire online business three months earlier than planned. As a result, the high-bay warehouse roughly doubled its volume. BLG invested over 50 million euros and in this way created around 200 new jobs. In particular the volume for the growing Mercedes production in Peking is boosting car parts logistics business. At the Freight Village BLG is currently expanding its storage capacity by 27,000 square meters.
Dreeke also mentioned the numerous orders outside Bremen and Bremerhaven. The company is now present at over 100 locations in Germany and Europe as well as North and South America, Africa and Asia. There are a number of new transactions in the Contract Logistics Division. They include extended services for Mercedes in Bremen, Sindelfingen and the US, a broader range of services for client engelbert strauss in Frankfurt as well as for Siemens in Krefeld and in Falkensee.
At the moment construction of a logistics center encompassing 22,000 square meters near Siemens-Stadt is under way in Falkensee. There BLG will carry out all logistics activities for Siemens that are related to material supply for the switchgear plant in Berlin. Siemens wants to transform the plant into one of the most modern factories in the world. Siemens Rail Systems operates in Krefeld and BLG will soon take over all logistics services necessary for supplying the plant. The new or additional order volume for Mercedes and suppliers in Bremen, Sindelfingen and the US involves car parts logistics.
Including its holdings and the GHBV staff, BLG has 16,000 employees worldwide, more than half of them in the federal state of Bremen alone. Bremen and Bremerhaven have profited the most from BLG's international development. For the 2014 financial year Dreeke reckons with slight growth in the three operational divisions, both in terms of volume and operating results.