Interview with Jürgen Bauer
Mr Jürgen Bauer began his career with Gebrüder Weiss in 1991. From 2002 to 2008 he managed the branch in Vienna. In 2008, the graduate in Business Management (BA) was appointed Regional Manager East and completed his MBA at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Since 2019 Jürgen Bauer has been COO for land transport Europe, HSEQ, customs and purchasing on the Management Board.
1. What insights do you have when looking back on the year 2021 for Gebrüder Weiss?
The issues of delivery delays, freight space shortages and volatile or sharply increased prices with freight rates have been with us longer than we had hoped. As in the previous year, the coronavirus pandemic demanded a great deal of flexibility and high levels of commitment from our employees. Basically though, we see the year as being satisfactory. As a company, we were able to implement several strategic topics, in particular concerning our international network consolidation and the areas of digitization and sustainability.
2. How are Home Delivery services developing at Gebrüder Weiss?
The Home Delivery division has received another boost from the pandemic. We assume sustained positive development, and we’re continuously adapting our infrastructure and expanding the logistics facilities in line with this. In Austria, we are seen as the market leader with our home delivery services, and we’re now also successful in numerous countries in Eastern Europe. The boom is mainly due to the change in consumer shopping behaviour.
3. Europe aims to be climate-neutral by 2050. How can companies like Gebrüder Weiss contribute to this?
Ecology follows economy, or to put it another way, green logistics costs money. Until now though, hardly anyone wants to pay the higher costs. If we want to drive forward the ‘greening’ of transport, companies need investment security and subsidies until competitive solutions become available. This means the political sphere is called upon to map out realistic assessments, to be open to technology and to work on solutions together with the companies.
At Gebrüder Weiss we are clearly committed to sustainable goals: we’re already testing alternative drives with gas, electricity and hydrogen in our vehicle fleet, and we aim to operate our own logistics facilities climate-neutrally using solar power by 2030. Our “zero emissions” service offers our customers the option of offsetting the CO2 emissions of each logistical service by paying an additional amount. This then flows into certified climate protection projects.
4. What innovations have you implemented in the area of digitization in your company?
Digitization has been firmly anchored in our logistics for many years, and in fact the logistical processes are impossible to imagine without it. The demands for speed, efficiency and transparency along the entire supply chain have significantly increased. At Gebrüder Weiss we achieved an important milestone with the launching of our customer portal myGW: the digital platform provides customers with real-time information on their goods flows at the press of a button, and the entire communication can be processed online. However, these digital procedures also have to be supported by quality of operational services, which is the reason why we invest in digital technologies as well as in the “physical” performance of our company, for example in the expansion of our logistics locations, vehicles and the training and further education of our employees.
5. What plans does Gebrüder Weiss have for 2022?
We were able to score points with our myGW customer portal during the Corona crisis in particular – which is why we also want to pursue our digital strategy and develop further digital services in the portal.
When it comes to geographical developments, we planned further steps in southern Germany and the USA for 2022, which are regions where we aim to significantly grow and develop.
But also, we would like to intensify our efforts in the area of sustainability by investing in alternative drives and solar facilities at our locations. With our zero emissions service we are working hard to make transport climate-neutral together with our customers.
Gebrüder Weiss Holding AG, based in Lauterach, Austria, is a globally operative full-service logistics provider with about 8,000 employees at 180 company-owned locations. In the last fiscal year (2021), it posted annual sales of 2.5 billion euros. Its portfolio encompasses transport and logistics solutions, digital services, and supply chain management. The twin strengths of digital and physical competence enable Gebrüder Weiss to respond swiftly and flexibly to customers’ needs. The family-run organization – with a history going back more than half a millennium – has implemented a wide variety of environmental, economic, and social initiatives. Today, it is also considered a pioneer in sustainable business practices.