Transport-related warehousingTransport-related warehousing
In Dialogue with Logistics

Transport-related warehousing


The solution for manufacturing companies for dealing with disrupted supply chains?

Just-in-time and just-in-sequence – for a long time, these control concepts originating from the automotive industry were decisive for logistics; demand-synchronised production with low capital commitment was the declared goal for companies. And it was indispensable that supply chains function smoothly. But what happens when disrupted supply chains and delivery bottlenecks make reliable planning impossible? Uwe Karrenberg, Managing Director at LOXX Lagerlogistik, a company within the Rhenus Group located in Gelsenkirchen, sees transport-related warehousing as a solution. In the podcast ‘Logistics People Talk’, he explains exactly what is behind this and how the service can help companies in view of current challenges.

The past two years have caused extreme problems for companies all over the world when it comes to reliably maintaining production. The pandemic with its lockdowns, Brexit, the Ukraine war and events such as the blocking of the Suez Canal have thrown long-standing global supply chains into serious disorder and made previously well-functioning concepts such as just-in-time almost impossible. Raw material shortages, delivery delays and exponentially increased costs have created unprecedented challenges in the global economy.

To remain competitive, it is necessary to rethink and find solutions – transport-related warehousing, or TRW for short, can help companies maintain production despite disrupted supply chains and thus find a way out of the crisis. The trick here is that, unlike long-term orders which are the case in classic contract logistics, TRW offers customers the opportunity to store goods quickly and easily and in direct connection with transport and handling. Uwe Karrenberg refers to this as ‘buffer warehouses’, from which goods can be supplied directly to the transport, guaranteeing customers high availability and extremely short delivery times. In ‘Logistics People Talk’, he gives some exciting insights into the area of transport-related warehousing and takes listeners with him to the scene of the action: the distribution centre in Gelsenkirchen.

Please note: This episode is currently only available in German. You can find the podcast with German and English subtitles here.

Podcast Cover Transport Related Warehousing

Logistics People Talk | Episode 12

Uwe Karrenberg sees transport-related warehousing (TRW) as a way for companies to maintain production in the face of disrupted supply chains. The service ensures high availability and extremely short delivery times.

Transcript of our podcast episode

Gwen Dünner Welcome to a new episode of Logistics People Talk, the official Rhenus podcast for everyone who is convinced you can never stop learning about logistics. Presented by:

Andrea Goretzki: Andrea Goretzki ...

Gwen Dünner ... and Gwen Dünner.

Andrea Goretzki: Our topic today is a particularly exciting and relevant one. We want to take a look at what possibilities companies have to find a way out of the current supply chain problems, namely transport-related warehousing, TRW for short. We want to take a closer look at this today. We are very pleased to be guests today at LOXX Lagerlogistik in Gelsenkirchen. We are joined by Uwe Karrenberg, Managing Director at LOXX. Uwe, thank you very much for taking the time for us, and welcome to Logistics People Talk.

Uwe Karrenberg: Thank you for inviting me. I'm glad to be here. I've been looking forward to our meeting and I'm curious to hear what questions you have for me.

Gwen Dünner Let's jump straight into the topic. International supply chains are constantly exposed to sudden changes, but probably not as many simultaneously or in such quick succession as at the moment: Brexit, the Corona pandemic, the Suez blockade, lockdowns in Europe and China, the war in Ukraine. For companies, this means one thing above all: if the supply chain is interrupted, goods are not delivered, customers are not served and, in the worst case, services to society are threatened. But an interruption in the supply chain does not always have to have a negative impact, cue transport-related warehousing. Uwe, what does this term mean exactly?

Uwe Karrenberg: Well, for the most part, we have freight forwarders spread all over Europe and the world, and we essentially transport goods. Transport-related warehousing means that we have built pallet warehouses at our forwarding facilities, for example here in Gelsenkirchen, where we can store various goods for customers. This allows us to have goods available at short notice. In the past, many companies had their own warehouses, but these have been dismantled for just-in-time and just-in-sequence production. That was a trend from the automotive industry, with little capital tied up and things always available quickly. But it is quite clear that, when you work globally or across countries, it can lead to problems - especially when the supply chains no longer function as they should. Then you again need ‘buffer warehouses’ - you can call them that - or warehouses where you simply have goods available in order to continue production.

Uwe Karrenberg: In principle, that’s the advantage for us, because with the warehouses, and that’s why transport-related, we can store goods, on the one hand - here we can perhaps refer to an example from Brexit, that was also one of the points - or, on the other, supply them directly. This means that the warehouse - you can see this in the pictures, we will perhaps look at it again later - is directly connected to the transhipment facility and we can supply the transport directly from the warehouse. This results in extremely high availability, extremely short delivery times, especially here in Gelsenkirchen, and mega-benefits for our customers because we have direct access to, I believe, over 70 destinations and can therefore transport the goods throughout Europe from our warehouses within a very short time.

Uwe Karrenberg: Here you can see this TRW concept: in principle, the goods come in here, as you are about to, in the warehouse, and then go practically into the lanes here directly for distribution. In other words, container goods come in, we unload them, then they are stacked in cardboard boxes on the pallets using a specific packing layout. Once that’s completed, the pallet is wrapped, placed in the lane and then fed directly into the transporter. That's the benefit you get with a transshipment warehouse, transport-related, and you now don't have to say: "Yes, then the goods arrive and then I'll see if I can find a transporter at some point." You have a higher turnover rate and that’s a super additional business for us.

Andrea Goretzki: What you are describing sounds a bit like normal contract logistics. Rhenus certainly offers that as well. How do you differentiate yourselves, that is, what is the difference between classic contract logistics and transport-related warehousing?

Uwe Karrenberg: There are two approaches. Let's take the example of actually coming in from transport and then going into storage and onward transportation. Contract logistics doesn't do that at all. Contract logistics holds goods, which means storage capacities on a scale that we simply don't have. At this location we have just under 7,000 storage spaces, which are being expanded by another 4,000 or so this month. That's over at the facility, where there’s some construction going on. The size is the main difference. And we also take in goods from partners at short notice and can store them temporarily in so-called bonded warehouses. That is the Brexit issue. Having such a warehouse has helped us a lot, because the goods arrive from England without yet having cleared through customs or have to cross over to England, and we can provide interim storage for the customer. Contract logistics doesn't offer that either. Contract logistics focuses mainly on large customers, I'd say 3,000 pallet spaces or more.

Uwe Karrenberg: We tend to target normal medium-sized businesses, perhaps those small customers, who are not quite as interesting economically for contract logistics because it offers more, I would say, value-added services, such as order picking and the like. We also do some of that for customers, but our core focus is really on transport and we also offer a little storage space, but not an excessive amount. That is the essential difference to contract logistics, simply the size. Of course, contract logistics does not have a freight forwarder working behind it either, but they hire us to bring goods forward, handle them, bundle them or simply use freight carriers for plant supply. That is the biggest difference. So, there is a very clear distinction.

Gwen Dünner So, for the record: smaller orders, but greater flexibility.

Uwe Karrenberg: Exactly.

Gwen Dünner That sounds like a lot of demanding challenges. How do you meet them at LOXX?

Uwe Karrenberg: Let's take Brexit as an example, to stay with it, because it's perhaps not quite as topical as the Ukraine issue, which undoubtedly also has an impact on warehouse volumes. We had to set up new processes, within a very short time, in order to temporarily store the goods that came in so that they could be cleared through customs and then be allowed to enter the European market. This is naturally a highly dynamic process, but it is also a lot of fun. Of course, you don't have as much preparation as you might in a contract facility, in which you conclude multi-year storage contracts with a customer and say, "I'll build you a facility," Let’s say, 50,000 square metres or, in the case of a multi-user centre, where you also enter into multi-year storage contracts. It's dynamic, you have to keep the processes pretty lean. Otherwise you're not making money with it either, but rather pay on top.

Uwe Karrenberg: In the past, a freight forwarder’s approach was: "I carry goods and I also have a bit of storage." But they usually didn't have any margin in the warehouse. That is not our approach. Of course, we also want to earn a bit of money with storage and warehousing. Since, especially in the case of Brexit, we are a subcontractor of our own freight forwarder, we can naturally offer this at a reasonable price. Thus, we have also opened up a niche with this TRW concept, which contract warehouses do not have, but also do not need. For example, we are also in contact with Warehousing Solution and exchange information about enquiries that may not be of interest to them, but are of interest to us. On the other hand, when we receive enquiries, for example, we don't simply pass on the sales. These are opportunities that we didn't have before, which we naturally exploit in order to better support our customers with our services.

Andrea Goretzki: If we now take a look at the issue of energy and sustainability - this really is a particularly hot topic: What does sustainability mean for TRW? What role does it play for you and how do you approach the subject?

Uwe Karrenberg: There are different approaches to sustainability, especially in logistics. Of course, we use a lot of shrink wrap. We had and still have some gas-powered forklifts, which we are now replacing with lithium-ion forklifts. We’ve now made a major investment - or will do so over the next two to three years - and will replace the entire fleet. So, the topic of forklift trucks is a huge one. As is shrink wrap. We have purchased wrapping robots that wrap fully automatically, so you just place them next to the pallet. In the past, a human being walked around and wrapped the goods, or the goods had to be laboriously transported to a stationary wrapping machine. Now there are mobile machines that wrap better and use less film.

Gwen Dünner Here is the wrapping robot, which we can now see in action.

Uwe Karrenberg: Exactly. In principle: this is also the expansion of the TRW concept. Because over there everything was full, we said, "Okay, we have so much incoming volume, the customers simply need more storage space, storage space close to transport, in order to make their call-offs as well."

Gwen Dünner So, it's now going to be driven up close - and then what?

Uwe Karrenberg: Come on, let's drive around here. Do you have anything else to wrap?

Gwen Dünner So, the pallet is fully packed.

Uwe Karrenberg: The pallet is packed. That usually happens directly in front of the container. The container opens, then you have this net at the back, which you've just seen, then there's a packing layout for the goods.

Gwen Dünner It’s starting to beep. The film has now been inserted.

Uwe Karrenberg: Now the robot has been started and placed next to it.

Gwen Dünner It's now driving around on its own with a wheel, taking measurements.

Uwe Karrenberg: Exactly. The wrapping that used to done by the employee is now performed fully automatically by the robot. The employee has time for other tasks, but for once that’s a good thing, since we naturally also make sure that people don't spend three, four, eight hours a day stacking boxes on pallets. They can also take a breather.

Gwen Dünner It’s working pretty fast.

Uwe Karrenberg: Yes, it wraps relatively quickly. You can set how many times it wraps. The machine can even do waterproof wrapping. We have now bought three of these within a short space of time. You can see: The wrapping is a bit thicker at the base, which provides stability. Now it's going up. It is programmed with perhaps between seven and ten programmes, and then wraps fully automatically. All the employee has to do afterwards is cut it off at the top. It's an extreme reduction in workload when you consider that they would have to walk around with a roll like that! Super.

Gwen Dünner It’s somehow rather "satisfying" to watch.

Uwe Karrenberg: Totally.

Gwen Dünner It then drives around very "smoothly".

Uwe Karrenberg: There is ecological advantage here, too. We also discussed the topic of ecology. The wrapping robot turns one metre of film into five or six, because it pre-stretches them. It stretches them so that they fit perfectly. That means it's not just wrapped, but you can see that it has the right tension on top. You can adjust how much tension is required.

Gwen Dünner In other words, it also saves on film.

Uwe Karrenberg: Yes, definitely. We save an extremely large amount of packaging material. We also try out different films here, because in the end it is plastic. When we pack goods or unload containers, for example, we make sure that we use edge protectors made of cardboard; the straps for tightening the cardboard boxes are also made of recycled material. We pay a lot of attention to such issues. Then, of course, we have solar panels on the facilities here in Gelsenkirchen. We use part of it ourselves, but a large part is simply fed into the grid. In the long term, this helps us to maintain at least a certain degree of autonomy by using the electricity we generate ourselves.

Uwe Karrenberg: Sustainability was an issue for us when I started here. We have heaters everywhere in the halls. You can raise the temperature in all the halls, but you don't have to. In certain areas you simply need more heating, especially when it comes to order picking, because the employees’ bodies need a bit of warmth. But if the hall is too warm, it is also counterproductive for the employees - it is detrimental to their health. Consequently, we have been working on this and have already been able to save several 100,000 kilowatt hours of energy by simply lowering the temperature in the last heating period to a normal level, one which is also suitable for the work. Gas consumption has gone down – we are familiar with the energy prices ourselves right now - we were also able to save a lot, at least on consumption. We are all affected by the price. I also have to pay my electricity bill. It will be 30 per cent higher next month.

Uwe Karrenberg: That's what we're working on now. We have set up an energy team here at the site to see where we can make further savings. LED lights in the hall are also a major topic. It’s a small investment with a big effect because, of course, we use far less electricity. Intelligent lighting control: The lights only go on when someone enters the area. So, there are many, many issues. Yes, and quality. The better the processes are, the less scrap you produce in the hall because, of course, there is a lot of wood waste in the handling of wooden pallets. Pallet prices have also gone up disproportionately, I think the purchase price from Europe is currently over 20 euros. It is a) a financial issue and b) of course, the environmental issue again. So, saving the environment also saves money. There has always been the misconception: if you work ecologically, then you are no longer economical. That is nonsense and has been nonsense for a long time. If you invest in the environment, then you also save money. This has been our experience. There, too, we were able to massively reduce disposal costs. That’s also great, so the results are super.

Andrea Goretzki: It certainly sounds as if you've been dealing with this issue for a long time and that it's not just an issue for you now, since the energy crisis is basically just around the corner.

Uwe Karrenberg: Yes, it’s a permanent one. We are also ISO-certified, have an environmental manager on site who is intensively involved in this and has now also taken individual electricity measurements. We are striving for ISO 50.001. In terms of energy management, we have already tapped a lot of potential, which will become more difficult at some point. We also have beehives, so we produce our own honey.

Gwen Dünner Oh, okay, hang on, I have to ask more about that. Is it available for purchase or do you make it for customers?

Uwe Karrenberg: Yes, for customers, partly for internal use.

Gwen Dünner Cool.

Uwe Karrenberg: Two employees are beekeepers. So we also make honey here. Yes well, then people think, "Emscher-Lippe Canal, maybe it's not the tastiest honey", but that's also nonsense. It tastes great, it's a great product. We always say, "We do in logistics, solar and honey."

Andrea Goretzki: Nice combination.

Uwe Karrenberg: That's kind of our motto.

Gwen Dünner Trimodal.

Uwe Karrenberg: Trimodal, exactly.

Gwen Dünner A quick question before I go into the case study: Have you already made the necessary preparations for the gas shortage situation, which is looming on the horizon? Are there any plans for when the gas is really turned off?

Uwe Karrenberg: Well, we don't need so much gas ourselves. The forklift trucks will be a problem, but I don't see such a severe shortage there. I started to look into this last year, before the war broke out, because I don't think gas is necessary. We used to run diesel in the hall, then we switched to gas because it was cleaner. That’s the only reason why the combustion engine was kept. Of course, with lithium-ions, there might be a disposal problem later on. But, in the long term, we no longer have that problem because we can see that other companies in the RETHMANN Group are partly using battery technology as a block storage system. We could also try that later with the lithium batteries from the forklift trucks in our own fleet.

Gwen Dünner In other words, a second life.

Uwe Karrenberg: Second-life recycling of the equipment. Of course, we can fall back on our colleagues at REMONDIS, who have a lot of experience in this. There is a huge potential, also practically across the board, aside from all the logistics. Apart from that: heating. In winter, we provide the employees with thermal underwear. Then there are conscious awareness training sessions. We have now also installed a new high-speed door. Just imagine: we have over 100 gates at the plant, which act like a chimney. You open them once and all the heat goes out, and then you close them again and it heats up again. That's a huge energy consumption and we just have to be a bit more aware of it. We started to do that last year and, as I said, we have already been able to save gas. We just have to keep working on it. You can't lower the temperature too much, that would also make no sense because the employees have to work. But our new forklift trucks also have heated seats, for example. Things like that.

Gwen Dünner That's more comfortable for a start.

Uwe Karrenberg: Well, you can work on saving energy using technical means, especially when you consider that they are finite raw materials.

Gwen Dünner Yes, that's right. So, let’s move on to the case study. We would now like to take a look at your previous experience in the field of transport-related warehousing. You told us beforehand that Soho House is one of your customers. If that doesn't ring a bell, they’re a provider of high-end luxury club hotels that also sell their own furniture, décor, interior design products, etc. How did the changes in the supply chain that I just mentioned affect Soho House's business? In other words, what problems did the customer face?

Uwe Karrenberg: Essentially, the customer was faced with the problem that they stored all their goods in the UK. On the one hand, there was the issue of Brexit and then, of course, the difficulties of supply from Asia. It was about the basic B2B supply, so practically the supply of the hotel chains with the basic goods. You can imagine Soho House like this: You pay a club membership fee, then you are allowed into these hotels and everything you see in the hotel is theoretically available for purchase. Beds, couches, glasses, high-end products, so great quality, pillows, absolutely everything. A super concept. "Very dedicated", I would say, to the customers. There are also Hollywood stars and the like. Of course, they don't want to wait 30 days for a bathrobe. Well, they might buy the bathrobe at some point in the hotel or order two couches, but these should then also be delivered at some point. The availability in the hotels for these basic goods was no longer a given. That means they had delivery times of over 30 days out of England.

Uwe Karrenberg: Our colleagues from England, from the Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Group, then approached us and said, "Do you have capacity?" The quantity isn't that great either, since it's between 800 and 1,200 storage spaces. This also fits into our concept because we don't really want to have more than that for a customer, since it's then again something more for contract logistics. But it was too small for contract logistics, so again no one wanted it. Then we said: "Look, if you store the goods with us, duty paid, we can actually deliver them to the whole of Europe within three to five days". Of course, that was an added value for them because what was previously over 30 days from the island, was now only three to five. I mean, if you're in the luxury segment, you expect a corresponding service, and we're a service provider, so we're also a service company, to put it simply.

Uwe Karrenberg: They are very, very satisfied. So we got the customer up and running within two to three weeks. It's a listed company that has high demands on the availability of goods and inventory and so on. We were extremely flexible with the space we had, freed up space for them, stored things accordingly and then we were ready to go. The colleagues from the UK then pre-packed the goods they had, brought them in here, we repacked them accordingly and since then we have been storing them. The customer is no longer in the ramp-up phase, since they’ve been with us for a few months now, but there's always something to do with them, and that's a lot of fun.

Uwe Karrenberg: Well, they’re very, very happy with the service. I mean, before it was 30 days, now it’s three - so of course they say, "Yippee!" Maybe we can offer a different service on account of our size, it has to be said. Yes, that was Soho House in the context of Brexit. It was a huge issue, with companies saying, "Wow, how are we going to manage this now?" Especially perhaps companies that are not necessarily tied to the island. In the B2B and B2C sectors, they still have a lot of stock, even in the UK, so it's not like we've taken all their business away from them. Even that wouldn't matter, because it remains in the Group. Yes, the project was challenging, but the team worked really well and that was also the reason why I like working in logistics: teamwork. That's really nice. It was exciting, definitely.

Andrea Goretzki: That means, the big trick was actually to take the business basically out of the UK and do it here on site. Were there other things that you optimized to make it work, or was that really the main part?

Uwe Karrenberg: The customer was not used to having their pallet packed within one day. So, of course, we can also offer them higher call-off speeds. This means that if the customer calls and wants their goods tomorrow, they can of course further shorten their delivery time. The first pallet went to Spain, I think, to Barcelona, if I'm not mistaken, and that works almost fully automatically. They communicate fully automatically via an interface with our software system, our merchandise management system, and then call it off. Then they called it up and we had the pallet packed and ready on the same day, because it just worked out like that, and reported it ready. Of course, they were like, "Hey, what's going on? That can be done within the same day?" Yes, it is possible on the same day for certain things. So, here is the picking area. In principle, the goods are provided here - hello! - and are then packed accordingly into cardboard boxes by the order pickers.

Gwen Dünner It looks a bit like a workbench. Lifting rollers, pulling chains.

Uwe Karrenberg: Yes, exactly, that’s what it is. Basically it's a workshop, and this is where the assembly takes place.

Gwen Dünner Premium.

Uwe Karrenberg: Premium. I mean, you also have to remember: This is a premium customer, who also pays a premium price, so he also needs a premium service. That's just what we told the customer: "We can take other prices for the quantities, but then we also have to offer a different service." So we can't offer the standard service for a standard warehouse customer who then calls once and at some point his goods go out, but then our customers also have a different expectation, which also binds them to us and keeps them satisfied. That is important for us.

Gwen Dünner In this case it sounds as if it was a perfect match, that the solution was perfect for the challenge. In your opinion, are there other sectors for which transport-related warehousing is particularly worthwhile or suitable in order to maintain supply chains, for example?

Uwe Karrenberg: Mainly consumer goods, so to speak. We do try to store consumer goods, but of course we also have customers who produce. That means we have many, many enquiries. One exciting enquiry, for example, was from a manufacturer of concrete components who makes house cladding. He was thinking, "Wow, now I have chemical components." Of course, we don't have an ADR warehouse here, so we are allowed to store hazardous substances, but not dangerous goods. There are fine distinctions. These are the constructional challenges, the licensing situation, and so on. They naturally think: "How can I secure my supply chain?" So, they want to buffer. They don't want to store anything themselves because they don't know anything about logistics, but they want to have a service provider who stores five to 15 pallets for them, I don't know, IBCs or whatever, which they can then call up. We have already seen that. We see the volume in the TRW sector. The enquiries are on the increase. That has nothing to do with Brexit or the rest of the supply chain disruptions.

Uwe Karrenberg: And customers tend - this is also what you see in economic terms - to rebuild their own inventories in order to establish supply chain security. Because what good is just-in-time, just-in-sequence, if I don't have a product to sell? An example: company cars. I’m getting a new company car, which I need for my job. I ordered it last year, in April I believe. Now it's August, the delivery time is maybe October, maybe not. It's a Škoda Octavia, it's no big deal, but due to these supply chain disruptions they have problems, of course. Just-in-time, just-in-sequence works great if you have everything and the supply chain matches. If the supply chain doesn't match, we have problems.

Uwe Karrenberg: That's why, of course, everyone is trying to put a bit more into it. Of course, that takes capital for investments, because I naturally have to tie that back into material. This means that it also has a small effect on economic growth in the long term, because of course you put more capital into, let's say, parts and warehousing, which you can't invest freely in new development or other things. These are the things that we see. In other words, we see a bit of a shift, but we in logistics, as things stand, always find ways and means to offer services or to create new ones. Yes, there we see it: definitely TRW.

Andrea Goretzki: If you dare to look into the crystal ball, do you think these problems will continue for a long time or is there somehow an easing in sight? So, will the issue of TRW remain a very, very hot one for you or how do you think it will develop?

Uwe Karrenberg: I think it's a huge topic and has extreme growth potential. When the war in Ukraine started, the requests for storage volumes went up dramatically, once again. We experienced Brexit, we experienced Covid, the lockdown in Shanghai, in Asia, which means that the goods are not coming out. We ourselves have customers who are already storing goods from Asia, customers who order excess quantities so as to build up safety buffers, but then have no storage capacity themselves. This means that the goods are now arriving and getting stuck up in the port - that's what we're seeing right now - because they’re all full up there at the inland ports and seaports. This is a huge potential for our colleagues in Air & Ocean, especially LCL container shipments and so on. We also talk to them a lot and do some container business for them as well.

Uwe Karrenberg: The volume is definitely increasing in the TRW sector. I also see a sustainable trend there, because many of the companies simply say: "Wow, if I have another loss of sales like this...". In principle, this is what happens: The one who can deliver is the one you go to. I am also thinking: "Do I need a car at all? I still have one." If everyone thinks about that, then less will be bought. Yes, and the one who can deliver is the one who makes the sales. It's always a game like that, of course it's entrepreneurial thinking. I assume that many companies will continue to build up safety stocks. They all have anyway, because in a supply chain like this there are always waves, but this time the waves were clearly too big, one after the other, and we don't know what the long-term effects will be.

Uwe Karrenberg: In Asia, too, with the lockdown that they always do there. Then there are the container shortages. We are now seeing this in the USA, for example, which is now also levying penalties on containers and trying to enforce this by law. The same volume of containers in, the same volume out, otherwise you can't do anything, otherwise you pay x euros per day. Here, the seaports charge penalties for these quantities. Because what do all the customers do? They leave the goods in the port and use the port as a warehouse because it's cheap, because there are no rents. But now they have raised container rents in the port, where they sometimes pay up to 100 euros per day per container. This has given us the chance to unload containers again. This has become a huge thing for us, where we say: "Okay, we can now offer the customer container unloading in Gelsenkirchen", where we have practically created a new product. The container comes in, is repacked accordingly, packing layout put on it, finished. We have another customer for whom we have now rented almost 5,000 square metres, where we are building 5,000 storage spaces, who really appreciates this TRW concept to get their excess quantities down from the ports.

Uwe Karrenberg: It's really crazy to see at the moment. So, it's a huge potential, but of course it's also a huge challenge because of the space we need for what's still swimming and floating everywhere. There were too many waves and they are now building up and, once they all break, we will be faced with a huge wave of goods that many people will not be able to process. This will certainly accompany us for another two or three years, simply because there is too much product. That's how I see it. There is potential for us to build this up, to create long-term customer loyalty, to make ourselves better known on the market again. For example, as a container location in Gelsenkirchen, I would say. If things go well, we will have handled almost 1,000 sea freight containers here by the end of the year. Before that, we had an average of maybe 100. The container arrives here, it's already as good as empty, and is then packed onto pallets.

Gwen Dünner It's dark there, in the container.

Uwe Karrenberg: That's also a problem. We can go into the container.

Gwen Dünner I hope we won't be shipped with them now.

Uwe Karrenberg: No. That's why it's also important: high-visibilty vests.

Gwen Dünner Crass.

Uwe Karrenberg: You can also see that from the reflection. We have to see what we’re doing… But now come in here. Do you notice that?

Gwen Dünner Oh, the heat.

Andrea Goretzki: Nice.

Uwe Karrenberg: Further and further in.

Gwen Dünner Kind of like when you get off the plane into the airport and it's like 50 degrees.

Uwe Karrenberg: Like when you get off the plane in Bangkok.

Uwe Karrenberg: Yes, exactly.

Gwen Dünner That’s quite an increase.

Uwe Karrenberg: It's already an increase in volume and of course it's also physical work, you mustn't forget that. Then they have a shortage of skilled workers again and, in turn, that affects us. But that's another topic, it doesn't have so much to do with TRW. We are trying to further automate with wrapping robots, packing layouts, automatic roller conveyors and so on.

Andrea Goretzki: That certainly doesn't sound like an easing of the situation in the near future. Yes, the topic is very exciting. We have learned that with all the current uncertainties regarding the world markets, transport-related warehousing can be a way for manufacturing companies to maintain a minimum of planning security. It hasn't got through to everyone yet, but we are excited to see how this trend will develop. We are counting on you, Uwe, to keep us up to date in the future. But for now, thank you very, very much for your fascinating insights. It was great to have you as our guest. Yes, it was fun today. Thank you for that.

Uwe Karrenberg: You're welcome. It's great that you were here. I enjoyed telling you a bit about TRW and I hope your listeners are interested too. I think it's mega exciting and it suits us.

Gwen Dünner Great segue. Calling our listeners: if you liked it, let us know! Please give us a like, a comment, share the episode with your fellow human beings, partners, colleagues, family members, friends. As always, you can find all episodes of Logistics People Talk wherever podcasts are available. We hope you'll listen in again next time. Greetings from Gelsenkirchen:

Andrea Goretzki: Andrea Goretzki ...

Gwen Dünner ... and Gwen Dünner.


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