Bertschi Group expands - globally and in Dürrenäsch

(PresseBox) ( Dürrenäsch, )
The Bertschi Group can look back on an eventful and satisfying year 2017. With a positive outlook ahead, major investments into the future development of the company will be made also this year. A significant part is dedicated to the digitalisation of the transport chain. And as a reaction to the growing demand from its customers, Bertschi will also expand its logistics capacities. The company builds a new plastics-hub in Antwerp and a tank cleaning facility in Singapore, further expands the container fleet and increases office capacity at the headquarters in Dürrenäsch.

The employees are at the core of Bertschi’s logistics services. At this year’s annual meeting of the employees in Dürrenäsch, a total of 115 jubilees coming from all over Europe were honored for their long-term commitment.

Global activities drive Bertschi Group growth

In 2012 the company launched a globalisation strategy, based on a strong market position in Europe. As a result, more than one third of Group sales is now taking place outside Europe, being responsible also for a large part of the achieved Group growth in 2017. The European business units - supported by the positive economic business cycle - were as well increasing their turnover. Together with an acquisition in Belgium, Bertschi Group achieved in 2017 more than 20% turnover growth to around 900 million Swiss francs. Group results were on a good level, exceeding budgets.

Rastatt as crisis and opportunity at the same time

That 2017, despite the good achieved results, was also very challenging gets obvious when looking at the closure of the Rhine Valley railway. After a failed tunnel excavation under the existing line, the tracks suffered deformation and blocked this main route for European freight transportation during almost two months. For Bertschi - around 25% of the European turnover are generated on this line - the execution of rail transports on the North-South axis got an enormous challenge under these circumstances. Thanks to the extraordinary effort of all employees, Bertschi was able to overcome this difficult situation relatively well. The company was able to turn the crisis caused by the biggest traffic interruption in its history into an opportunity and proofed to be a flexible and reliable partner for its customers.

Positive outlook for 2018 - Digitalisation as a major focus

«The outlook for 2018 is positive. To be able to cope with the growing demand of our customers, we decided to again spend substantial amounts for the expansion of our capacities in 2018», comments Hans-Jörg Bertschi. Mid 2017 Bertschi acquired a large industrial site in the port of Antwerp. As from 2018 the area will be reconstructed step-by-step to a logistics hub for chemical products. The first phase is currently under construction - a hub for import, handling and storage of plastics from overseas. With the start of this plastics hub’s operations in only a few weeks, further planning steps are already under preparation.

End of January 2018 the Bertschi hub in Singapore went operational with the doubling of its capacity for the storage of dangerous goods to now 50,000 pallet positions. In the course of the year a cleaning station for tank containers will be added to the range of services of this hub offering drum filling, storage and distribution of liquid chemicals in South East Asia.

Additionally Bertschi will expand its Group container fleet by more than 2,000 units.

A strong focus in 2018 will be placed on the digitalisation of the business processes. «Digitised transparency in the logistics chains will enable us to further improve our service quality for our customers and to optimise our internal processes. The enhancement of our own software as well as its integration with digital projects of our customers and our own smart devices are in the center of the planned efforts», says Bertschi. The company currently employs 40 people in teams for software development. This capacity will be further increased in 2018.

In response to the Group's strong growth, two floors will be added to the company headquarters in Dürrenäsch in 2018, an office building constructed just six years ago. «The workforce at the headquarters has grown with over 70 new employees over the last four years. The expansion of the infrastructure will add space for the Group’s future developments. The new canteen, designed modern office spaces as well as outdoor recreational areas will make the company even more attractive for the employees», states Bertschi.

From Spain to Russia: 115 jubilees from all over Europe   

Highlight of the traditional annual meeting of employees held end of January 2018 was the honoring of the jubilees. For this happening long-term Bertschi employees from all over Europe travelled to Dürrenäsch. In total 115 jubilees, thereof 89 for 10 and 19 for 20 years of service were thanked for their commitment by Hans-Jörg Bertschi. Ulf Kühbandner (Dürrenäsch), Franz Hunziker (Dürrenäsch), Marco Pianta (Italy) und Christian Holy (Cologne), as well as the CEO Hans-Jörg Bertschi himself, were honored for 30 years with the company. But the loudest applause of the day was reserved for Max Schaffner and Samuel Hunziker (both Dürrenäsch), who received congratulations for their 40 year anniversary.  
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