May 17, 2020

Kuehne + Nagel 125th anniversary year marked with container world tour

Kuehne Nagel
global logistics
4 min
The company has come a long way. Truck pictured in USA
Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Exactly 125 years ago, August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel founded a forwarding company in Bremen, Germany...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.


Exactly 125 years ago, August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel founded a forwarding company in Bremen, Germany, under the name Kuehne + Nagel. What started with transporting raw products such as cotton, cereals, wood, animal feed and sugar, has developed into one of the leading global logistics companies.

Today, Kuehne + Nagel has a logistics network that spans the globe and offers its customers integrated and high value-added logistics solutions.

Klaus-Michael Kuehne, majority shareholder and Honorary Chairman of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, said: “In the history of Kuehne + Nagel, Bremen continues to have an unrivalled significance”

“This is where the company originated and even today valuable initiatives are spread from there to the world, whether from the sea freight competence centre or the contract logistics business unit."

Kuehne emphasised that, in addition to a healthy growth-oriented corporate policy, it was particularly the commitment of the many talented employees which enabled Kuehne + Nagel to reach its current size. He said: "It has always been one of our principles that we motivate employees, develop them within the company and strive for success through teamwork, which is essential for a logistics company with its complex tasks and cross-sectional functions as a service provider."

Three generations at the anchor and wheel – a brief review

It was August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel whose decisiveness, can-do attitude and innovative services set an example and laid the foundation for the company's success.
In the second generation, Alfred Kuehne shaped the organisation for six decades and not only achieved its special positioning among the leading forwarders in Germany but also initiated the first steps towards internationalisation.

At the start of the 1960s a new era started for the family-run company with the arrival of the third generation; Klaus-Michael Kuehne. He realised his vision of establishing a global logistics network that now has around 63,000 employees at 1,000 locations in over 100 countries, and thereby strengthened the position of Kuehne + Nagel in the age of globalisation and international division of labour

Over recent decades Kuehne + Nagel has not only secured top rankings  in the league of global sea and air freight forwarders, but also developed contract logistics into a third key division. In the same way that specialised transportation for cotton and tailored services achieved success for the founders, today IT-based, industry-specific logistics solutions make Kuehne + Nagel an important partner for trade and industry. In addition, due to its innovative overland services, Kuehne + Nagel is able to to support its customers from the first to the last mile of their supply chains.

A look ahead 

Karl Gernandt, Chairman of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, noted in his speech at the launch event that to date, only a few companies in the logistics industry have been able to demonstrate such tradition and development.
He said: "There are specific strengths such as the entrepreneurial spirit, innovative power, efficiency, the ability to learn and a special company culture lived by all employees that enable Kuehne + Nagel to achieve sustainable success." Gernandt demonstrated his conviction "that building on these strengths and a good mixture of tradition and further development, the Kuehne + Nagel Group is ideally prepared for the future and will not only master the challenges of the coming decades but will also be able to shape them. That is what is meant by the "Plus" in our anniversary logo." 

Container Anniversary World Tour from Bremen to the world

On the occasion of the company's anniversary, Kuehne + Nagel is sending two 40-foot containers on a trip around the world – one to the east and the other to the west. Inside, the containers hold something special: On four multimedia stations, visitors can discover information about the history, service portfolio, innovations and career options at the Kuehne + Nagel Group. The container will be presented at 14 locations around the world at national customer events. The tour not only underlines the company's leading position in global sea freight but also the strength of its global network.

At the end of the launch event in Bremen, Klaus-Michael Kuehne personally sealed one of the two containers and wished it farewell as it started its "Anniversary World Tour”.


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Jun 24, 2021

Kuehne+Nagel cuts carbon footprint by 70% for Honda China

2 min
Road-to-rail logistics solution will reduce carbon emissions at the automaker by 70%, stripping 16,000 tonnes of CO2 from its supply chain

Around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 has been cut from the supply chain of Honda's China-based manufacturing division through a road-to-rail transformation in partnership with logistics leader Kuehne+Nagel

The programme was developed through KN Sincero, the joint venture between Swiss headquartered Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese automotive logistics firm Sincero, established in 2018. 

KN Sincero worked with Honda China to develop an integrated solution to convert much of its domestic long-haul trucking to train lines, using regional hubs to improve supply chain performance and further reduce carbon emissions. The programme delivered consolidations as well as value-added services, including sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management. 

"Kuehne+Nagel has always been a supply chain partner that we can rely on, to help us improve our supply chain performance whilst also achieving our environmental goals,” said Mr. Jiang Hui and Mr. Takuji Kitamura, Joint General Manager of Wuhan Dong Hon, the logistics affiliate of Dongfong Honda Automotive. 

After six months of shifting to the road-to-rail model, new supply chain reliability and efficiencies are expected to eradicate 16,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The carbon savings represent an enormous 70% reduction in total. 

"Automotive is one of the most important sectors in contract logistics, particularly in China, the world’s largest automotive market,” added Gianfranco Sgro, member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics. “I am glad that Kuehne+Nagel and Honda share a common vision of service, innovation and sustainability.”

Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon programme 

Kuehne+Nagel announced its Net Zero Carbon programme in 2019 with a dual purpose to reduce CO2 output in its own logistics operations, as well as partnering with organisations to minimise their own impact on the planet. Kuehne+Nagel reached carbon neutrality globally in 2020 throughout its own, direct emissions, and is now focused on developing its capabilities to serve partners. 

Dr. Detlef Trefzger, Chief Executive Officer of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said the programme is “a package of measures to fight CO2 emissions and provide sustainable and innovative supply chain solutions – hand in hand with our suppliers and customers”. 

As part of the initiative, Kuehne+Nagel established its own nature projects in Myanmar and New Zealand, and invested in ‘nature-based’ carbon dioxide compensation projects to strip harmful emissions from the environment. It is committed to being CO2 neutral for shipments in its network of transport suppliers by 2030. 

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