Established in 1912, Rhenus’ name is derived from the Latin word for the Rhine river in Europe. It is here along the banks of the river in Germany where the company first took root. Since then, over the past 100 years the company has developed strong traditions and grown to a point where today they are invested in markets all around the globe.
However, through all of this expansion the company has stayed a family-owned business. The Rethmann family has been at the helm guiding the company from the start and each subsequent generation extends this legacy further. The stability at the top and the long-term vision of the company is readily apparent and can be seen throughout the organization with many employees that have worked nearly their entire career with Rhenus Logistics. Keeping a company family owned for over a century takes a dedicated long-term perspective and approach. As such, the company does not make decisions lightly. When they decide on a path forward, they intend to stick with their investment for the long run.
While the company started in Europe, their extensive network has expanded globally and is continuously growing both organically and with acquisitions. That’s why their moves into the Asian market are a strong signal of this long-term commitment to the region. Their footprint now extends throughout Asia, including Thailand and the Mekong subregion. In Thailand specifically, they officially began operations 20 years ago, and have since grown their range of tailor-made logistics solutions to cover a large variety of industries. Steadily increasing their presence, the company currently employs over 370 full-time staff which are located in five offices and six warehouses across Thailand, covering all the transportation and warehousing needs of Thai and multinational customers alike.
To find out more about their expanding business unit in Thailand and the role they are playing in taking their customer’s supply chain to the next level, we spoke with Mr. Joachim Hanssen – Managing Director Thailand and CEO Southeast Asia for Rhenus Logistics, and Mr. Thammarat Thanoothammanon, General Manager – Sales and Marketing Thailand.
Like many others throughout the Group, Mr. Hanssen is himself a walking example of the type of commitment, dedication, and family values Rhenus Logistics instills in their employees, as he has been a part of the Rhenus Logistics family for his entire working career. His proven loyalty, focus, and drive has allowed him to take on new challenges and allowed him to step up to his current position as CEO Southeast Asia.
Mr. Hanssen said, “I have been with Rhenus Logistics for most of my work life and have been fortunate to work with the Group in many offices around the globe. I have always been intrigued by people and different cultures, which one of the factors that drove me to the logistics field in the first place and is partly why I’ve been so happy to work for the Rhenus Group. My career path has led me now to Thailand from where I oversee the Southeast Asian region for the Rhenus Group. While we have offices all over Southeast Asia, our main base of operations in is Thailand.”
“With a flatter organizational structure there are better interactions and understanding in the organization and it really does bring the corporate culture closer to the ‘family’ like feeling that many other companies could only dream of emulating…”
He continued, “Rhenus Logistics’ continued growth is due in part to keeping the company family-owned. These ‘family values’ trickle down throughout all aspects of the company and is something that everyone from the front-line worker to upper management can truly feel. With a flatter organizational structure there are better interactions and understanding in the organization and it really does bring the corporate culture closer to the ‘family’ like feeling that many other companies could only dream of emulating. This culminates into an understanding of common goals that everyone in the organization is aligned with and is what gives our organization the drive and flexibility to offer a full suite of services for customers.”
Speaking with Mr. Thanoothammanon, he shared much of the same sentiments. His work in the logistics industry over the past 20 years has taken him through many different areas of the logistics industry, but as he explained, “I feel that at Rhenus Logistics the company is actively creating a friendly environment for staff. Rhenus Logistics operates differently, and I can see the difference here. Even though the company is family owned, the organization’s structure is very flat, empowering all employees with the authority they need to make decisions. As such, the organizational structure encourages more employee and management interaction which in turn makes Rhenus Logistics’ teams able to handle and finish the tasks at hand quicker and easier. We work better as a team here, enabling us to better deliver on our promises for customers.”
Full Range of Solutions
In Thailand, Rhenus Logistics has developed a wide range of skills to manage complex supply chains and delivers innovative value-added services. This includes air, ocean, and land transportation, customs brokerage, warehouse solutions, as well a specialty in verticals like project and chemical logistics.
When taking a deeper look at Rhenus Logistics they are not merely just a provider of logistical products and services, they strive to act as a value-adding partner to customers. By drawing upon their extensive knowledge of numerous industries and products, Rhenus Logistics can help to improve the flow of goods, speed up processes, fine-tune solutions, and create genuine added value for customers.
Mr. Hanssen said, “Our investments into the country are enabling us to oversee all aspects of the supply chain. Our goal is to be more than just a freight forwarder, and we do this by offering as much as possible with our in-house solutions. This also extends to our ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 certification, giving our customer’s even more peace of mind that their cargo is in capable hands.”
Delving deeper into their specific services and solutions, we spoke with Thanoothammanon and he said, “We offer quite a range of custom solutions that conform to the needs of individual clients. For air freight, much of our work is done at our newly renovated office inside Suvarnabhumi Airport. Our office is AEO certified with certified staff ready to assist customers in a variety of ways. Along with specialized services like hand carry and next flight out, we are experts in Dangerous Goods and electronics shipments amongst other verticals. We also hold air waybill stock with most airlines. Our TAPA C audited cross-dock hub is a real highlight, as it offers extremely safe and highly controlled security of shipments as well as the ability consolidate trucks.”
Beyond the runway, Rhenus Logistics’ robust ocean freight offerings cover a wide range of services. From general FCL and LCL services, a Dangerous Good specialized team, and a complete door-to-door service including in-house customs clearance; they handle nearly every need a customer may have. Mr. Hanssen mentioned, “Our customers are paying attention as well, and as a result we’ve seen triple digit growth in our ocean and customs clearance divisions. Our strong connections, combined with our world-class support, enables us to offer the complete package for customers.”
On the land transportation side, Rhenus Logistics also offers total coverage throughout Southeast Asia for cross-border shipments. Their weekly direct overland Singapore service is another feather in their cap for the flexibility and market expertise that they bring to the table. Their domestic distribution services cover all of Thailand and is enhanced by their extensive network of warehouses and distribution solutions.
All of this, combined with their expert customs brokerage team, enables a complete and total solution for true door-to-door deliveries for customers. As Mr. Thanoothammanon said, “We offer one-stop tailor-made solutions for customers. From providing door-to-door, pickup, customs clearance to warehouse solutions; we can do it all.”
A Growing Team
The expansion Rhenus Logistics has been experiencing both in terms of sales and the retention of highly trained staff is a sign of quality throughout the organization. To keep on top, Rhesus is active in training and apprenticeships opportunities for both university students and young professionals, enabling the next generation of logistics employees with the ability to test for fast track management positions.
We asked Mr. Hanssen how he plans to keep the momentum moving forward to expand Rhenus Logistics’ operations in Thailand and Southeast Asia. He said, “In order to continue improving and expanding our operations, we not only have a vision and plan at a domestic level, but on a regional level as well. For example, we believe that the value generated by each office should stay in that office; not only for the benefit and development of the office itself, but also for the specific sales person that’s generating this additional value.”
“That’s why we have implemented a transparent billing system within the network that gives our staff full visibility performance reports. In addition to this transparency, we have an incentive system to encourage and attract the best sales talent to the company. All of these systems and incentives are made possible thanks to the continued technological developments that are being made within the group. We are collectively pushing for global standardization and transparency throughout our organization to give our clients the best services and prices possible, as well as using this technology to enable and aid our sales staff.”
All of these goals and initiatives set forth by Rhenus Logistics are complimented and improved by their use of technology but can only be implemented and acted upon with high-quality staff. This is why, as Mr. Hanssen said, they put such a big focus on creating a working environment conducive to attracting and retaining the best talent in the market. This combination of technology and high-quality staff is what gives their company such strength and allows them to continue growing strong.
Mr. Hanssen concluded, “I believe our group has a fresh mind and a fresh heart that is ready to give it all for the benefit of our customers’ business. We’re not content to sit idly by; Rhenus Logistics is continuing to innovate, and we always will be, as we plan towards a mutual successful future, hand-in-hand with our customers.”
About Rhenus Logistics:
Overall turnover at the Rhenus Group tops € 4.8 billion, making it one of the bigger players amongst global logistics service companies. Rhenus has business locations at more than 610 locations worldwide and employs 29,000 people. The Rhenus business areas – Contract Logistics, Freight Logistics, Port Logistics and Public Transport – manage complex supply chains and provide a wealth of innovative value-added services. For more information visit their website at www.th.rhenus.com