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Kuehne + Nagel celebrates 125th anniversary with container tour


MISSISSAUGA, Ont.– In the presence of customers and business partners, Kuehne + Nagel presented its “anniversary container” at a special event in Mississauga, Ontario on April 28.

As a key element of its anniversary celebrations, Kuehne + Nagel  sent two 40-foot containers on a trip around the world – one to the east and the other to the west, and is presenting them in selected cities. At a special event in Mississauga guests had the opportunity to look inside an anniversary container, which holds four multimedia stations, each displaying information about the history, service portfolio, innovations and career options at the Kuehne + Nagel Group.

In a keynote speech at the event, Tim Scharwath, Executive Vice President Airfreight, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, explained: “When a company is able to look back at 125 years of history, that is surely a mark of quality in itself. This is especially the case in a service industry where people make the difference.”

Tim Scharwath thanked the management and employees for their ongoing commitment and dedication, and emphasised the importance of the Canadian organisation to the company’s network, strategy and future.

Three generations at the anchor and wheel: 125 years ago, August Kuehne and Friedrich Nagel founded a forwarding company in Bremen, Germany, under the name Kuehne + Nagel, starting with transporting raw products such as cotton, cereals, wood, animal feed and sugar.

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

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, said the company in a release. 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 more than 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 airfreight forwarders, but also developed contract logistics into a third key division. In the same way that specialised transportation for cotton and tailored services generated success, 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 support its customers from the first to the last mile of their supply chains.

The development of Kuehne + Nagel in Canada

Under the leadership of Alfred Kuehne, Kuehne + Nagel established its first foreign operations outside Germany in Toronto in May 1953. The Canadian Organization began in Montreal, expanding in to Quebec City and Halifax, the Toronto operation started in the 60’s and then in the 70’s moved to the “Toronto Star” building on Yonge Street no. 1, at the time when the National Head Office was moved from Montreal to Toronto.

Expansion of the company in Canada followed throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, with the opening of a strategically located offices and warehouses across Canada to fulfill the demand of services and the launch of insurance brokerage services and specific solutions for the Oil and Gas industry, confirmed and solidified our commitment to the Canadian marketplace.

In 2003 Kuehne + Nagel Canada celebrated its 50th anniversary, and was the first country organisation outside the founding country of Germany to do so. Since then, its growth has steadily continued. In 2012, for example, a 380,000 sq ft logistics centre including an 80,000 sq ft cool zone was opened to support the needs of the Pharma and Healthcare industry. The same year saw the extension of Kuehne + Nagel’s perishables logistics network thanks to the acquisition of Perishables International Transportation Inc. (PIT), Vancouver.

Today, Kuehne + Nagel Canada operates across 27 locations with 1,100 employees. John Hextall, President and CEO, Kuehne + Nagel North America said: “The Canadian organisation holds a special place within the history of Kuehne + Nagel. Our success in Canada has been built on strong customer focus, delivery of high quality services and the team spirit and dedication of our employees. In this dynamic business environment we continue to identify opportunities and develop future-oriented solutions for our customers.”


Julia Kuzeljevich

Julia Kuzeljevich

Julia Kuzeljevich is Editor of Canadian Shipper. She has been writing about transportation and logistics issues since 1999.
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