Forwarding Agent Quick Cargo Service (QCS) has added Muenster-Osnabrueck Airport to its station network by setting up a branch office in nearby Gronau, located in the northwest of Germany close to the Dutch border. It is the eleventh domestic branch office, complemented by seven stations across Europe.
Even if the required media restraint is maintained, it is fair to say that family-owned QCS belongs to the most innovative and visionary agents which one can find. They were co-founders of the China Cargo Alliance (CCA), the Aerospace Logistics Group and most recently the Life Logistics union incepted last October in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. “These alliances are our answer to the big boys in logistics, securing our competitiveness by offering customers a global network of unified forwarding agents, speaking different languages but offering customers seamless products,” explains QCS managing director Stephan Haltmayer.
Favourable strategic location
His company’s forward-driving spirit was evidence again last week when the Frankfurt-based mid-sized agent broadened its reach by setting up a sales office with eight staff in Gronau.
Gronau – pardon me? Sounds like a place being somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Which is true to a certain degree because the city is located in the rural countryside of highly industrialized North-Rhine Westphalia, only 50 kilometers west of Muenster-Osnabrueck Airport and 180 kilometers east of Amsterdam Schiphol. Rotterdam’s seaport is also not much further away.
“Gronau and Muenster-Osnabrueck close a gap existing between our stations in Hanover, Dusseldorf, Rotterdam and Amsterdam,” states Herr Haltmayer. He and his management team succeeded in hiring eight air and ocean freight experts that had formerly been employed by a local agent but were seeking challenging job opportunities within a more dynamic company.
Ocean dominates air at Gronau
“We were extremely lucky acquiring eight experts in one swoop, which we immediately accessed when we heard about it,” states Mr Haltmayer. With these sales staff on board it will be a completely different ball game for QCS in the western fringes of North-Rhine Westphalia and the northern parts of Lower Saxony state. “They know from years of practice most of the exporters and importers doing business in that specific region, thus upping our sales.”
He estimates that most of the revenues contributed in 2019 by QCS’s new Gronau office will result from ocean freight sales, with air freight accounting for something between 30 to 40 percent. All in all, at Quick Cargo air freight accounts for nearly 60 percent of the annual revenues, outpacing sea freight, project businesses and road feeder services. The truth is, however, that this gap is closing constantly.
Speaking about QCS’s business in 2018, Haltmayer termed it “moderate.” It started off well, followed by a slump in summer that lasted until October. Meanwhile air and ocean volumes are picking up again, but at a rather slow pace. “We are missing a peak this year,” he exclaims. A rating fully in line with Germany’s macroeconomic development predicted for 2018. While experts originally forecasted a robust growth rate of 2.2 percent for the entire year, the same committee recently scaled down the figure to 1.8 percent. UK’s Brexit chaos, Trump’s erratic tariff policy, the disastrous outcome of the Italian national ballot bringing EU opponents and nationalists to power has triggered signs of an economic slowdown.
Modern immigration law badly needed
In the particular case of Germany, the home market of Quick Cargo Service, the situation is aggravated by the shortage of manpower reducing economic growth. This widening gap can hardly be closed by asylum seekers. “Many refugees are fleeing from wars or persecution in their home countries, seeking asylum here, which is their uncontested right as human beings. But the majority of them are untrained personnel, lacking experience and language competency making it difficult to integrate them quickly into the local labor market.”
Having said this Stephan Haltmayer appeals to the Berlin politicians: “In addition to the asylum law, we urgently need a modern immigration act, oriented towards the need of the economy and the domestic labor market.”