The Austrian forwarding agent develops its global footprint organically rather than expanding its reach through costly acquisitions. Whilst this cautious step-by-step strategy doesn’t look spectacular, it has proved successful due to fewer frictional losses. Now the group’s CEO and Chairman Stefan Krauter announces an ambitious goal.
Throughout his many years in the business, company owner Stefan Krauter has never supported a one-size-fits-all concept. “At best, you are average,” he describes the foreseeable result.
Instead, organizing the business vertically by creating dedicated pharma, foodstuffs, automotive, machinery, and other units, and coordinating their specific activities transnationally and tailored to the needs of the customers has “proved to be a success and takes us forward,” states Mr. Krauter.
The entrepreneur adds that contract logistics and warehousing are other important fields the agent has identified for future growth. Currently, cargo-partner operates 44 sorting and distribution centers worldwide, covering a total floor space of more than 230,000 m² for handling, storing, dispatching, and security-controlling the shipments processed there. “This enables us to offer the market comprehensive logistics service packages to optimize the flow of goods, inventory and order management,” he states.
The 4R promise
Most recently, the capacities of the logistics centers at Prague, Sofia, Ljubljana, and Fischamend near Vienna Airport, have been more than doubled. Among others, they are GDP, TAPA and ISO certified. At cargo-partner, they term the facilities “iLogistics Centers.” Translated this means having the right information at the right time, in the right quality, and at the right place.
Offering the full range of ground services is a precondition to achieving another objective high up on the company’s to-do list: to become an indispensable part of the supply chains of cargo-partner’s customers. “The closer our integration into their transport chains is, the better we can offer them tailored and comprehensive end-to-end solutions,” states Mr Krauter.
Right at the SPOT
Digitalization is another central presupposition to fulfill the Vienna, Austria-headquartered agent’s promise of customized services. All of their logistics centers are managed via their SPOT platform. The management points out that the IT system can easily be connected to their customer’s individual platforms for seamless data exchange, enabling full digital control over the supply chains, including 24/7 visibility and inventory management.
Air freight is main source of revenues
Touching the relevance of cargo-partner’s air freight business, Mr Krauter speaks of a total of 1,032,000 shipments processed last year, of which air freight accounted for 32 percent of shipments and 46 % of all sales, followed by sea freight with 29% of shipments and 39 % of all sales. Core markets are Austria, the neighboring Central and Eastern European states, Asia Pacific, and the Indian Subcontinent. “Until 2025, we will be among the top 20 global forwarding companies in both the air and sea business,” he confidently announces.
cargo-partner expects to benefit from recent industry developments
Last year, the agent generated €753 million in consolidated revenues, up €55 million from 2017. However, the EBIT margin remained virtually unchanged, “which is not completely satisfactory,” he states. Mergers and acquisitions can be a very successful strategy for those who are really capable of doing it professionally.
Though not his own expertise, recent industry-related merger and acquisition developments are welcomed as he expects positive fall-out effects for his own business. “Due to the forthcoming integration process, there will be staff reductions with a number of qualified managers becoming available.” Much the same applies to numerous customers, of whom not all will transfer to the merged company.
Hence, the cake will be re-distributed, the cargo-partner helmsman is firmly convinced.