The Florence-based forwarding agent, one of Italy's oldest, family-led transport companies, is expanding its reach. This is done through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, leading to an enlarged global network of stations. Last Thursday (27OCT), the company celebrated the opening of its new Germany headquarters, located in downtown Hamburg. On the occasion, a rope played a very special role.
After dark, the mesh doors close automatically and block the entrance to the office complex of Savino del Bene and other companies located in the building. If a fire were to break out in the stairwell area and employees were still present, they would be trapped, because there is no fire escape to reach safety. “That's why, for the unlikely case of fire or smoke alert, we have this rope lying in front of one of the windows,” explained Andreas Kujawski, Managing Director Germany, Savino del Bene, to the stunned 300+ guests who attended the inauguration of the premises.
Better wet than dead
“Our staff would have to leave one by one,” he adds, noting that the building is adjacent to a canal, “so everyone would end up in the water rather than on the street.”
“Better to get wet than burned,” one of the guests dryly countered.
The emergency rope was a visual attraction, but fortunately remained unused on the windowsill throughout the event.
Rail complements air and ocean
Prior to his safety instruction, manager Kujawski had given an overview of the logistics company's business. The branch network is growing step by step, totaling 300+ stations worldwide, a record result is expected for 2022 in terms of sales, and Savino del Bene has also made significant gains recently in international rail transport. Cargo trains increasingly complement the two main business segments of sea and air freight, despite longer journeys on the trans-Eurasian sector due to having to bypass Russian territory because of western sanctions.
Magical increase in revenue
Luigi Turco elaborated further on the figures. He is Central & Western Europe Area and Corporate Sales Development Director. In the last fiscal year, which was already a very good one, Savino del Bene turned over 3 billion euros. For the current fiscal year, management expects a jump to 5 billion euros - the largest in the history of the company, which was founded in 1899, Mr. Turco said. With an annual throughput of about 700,000 TEU, sea freight dominates and is estimated to reach 720,000 TEU by the end of December. In air freight, 90,000 tons were handled last year. A similar result is expected for 2022.
Mr. Turco confirmed that Savino del Bene does not have a preferred carrier strategy. However, over many years of proven collaboration, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, and CMA CGM have become close partners in sea freight, while in air freight it is Lufthansa Cargo, KLM Cargo, Etihad Cargo, Cargolux, and increasingly Turkish Cargo.
“We are currently growing our relationship with Savino del Bene. The company is very reliable, decisions are transparent, and the doors of the management are always open to us if we need to talk to them,” Cargo Sales Officer, Ingo Nickmann of Etihad Cargo characterizes the relationship. This may also be due to a corporate identity and down-to-earth-attitude that have grown over many years and led to a high level of staff identification with the enterprise. “There is hardly any staff turnover at our company; most of our employees remain loyal to us throughout their working lives,” Luigi Turco confirms.
The most important market remains North America, especially the USA. In this way, the logistics company is going back to its origins. After all, the transatlantic route was historically the most important connection on which Savino del Bene grew its business. This happened in the first decades of the 20th century, when shipping personal effects for Italian nationals who were migrating to the U.S.
Household goods are still part of the product portfolio, but they now represent only a marginal share of the total intercontinental cargo volume.
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