Contargo gets on its bicycle

Press Release 28 Jul 2011

The container logistics company is taking sustainability seriously

Duisburg, July 28, 2011: “Green transport” – as a synonym for resource-conserving transports in a trimodal split – has always been a trademark of Con-targo, the specialist for container hinterland transportation. Now Contargo has established sustainability as a cross-cutting, fundamental principle for the development of the enterprise. “We accept our responsibilities – economic, ecological and social. These are the fields in which we want the company to develop on sustainable lines, and we are sure our customers will go this way with us”, says Co-Managing Director Contargo Heinrich Kerstgens.

One key factor for sustainable success is customer satisfaction. Kerstgens: “We continuously optimise our processes and the interfaces to our customers. This enables us to offer top performance at market prices. We make sure that each of our customers always has the same contact partner and this builds positive, long term relations.”

The enterprise already has quite a few achievements to show in the field of ecology. For instance, Contargo practises “Slow Steaming” with its fleet of inland barges – meaning that instead of hurrying towards the terminal at full speed, and then waiting around there to be processed, skippers receive precise time windows for processing. They then sail only as fast as is necessary to arrive at the terminal ‘just-in-time’. This saves fuel and protects the environment. Some terminals are trying out the idea of switching to LED floodlights. Together with energy recovery from the crane drives, this will reduce electricity consumption. Contargo continuously monitors how far it has come towards achieving its ambitious targets, using a system of environmental key figures.

Thomas Löffler, also Co- Managing Director, says: “Our main concern apart from the continuous improvement of our business processes is the wellbeing of our 400 employees from five nations. We bring our people closer together with transnational projects like temporary exchanges of employees from different locations, the jointly compiled Contargo Cookbook, and international management seminars. And because the health of our personnel is important, we are sending our employees at our Zwijndrecht site in the Netherlands to the fitness studio on a voluntary basis.” Employees at Contargo’s locations have now pledged themselves to go to work as often as possible on their bicycles. The sportiest Terminal Team will then be awarded an attractive prize. Contargo is also investing substantially in promoting the younger generation, and is targeting a trainee ratio of 10% company-wide.

The extent of Contargo’s commitment is demonstrated by the newly-formed “Sustainable Solutions” department, with Kristin Kahl and Viktoria Krieger as project developers. Under the motto “Green Light for Your Ideas” employees have now been asked to contribute their own suggestions. These range from quickly implemented saving measures, to changes in workflows and ideas for more extensive projects, such as the exploitation of renewable energies and the use of “green” electricity at Contargo sites.

Löffler says: “We need to keep the living organism of our enterprise in good shape and ensure its viability. This is only possible if we and our customers take sustainable action in the areas of cost effectiveness, environmental protection and employee satisfaction.” His colleague Kerstgens adds: “We are on the right path, and improvement potentials can be found everywhere.”

About Contargo:

With a yearly transport throughput of approximately 1 Mio TEU, Contargo is one of the biggest container logistics networks in Europe. Contargo integrates container transport between the western seaports, the German North Sea ports and the European hinterland. The company has 18 container terminals at its disposal at inland ports in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. Contargo also operates its own inland barge and rail lines. In 2010 its 400 employees achieved an annual turnover of 190 million Euro.

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Contact partner at Contargo: Heinrich Kerstgens, Tel.: +49 621 59007 184,
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