How did BLG’s employees deal with the situation? What did you personally feel about the level of solidarity?
With a massive amount of respect, I saw how quickly our employees came back from the initial shock and refocused on their work. Naturally, when the entire economy grinds to a halt, people also have very personal fears. They worry about what will happen to their jobs. The good news is that job numbers at BLG remained stable.
So when things got going again, we were able to ramp up our processes immediately. The focus of our staff was always on the needs of our customers and this was expressed in their hard work. I saw a very strong level of cooperation within the company. For me, that’s proof that the culture change we initiated two and a half years ago is bearing fruit. One of our five corporate values is embracing change – and that’s exactly what we need in the pandemic.
As the first logistics service provider in Germany, BLG gained scientific recognition for its climate protection goals in 2020. Despite the pandemic, you have kept a focus on climate protection. Why is that important?
Climate protection is not only one of our own values. The market also demands it. As a logistics service provider, we can help our customers achieve their own climate goals. With our commitment to becoming climate-neutral by 2030, we are a pioneer and a model for the industry. Our absolute reduction goals are even scientifically recognized internationally.
It’s important to me that mitigating climate change played a big role in our decisions even before 2020. Despite the pandemic, we’ve stuck to this principle in all our dealings.
Frank Dreeke: “As a logistics service provider, we can help our customers achieve their own climate goals.”
How do you expect business to develop in 2021?
The first three months were satisfactory, and right now the signs are that we will achieve a better business result in 2021 than in 2020 – for the reasons I already mentioned. But we won’t yet get back to the 2019 level. There are still some large uncertainty factors. That’s why we’re assessing our business performance month-by-month and continuously adjusting our plans and forecasts.
Looking a little further into the future: What are the next steps in BLG’s innovation journey?
We will consistently continue with our digitalization work and add intelligent components. Already, BLG is a thoroughly digital company in many areas. With activities and projects in the areas of artificial intelligence, data warehouse, robotics and autonomous systems, we aim to raise our game to the next level. We will implement these technologies in close cooperation with the operational units and social partners. This is how we can make processes more efficient, faster and cost-effective, for example in parts logistics.
What is your approach going into the coming months?
Our mission hasn’t changed. We want to make logistics simpler for our customers to boost their success on the market. We’ll continue to work on this in the future with our full commitment and passion.
Mr. Dreeke, thank you for the interview.