Reporting 2021

Customer Satisfaction

We support our customers’ business with innovation and efficiency. For them and with them, we shape sustainable logistics of the future.

We maintain long-standing business relationships with many of our customers. Our credentials as a partner are particularly evident in the implementation of customized solutions and in the development and operation of highly complex logistics centers. Here we can contribute in a way that helps shape the logistics of tomorrow – examples include the Geiselwind logistics center for our customer PUMA, the CI Factory for Engelbert Strauss, the largest high-bay warehouse in Europe, which we have been operating for Tchibo for many years, or the robot-assisted warehousing and order picking solution we implemented at the Falkensee site for the customer Siemens Energy. In realizing all of our customer projects, it is pivotal that we understand the core of their business and anticipate their needs as well as impending changes. In this context, we are promoting e-mobility by further developing our own electric vehicle services. Long-term contracts give us scope to address customer issues in depth and at the same time make sustainability-relevant investments.

We not only want to meet the growing demands for climate-friendly logistics, we want to help set the pace – our C3 Bremen lighthouse project shows how. The new logistics center, in which the production supply for the global assembly plants of a leading automotive manufacturer will be consolidated in 2022, not only focuses on customer and employee needs, but also redefines the environmental standard for logistics real estate – with the largest roof-mounted PV system in Germany to date and CO2-neutral operation. Independently of individual projects, our climate target and the emission reductions already achieved pay dividends for our customers’ carbon footprint; and what’s more we also offer them climate-neutral services. We are in absolutely no doubt that proactive action on sustainability issues opens up significant opportunities for us in the market.

Ensuring quality – increasing efficiency

With the quality of our service, we have the opportunity in our hands to convince our customers to work with us time and again. In view of the global political and ecological challenges, it is becoming increasingly important to foster long-term partnerships. Only recently, several customers have again committed to long-term collaboration. For Kia Motors Germany, we expanded the car terminal in Kelheim with construction of a third multi-story car park offering parking space for more than 5,000 vehicles. Hyundai Motor Germany has exclusive use of an additional 95,000 square meters at our Dodendorf automotive logistics location, which we significantly expanded in this context. We also entered into a strategic partnership with Hyundai Glovis, one of the world’s largest RoRo shipping companies, through a joint venture. We are also experiencing our customers’ trust in other areas. For example, one customer has installed a hardening plant on around 9,000 square meters in a BLG-owned logistics facility in a clear signal that they are in it for the long haul.

Not only do we give quality assurances, we also provide contractual quality guarantees. This involves continuously examining ways to reduce the loss ratios within our own processes. Our central Quality Management departments are responsible for implementing, refining and overseeing certification of our quality management systems and also drive forward the integration and operationalization of our environmental, occupational safety and energy management systems. The majority of our German and foreign locations – including all sites in the AUTOMOBILE Division – are certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001, the automotive locations additionally to VDA 6.2. Our customers also regularly carry out their own quality audits at our car terminals. At our industrial logistics locations, we work alongside our customers’ production processes, and in retail logistics, our services are even dovetailed with those of our customers. Here we rely on regular exchanges at operational and management level.

Focusing on optimizing value-creating activities is an important success factor. In order to continuously improve our processes and systems and therefore our performance, we systematically organize all workflows according to lean management criteria and rely on the Six Sigma management system. This enables us to sustainably leverage new solutions and improvements across all areas.

Following the introduction of our production system by our central Operational Excellence department in 2020, which is used within the CONTRACT Division to further optimize processes and services for our customers, we continued to develop and roll it out in the reporting year. This focused on developing and implementing a maturity measurement system that can be used to determine the implementation level of the production system at the sites with the help of an evaluation catalog. From this, measures for improvement can be derived. The next step was to train managers and the approximately 70 decentralized contact persons at the locations. By the end of the year, almost all sites had been able to determine their level of maturity by means of self-analyses and set themselves planning targets for optimization. We were also able to intensify and standardize the exchange with our foreign locations in 2021.

We use automation among other things to prepare for an ever-more challenging labor market. At the same time, we are increasing our throughput volumes and taking a major step in the direction of the logistics of the future.

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Innovations for the logistics of tomorrow

In order to make our customers’ logistics processes fit for the future, we are continuously developing new solutions and relying increasingly on new technologies. The accompanying innovations are implemented, managed and rolled out across the company by the Sustainability and Digitalization department.

In 2021, we conducted eight 100-day projects for the initial testing of potential new solutions and six 6-month sprints for the roll out and scaling up of promising 100-day projects. These include those from the areas of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), data science, sensor technology and the Internet of Things (IoT). At the Bremen site, for example, we put two driverless forklifts into operation. Numerous workshops were again held on strategic innovation and digitalization topics.

Three research projects were successfully completed in the year under review – including “SHARC”, which focused on a concept for the intelligent integration of renewable energies into the port’s energy infrastructure and received an award for its sustainable innovation approach in the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany MCN Cup. Three projects were also continued: “Isabella 2.0” aims to integrate the loading and unloading of trucks, trains and ships into a previously developed intelligent management approach and to make it even more efficient through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). “KITE” is concerned with the development of an AI-based forecasting method for predicting transportation volumes, which should reduce empty runs on the freight forwarding side by up to 15 percent and in doing so also help to lower emissions. Finally, “INSERT” involves the development of an assistance system for drafting initial concepts for production and logistics planning. This adaptive system is designed to support planners, enhance the quality of the concepts and shorten processes. The “PortSkill 4.0” project was newly launched in 2021. Its aim is to analyze, research and train the skills and qualifications port employees of the future will need. This also involves developing digital learning worlds, among other things. On all of the aforementioned projects, we worked and work together with partners from science and industry and receive funding from the German Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) or the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In the reporting year, we participated in seven cooperation projects with a total volume of EUR 14.6 million.

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

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