Central and Eastern Europe region: Truck business as a growth engine

Focus on the automotive industry with about 140 employees in six countries.

"The future of Europe lies in this region," says John Boelts, Managing Director of a. hartrodt Czech Republic in Prague. With a focus on the automotive industry, he has been working in his position locally since the turn of the millennium and has observed how the change to high technology standards has also gained momentum in the surrounding countries. The increase in importance for a. hartrodt is also underlined by the fact that Sebastian Endt has been managing about 140 employees in the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia from Prague as Regional Managing Director for Central and Eastern Europe since the beginning of 2021. His predecessors had been operating from Hamburg since 1994.

Hungary plans own container chassis fleet

As a special feature in Eastern Europe, John Boelts highlights the truck business as the "fastest-growing segment with great potential". Following the successful launch of an own vehicle fleet at a. hartrodt Polska in October 2022, the product is to be rolled out to other countries. "We are currently analyzing whether we will also build our own container chassis fleet in Hungary in 2024," says Zoltán Peternics, Managing Director of a. hartrodt Hungary in Budapest.

Poland wants to rent first warehouse space

The regional heavyweight is the Polish national company founded two decades ago with a team of 86 employees in Szczecin, Gdynia, Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Robert Marszałek, Managing Director of a. hartrodt Polska, says the aim is to "diversify the range of services". He wants to continue the growth course, even if the general conditions are not ideal due to the stagnating gross domestic product and high inflation: "Depending on customer demand, we will start renting up to 5,000 square meters of warehouse space in 2024." Małaszewicze is an important hub on the still preferred northern corridor of the Iron Silk Road.

By the way, the focus in landlocked Hungary is on sea freight. "We currently offer faster and cheaper services via Bremerhaven and Hamburg than via Trieste, Koper or Rijeka," says Zoltán Peternics. According to him, the Adriatic ports are "heavily overloaded" and there are "major delays" due to rail work.

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