When Arthur Hartrodt founded his freight forwarding business in Hamburg on May 1, 1887, he could hardly have foreseen that today the group employs nearly 2,000 people in 64 companies in 46 countries. From the German Empire to the globalized world, the service level has always remained consistently high. Felix Wenzel, Managing Partner of a. hartrodt's Management Holding, recalls the pioneering achievements of his great-great-grandfather: "He developed the a. hartrodt company into one of the leading freight forwarders for Australia and South America transports." Arthur Hartrodt felt very close to South America – for years he worked from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and died in Santos (Brazil) in 1936.
1950s: Expansion of the aviation business
In 1912, the company founder had farsightedly made his authorized signatory Rudolph Thode a partner, who handed the company over to the third generation in 1968 after 75 years. "My great-grandfather accompanied the expansion of the air freight business from the 1950s onwards," says Jan van Tienhoven, Managing Partner of a. hartrodt's Management Holding. Since 1937, Dr. Wilhelm Wenzel and Johannes Groeseling were co-owners in the second generation. The pace of expansion accelerated when the third generation took over in the 1960s.
1980s: Expansion in China and Southeast Asia
Numerous branches in Europe and overseas plus transit transports to Eastern Europe started under Konrad Wenzel and Joop van Tienhoven. The turning point came in the 1970s with technical innovations such as containers and IT, as well as the move to the current company headquarters. In the fourth generation, Andreas Wenzel did pioneering work in China and Southeast Asia from 1985 onwards, while Jan van Tienhoven has focused on North and South America since 1986. In view of the rapid growth, a. hartrodt founded the Management Holding in Hamburg in 2015.
The current management duo stands for a mixture of tradition and innovation: While Felix Wenzel (35) has been driving the digital transformation since 2021, Jan van Tienhoven (60) pays attention to continuity. This is how a. hartrodt succeeds in finding effective solutions for customers even under the crises of the second millennium and especially currently challenging conditions.