For a. hartrodt, Latin America is legendary: In 1910, Casa A. Hartrodt was founded in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires as the first overseas company ever. In 1914, company founder Arthur Hartrodt arrived and stayed until 1920. For this reason, Latin America enjoys cult status within the Group, and about 200 employees in seven countries are very proud of this. "While we have traditionally focused on sea freight from Germany, we are increasingly targeting cross-trade shipments in the region," says Claus Wendland, Regional Director in Santiago de Chile. The business is divided into 70 percent sea freight and 30 percent airfreight.
Second office in 1960 in Chile
Since 1987, Claus Wendland has been working in Chile, where the freight forwarder opened an office in 1960. "We were the first provider of sea freight groupage and had to explain to customs what that was," he recalls. Today, the 32-person team focuses on imports, but also exports seeds and wine. In Argentina, the Mendoza office specializes in Food & Beverage (wine exports). Otherwise, ten employees in this country primarily handle sea freight and airfreight imports.
Latest office in 2018 in Ecuador
As a German-Peruvian, Claus Wendland lives between cultures – also as Regional Director for "very different countries". While in Peru the freight forwarder is also a customs agent and employs a total of 86 people, in Bolivia as a landlocked country the company is particularly active in on-carriage, as well as in Colombia due to its decentralized structure. Claus Wendland has achieved an important goal with owned companies "along the west coast of South America," most recently opening a. hartrodt Ecuador in 2018. Next, he plans an additional sales office in Medellín or Cali, Colombia. In Mexico, besides Mexico City, there are sales offices in Queretaro and Puebla for the important automotive business.
Claus Wendland wants to continue growing – in the long term also in Argentina, where currently "everything is blocked": "Extreme inflation, no import permits, difficult foreign payments." By the way, at a. hartrodt Latin America is not for "machos" – women run more than half of the countries.