Zoltán Peternics has been Managing Director of a. hartrodt hungary in Budapest since 1 February 2020. The 44-year-old has replaced Jürgen Kirrbach, who headed the Hungarian national company founded in 2000. Kirrbach has now retired. "We worked together very well for 15 years," says Peternics. The graduate economist with a master's degree from the Corvinus University of Economics in Budapest joined a. hartrodt in 2005. "I would like to continue the customer relationships, and for this I need highly motivated and qualified employees," he explains his strategy.
Important: Trusting customers
Peternics, who speaks fluently German, emphasizes: "It is important for the customer relationship to build trust". And that's why he likes the Hungarian word for "order" – "megbízás": "This can be translated as 'document of confidence'." At a. hartrodt hungary, every customer has a Key Account Manager as a permanent contact person, says Peternics. Customers include importers of clothing and footwear with goods from China as well as automotive exporters/importers.
Strong demand for sea freight
With 23 employees and 3.5 billion forints (equivalent to almost 10 million euros) turnover in 2019, the Hungarian national company is one of a. hartrodt's most important pillars in Eastern Europe. "In a landlocked country, we are very successful in offering sea freight," Peternics points out. Import containers from Asia/Oceania reach Hungary via the Adriatic ports. In the past it was "only Koper" (Slovenia), but now Trieste (Italy) and Rijeka (Croatia) are also becoming more interesting. Export containers to the USA/South America are shipped via Hamburg or Bremerhaven. According to Peternics, 82 percent of a. hartrodt hungary's revenue is generated by sea freight, 15 percent by European land transport and 3 percent by air freight.
In the future, the father of two daughters wants to expand the Food & Beverage division, for example with wine or goose liver exports. Given Hungary's geographical location, he also sees growth potential in European land transport. However, due to the corona crisis, many customers have suspended business. Peternics hopes "for a quick recovery".