Logistics and Technical Service Provider with an Eye for the Big Picture

Interview with Bruno Boes, Alexander Boes and Stephanus Bernholt

BTR - Transport Logistics Vehicle Transport
At peak times, 35,000 vehicles are stored in Rehden

A company premises larger than 350 football fields. 35,000 stored cars. 150 trucks processed daily. These are impressive figures that characterize BTR - Transport Logistics GmbH from Rehden. The company is part of the Boes Group. A group that began in 1979 with one truck, has continuously evolved and today, as a logistics service provider, covers the entire value chain from transportation through storage to automotive services, and can rely on long-term partnerships with renowned German vehicle manufacturers.

When Bruno Boes founded the company in 1979, he had no idea of the dynamic development it would undergo. Starting with a single truck in a neighboring town as a classic forwarding agency, today the name BTR stands for a group with four companies - Linz GmbH, Bee-Trans GmbH, Wiechers Tank- und Spezialtransport GmbH, and BTR-Transportlogistik GmbH, three pure forwarding agencies plus BTR as a service company. The portfolio is based on the pillars of vehicle storage, automotive services, vehicle transport, combined transport handling, goods storage, and goods transport.

Keeping an Eye on the Big Picture

Crucial to the development into the largest logistics hub in Lower Saxony was the acquisition of a former Bundeswehr site in the year 2000. Spanning 270 ha, completely fenced and not visible from the outside, it offers ideal conditions for vehicle storage; BTR is the sole user of the site.

BTR - Transport Logistics - Own Railway Connection
An own railway connection with three loading tracks sets the company apart from the market
BTR - Transport Logistics - CT Terminal
CT Terminal: BTR has access to a gantry crane with a carrying capacity of 50 tons

One half of the area is used for storage, the other for forestry; deadwood is used to fuel the company's own woodchip power plant. "We grew as a forwarding agency and with the acquisition of the premises, we shifted our focus more towards vehicle storage," says Bruno Boes. "Initially, there were 200 cars, today there are up to 35,000 at peak times."

The range of services was continuously expanded over time and the conditions for optimal storage and ancillary services were created. The completely fenced premises were paved, the security concept adapted; there is perimeter protection through thermal imaging technology as well as comprehensive camera surveillance with motion sensors. Up to 200 trucks enter and leave the premises every day; this is in addition to individual pickups and thus an additional 200 people per day.

Development towards a technical service provider

On the vast area with its own railway connection, BTR offers a variety of automotive services. "Today we have the necessary size and infrastructure to also offer technical services including handover inspections, tire management, technical and optical preparations, vehicle repairs, reworking and flash actions, and taking sales photos," concludes Stephanus Bernholt. "With the advent of electric mobility, another business field has emerged that is gaining importance. For example, new vehicles are modified by installing software updates. For one of the largest German vehicle manufacturers, we have now refined more than 20,000 vehicles; other premium automotive brands are also among our customers."

BTR - Transport Logistics - Logistics Hub of Lower Saxony
On 257 ha is located in Rehden the largest logistics hub of Lower Saxony
BTR - Transport Logistics - Charging Infrastructure
Thanks to a charging infrastructure of 1,150 kW, large field operations and warranty actions can be carried out

For car rental companies, BTR conducts handover inspections. New cars are delivered from the Rehden factories, BTR takes over the software update, updates the vehicles to the latest standard, makes them ready-to-rent, registers them, and hands them over to end customers or axle carriers.

Everything from one source

240 employees across the entire group stand behind this all-in-one offering. Their know-how is one of the most important assets. "Thanks to our infrastructure and know-how, we were able to transform into a technology service provider, setting a milestone," emphasizes Alexander Boes. "This is complemented by short decision-making processes and thus high flexibility." Many employees have been working for BTR for many years; some truck drivers for 40 years. Their well-being is very important to the company. "We are very keen on maintaining long partnerships with our employees and taking good care of them," emphasizes Alexander Boes. "It's a mutual give and take. The same applies to our customers. We have grown with them, and we want to work with them sustainably."

BTR - Transportation Logistics - Software Updates
Typical services include software updates or the diagnosis of software modules
BTR - Transportation Logistics - Own Forestry
A wood chip power plant is fueled 100% with wood from its own forestry

The future is sustainable and independent

Against this backdrop, BTR feels well-prepared for the future—even as bureaucratic efforts increase rather than decrease and the market becomes tougher, as Bruno Boes notes. To simplify processes, the issue of digitalization will move further into the foreground in the future. Last year, the company implemented a new software solution; it is still in the transition process. "We are currently in the process of introducing a yard management system to automate certain processes such as accounting further," says Alexander Boes. "20% has already been converted; we are still testing and refining certain aspects. Security plays a central role in everything to be invulnerable from the outside."

In the future, BTR wants to grow—sustainably and on its own, just like from the first hour. "To create the basis for further innovations, we have acquired a second location with an area of 9 ha and 17,000 m2 of hall space in Stemwede NRW. We are a well-positioned company and can finance investments from our own resources," emphasizes Bruno Boes. "Financial independence has always been very important to us. I have run the company on this basis, will now gradually withdraw and leave the day-to-day business to the next generation." With son Alexander Boes and Stephanus Bernholt, two committed managing directors are ready for this task.