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Interview with Gerald Mayrhofer, Managing Director of SENATOR INTERNATIONAL Spedition GmbH

European Business: Mr. Mayrhofer, before you joined SENATOR INTERNATIONAL in 2011, you had been working for an energy drinks company in Austria.

Gerald Mayrhofer: Yes, I came to Hamburg after I met the owner of SENATOR INTERNATIONAL. I love the shipping and logistics sector, so I decided to get back to my roots.

European Business: What is so special about SENATOR INTERNATIONAL that made you move to the north?

Gerald Mayrhofer: SENATOR INTERNATIONAL is a flourishing logistics group with a global presence and a distinct family culture. It is a Hanseatic mercantile business, in the best sense of the word, focused on reliable customer partnerships for mutual benefit and with a passion for logistics and delivering first-class service on a global basis. This is our philosophy and our promise to our customers.

European Business: How do you achieve your first-class service promise?

Gerald Mayrhofer: We have extremely flat hierarchies. Even our chairman, Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, is in constant, direct touch with customers. This allows for quick decision-making, without any time-consuming bureaucracy. This attitude is highly appreciated by our customers as well as by our own staff who are actively encouraged to make their own, independent decisions. Our strengths as a medium-sized enterprise are our special corporate culture and the fact that we combine a global service approach with being firmly rooted in the Hanseatic tradition of trade.

European Business: You also have your own training center.

Gerald Mayrhofer: Yes, it’s called the SENATOR Academy which has been established to compensate for the growing skills shortage in the logistics sector. Another current topic in logistics is the digital transformation.

European Business: Despite these challenges, SENATOR INTERNATIONAL is on course for stable growth?

Gerald Mayrhofer: Absolutely. We are continuing to expand, in air and sea freight and particularly in logistics services. At present, we have 45,000 m² of logistics space. By 2020, it will be 60,000 m².

European Business: In November 2016, your company started the SENATOR Atlantic Bridge, your own, scheduled freightliner operating between Frankfurt-Hahn and Greenville-Spartanburg in the USA. How has the new service developed since then?

Gerald Mayrhofer: The SENATOR Atlantic Bridge has given us a major push. We will also start a similar project with a freighliner destined to Mexico in April 2018.

European Business: Is your business changing? Are there any trends shaping the future of the logistics industry?

Gerald Mayrhofer: More and more customers want complete supply chain solutions, including purchase order management, customized interface solutions, digital information transfer and other value-added services such as customs procedures and documentation. They are outsourcing all services which are not part of their core activity. This requires a totally different quality, as opposed to just shipping a product from A to B.

European Business: And you can meet this requirement?

Gerald Mayrhofer: Definitely. We only accept orders that we can fill. As a medium-sized player, you can’t afford to lose a customer because of unreliability. This is why we are focused entirely on keeping our promises, in every situation, by supporting a cooperative management style and a friendly working atmosphere where everyone is contributing to a common goal.

European Business: What is your position in the German logistics market, Mr. Mayrhofer?

Gerald Mayrhofer: We are an established and respected service provider and among the Top 5 privately-owned logistics companies. We shall continue to expand by managing the digital transformation as an opportunity and by further enhancing the partnerships with our customers. The goal is to become the leading medium-sized provider of logistics and supply chain management solutions, and despite strong competition we are making every effort to develop and achieve our ambition.

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