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Haulage: Riding Kopernikus


“We transport all kinds of goods, particularly paper, new furniture and foodstuff,” explains May-Britt Schrader, Authorized Representative and Head of Sales at dls. “Other items include dangerous goods, pharmaceuticals and plastic products as well as food additives.”

From Krefeld to Warsaw,

Transport is conducted mostly by road through dls’s own fleet of trucks. While sea transportation covers a small percentage, a recent addition to the company’s means of transport is by rail. “We started this new project in 2013. We charter a complete train and market its capacity in our own responsibility,” Ms. Schrader illustrates. “The train is named Kopernikus I, and it runs between Krefeld and Warsaw.”

“We started with our own intermodal transports in 2013.” May-Britt Schrader Authorized Representative and Head of Sales

Since the beginning of the new year, dls has also chartered another train, Kopernikus II, which serves the route Krefeld to Poznan. This step is owed to the huge success of Kopernikus I as well as the enormous potential of intermodal transport between Germany and Eastern Europe. The trains are almost booked already. “We are delighted about this success,” the Authorized Representative rejoices.

A reliable and valued partner

It is thanks to the new mode of transport that dls managed to win over various new customers, including a global player in the furniture market. While dls still considers itself a medium-sized business, the example proves the positive image the company has even with big businesses.

“These companies are long-term partners of ours,” Ms. Schrader states. The wagons used for the Kopernikus trains are double pocket carriages that can be loaded with containers and trailers alike. Each train can transport 36 such carriages.

Partners for the rail transports are ERS and Krefelder Container Terminal (KCT). Up to this point, dls has invested more than six million EUR into the Kopernikus projects, acquiring an extra 250 trailers for the first train alone.

dls was founded by Bodo Engler, father of Ms. Schrader, in 1986. Over the course of the years, branch offices were opened in Poland, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

As an owner-operated company with Mr. Engler as Managing Director, dls is well known in the market. “My father knows many of our customers personally, and through our long-term customer relations we have developed an extremely high standard,” adds Ms. Schrader. “Another advantage is that we are known to be a forwarder as well as a hauler.”

“My father knows a lot of our customers personally, and through our long-term customer relations we have developed an extremely high standard.” May-Britt Schrader Authorized Representative and Head of Sales

New facilities

dls is a healthy company. Headquartered in Siek, it has a branch office in Potsdam and subsidiaries in Russia, Poland, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Its 253 members of staff turn over 125 million EUR annually. With its customers being mostly German and Polish, return transports from Germany and other European countries to Poland make up 75% of dls's business, always keeping its fleet of 400 trucks busy.

“On top of that, we use external haulers as we are also a forwarding company,” says Ms. Schrader. “Of course, all companies we use for this are long-term partners.” For the future, dls is considering further locations in Poland, where currently a new administrative building and storage facility are being built.

While dls serves a large variety of industries, important ones are the paper, furniture and foodstuff industries. For marketing purposes, the company is present at transport and logistics trade fairs in Germany, Poland and Russia and is currently planning to increase its presence on specialized fairs to approach potential customers. “On top of that we do a lot of online marketing and are active in social media,” Ms. Schrader highlights. “And of course we have our own sales force.”

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