Biggest German Logistics Companies – The Ultimate Guide

Germany has become a global leader in logistics thanks to its highly developed infrastructure. The country boasts some of the fastest trains and roads in Europe, which makes it easier for businesses to transport goods across borders.

We took a closer look at logistics in Germany, in an attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the biggest logistics companies in Germany.

Biggest German Logistics Companies - The Ultimate Guide

In addition to providing information about each company, it also explains why they are considered leaders in their field.

History Of Logistics In Germany

As with many other European nations, logistics in Germany started with the growth of the railway. In 1835, the first German railway line was built from Nurnberg to Furth, and within a century, the country had over 35,000 miles of track.

This then led to the development of the port city of Bremen as a major trade hub.

During World War II, the Allies bombed many ports including Bremen, causing severe damage to the harbor facilities, but the port recovered quickly after the war and became one of the most important shipping hubs in northern Europe.

In 1949, West Germany began developing its own logistics industry by creating new rail lines to connect cities such as Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart.

New container terminals were constructed, while freight railways grew in size and speed.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the German economy experienced a period of rapid growth, spurred on by strong exports and government support.

As a result, there was a huge increase in the demand for trucks. This caused a rise in truck production, at the same time as an increase in demand for the amount of cargo shipped – this increased exponentially during this period.

Today, Germany’s logistics sector is among the largest in Europe, and this is enhanced thanks to a strategic and advantageous geographical position.

It accounts for almost 7% of GDP – third in the ranking for the country, and high compared to other European nations. 

46,040 million-tonne kilometers of freight were transported inland through Germany in 2020, and the freight and logistics market in Germany is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 3% between 2022 and 2027.

Who Are The Biggest German Logistics Companies?

It is clear that logistics have a major role to play in the German economy – but just who are the major figures and players involved in this game? We took a closer look at some of the biggest German logistics companies on the market. 

DHL Express

DHL Express is one of the world’s leading express delivery service providers. They offer door-to-door delivery, courier services, air and ocean freight forwarding, postal solutions, and more.

DHL Express operates in around 220 countries worldwide, and some of their main services and offerings include:

  • Air Freight

DHL offers delivery and shipping via air freight, and this includes shipments up to 70 kg. Their airfreight network covers over 250 destinations worldwide, and they operate a fleet of over 100 aircraft.

  • Ocean Freight

DHL provides ocean freight forwarding services to customers across the globe. They can help you with your import or export requirements, and provide customs clearance and documentation assistance.

  • Postal Solutions

DHL also offers post office boxes and postage stamps, which allow you to send letters and packages anywhere in the world.

  • International Delivery Services

DHL offers international delivery services to customers all over the world. Some of these services include:

  • Global Mail

DHL Global Mail is a global mail solution offered by DHL. You can use it to ship letters and small parcels internationally, and they will be delivered directly to your recipient.

  • Worldwide Forwarding

This service is available to businesses and individuals alike, and it enables them to forward items from any location in the world.

  • Customs Clearance

If you need to transport goods into or out of a specific country, then DHL has a Customs Clearance Service. This means that you don’t have to worry about clearing customs yourself.

Some of the main advantages of DHL include:

  • Great Customer Support

DHL has a great reputation for offering first-class customer support, and this is important when you are shipping expensive or precious items, and need reassurance that they will reach their destination on time.

  • Free Shipping

Shipping is free when you order products worth €100 or more.

  • Tracking Your Order

You can track your order online using DHL’s tracking system.

Deutsche Post

Deutsche Post AG is one of the largest postal operators in Europe. It is part of Deutsche Telekom Group, and it was founded in 1995.

Today, Deutsche Post operates in over 200 countries and territories, and they deliver everything from letters and postcards to parcel deliveries and even international express consignments.

They offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Mail & Parcel

Deutsche Post offers an extensive range of services for sending letters and parcels to people all over the world. These include:

  • Standard International Airmail

This is the standard international airmail service provided by Deutsche Post.

It costs between €0.90 and €17 depending on weight and can take up to 5 days to arrive, depending on factors such as the size of the package, and the distance of the destination country.

  • Express International Airmail

This is a faster option than Standard International Airmail, and it typically takes 2 to 3 business days to arrive at its destination.

The cost depends on the weight of the package, but it usually ranges between €3.50 and €9.00, though it can be higher for larger packages.

  • Registered Airmail

This service is ideal if you want to ensure that your letter reaches its destination quickly. Registered Airmail is similar to Express International Airmail, except that it includes a registered airmail sticker on the outside of the envelope.

Biggest German Logistics Companies - The Ultimate Guide (1)

Parcel Delivery

Deutsche Post offers a variety of parcel delivery options, including:

  • Standard International Parcel Delivery

This is the standard service provided by Deutsche Post, and it normally takes 1 to 7 working days to arrive at its final destination, depending on destination and parcel size.

  • Express International Parcel Delivery

This is a fast option, and it normally takes 2 to 4 working days to arrive at the destination. The price depends on the weight of your parcel, but it usually ranges from €5.00 to €12.00.

  • International Courier Services

These are used for large shipments, and they are often used for transporting valuable items. They are also useful for delivering small items to remote areas.

  • Customs Clearance

If you are importing goods into Germany, then Deutsche Post provides a Customs Clearance Service called “Einzelfahrt Überprüfung”. This means that customs officials can inspect your shipment before it leaves your premises.

Dachser Group

Dachser Group is a logistics company based in Germany. Founded in 1930, when it was intended to transport cheese to the Rhineland, it now employs thousands of people worldwide.

Their main focus is providing shipping and logistics services to businesses and individuals.

Their services include:

  • Shipping Solutions

Dachser Group offers a wide range of shipping solutions, including:

  • Sea Freight

This is a common type of sea freight service offered by many companies. It involves loading cargo onto a ship or container vessel, which will then carry it across oceans and seas until it arrives at its destination.

  • Air Freight

This is another popular way of shipping goods internationally. Instead of using a boat, an aircraft will carry your cargo to its destination.

  • Road Freight

This is one of the most common types of road freight services available. Your goods will be loaded onto a truck, and transported over land until they reach their destination.

  • Global Shipping

This is a new service being introduced by Dachser Group. It allows customers to send their goods anywhere in the world.

Final Thoughts

There are many different ways to ship goods overseas, and Germany is a major player in the world of logistics and global shipping.

The courier services above are just the tip of the iceberg, but provide a good insight into the opportunities and options available.

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Andy Domar
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