Time-critical logistics operator GBA Services has launched operations in Germany, adding to its existing European businesses in the UK, Poland and Austria, in part as a pre-Brexit preparation for the potential fragmentation of the EU single market.
GBA said the new German operation “marks an important further step in GBA’s post-Brexit strategy, as the UK-based business readies itself for a possible fragmentation of the single market, and potential restrictions and added regulation on future cross-border transport operations”.
GBA Services managing director, David Birkbeck, commented: “GBA remains entirely optimistic about the long-term impact of Brexit, in which there will be both challenges and opportunities. But we share the widespread uncertainty about the more immediate steps we must take to maintain and expand our business in a newly configured Europe.
“So, while we hope for the continuation of the single market and its simplified trade procedures, we must plan for the possibility that some of the current flexibility may not carry through. Our strategy is therefore to look at each major European market in isolation, and to assume that we will require a physical presence in a number of European locations, to underpin our long-term expansion plans. This is what informed our decision to invest in our own German base, and there will be more such openings in due course.”
GBA Logistics Germany GmbH is based in Bremen, from where it will provide the full portfolio of GBA’s services – including time-critical, high-security and temperature-critical transport. Although chiefly focused on express road services, GBA’s German operation will also offer global multi-modal freight forwarding of exports and imports.
GBA is no stranger to the German market, having previously operated in partnership with a number of local express companies for some years. It has well-established business between Germany and its other hubs in the UK, Poland and Austria; this traffic will now be managed by the new German operation.
GBA Logistics Germany GmbH is headed by joint managing directors Jan Gredigk and Maik Maertens, who have over 30 years’ combined experience in express road freight operations, specialising in the engineering and automotive sectors: two of the key target markets for the new business.
Speaking of his own decision to join GBA and support its German expansion plans, Jan Gredigk commented: “The arrival of GBA’s own operation in Germany builds on its established business base, and enables us to provide a much wider product range to a much larger market. In addition, our ability to operate between stations within our growing European network means we will often be able to carry backhaul traffic; that makes more efficient use of vehicles, and will reflect in our pricing.”
Maik Maertens commented: “GBA’s branch network, own fleet, proven expertise, accreditations and excellent reputation all provide our new operation with a very strong starting point, and open up tremendous opportunities to expand our business here. GBA’s advanced technological capabilities will particularly appeal to the discriminating German market, providing welcome extra security and control for the type of traffic which will be a major focus, such as high-value cargo and temperature-critical pharmaceuticals.”
The German operation has access to GBA’s extensive own fleet as well as its exclusive service partners. Vehicles range from parcel vans through to 44 tonne artics, with many refrigerated units.
All vehicles have sophisticated tracking, security and onboard telemetry. As with all other GBA operations, the German team undertakes to provide any vehicle type at any customer location within 60 minutes of initial enquiry.