Hermes Europe

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Hermes Europe GmbH

legal form GmbH
founding 2009
Seat Hamburg , GermanyGermanyGermany 
  • Stephan Schiller, Hendrik Schneider
Number of employees 15,500
sales EUR 3.20 billion
Branch logistics

Hermes Europe is an umbrella company of eleven companies. a. Hermes Germany GmbH ( HG for short ) and Hermes Einrichtungs Service GmbH & Co. KG ( HES for short ) belong. Hermes Europe was founded in 2009 and is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Otto Group in the service segment. Hermes Europe is the successor to Hermes-Versand, which was founded in 1972 in Hamburg by Otto-Versand and the Werner Velbinger Organization.

The range of services offered by the companies operating under the Hermes brand includes sourcing, quality assurance, transport, fulfillment, parcel service ( B2C and C2C sectors) and two-man handling. Hermes employs around 15,500 people worldwide.


Old company logo

On June 1, 1972, after a planning phase of around five years, Hermes Paket-Schnell-Dienst GmbH & Co. KG was founded. At the end of the year, Hermes had 20 branches. Three years after it was founded, "Hermes Paket-Schnell-Dienst" has a nationwide presence.

After the currency changeover on July 1, 1990, the "Hermes Paket-Schnell-Dienst" was the first parcel service that was able to deliver to customers throughout the GDR . This mostly happened with the newly founded subsidiary "Hermes Versand Service Berlin GmbH", the provisional branch in Coburg and five new cooperation branches. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to “Hermes Versand Service”.

In cooperation with Deutsche Bahn AG, Hermes Versand Service has taken on door-to-door delivery of luggage, bicycles and skis since 1997. Strollers or surfboards are considered special baggage. The first “Hermes ParcelShop” opened on February 1, 1999.

In 2003, the Hermes companies Hermes Versand Service, Hermes General Service, Hermes Boten Service, Hermes TranStore Service, Hermes Technical Customer Service and primeMail were combined under a common umbrella brand, "Hermes Logistik Gruppe". On November 1, 2003, the Hermes Logistik Group introduced private shipping of parcels at the ParcelShop. Since September 2006, private parcels have been sent to various EU countries. Hermes Logistik GmbH Austria started operations on July 1, 2007. In 2009 Parcelnet Ltd. in Hermes Ltd. renamed and the Hermes-Porta a Porta S. p. A. was founded as a joint venture . In 2009 the Hermes Logistics Group became Hermes Europe. Hermes Russia was founded in spring 2010 as a joint venture between Hermes Europe and DPD .

In June 2016, the two Hermes companies Hermes Logistik Gruppe Deutschland GmbH (HLGD) and Hermes Transport Logistics GmbH (HTL) were merged to form Hermes Germany GmbH (HG).

From 2013 until the end of the 2016/17 season , Hermes was present as an Official Premium Partner in the Bundesliga .

At the end of August 2020, it was announced that the Otto Group, as the majority owner, would withdraw from Hermes and sell 25% of Hermes Germany to Advent International , including 75% from Hermes Great Britain.

Logistics Center (LCs)

Logistics center in Langenhagen-Godshorn
Delivery vehicle from Hermes Germany GmbH


Parcel shipping in Germany is currently (as of December 2019) processed via 13 logistics centers (LC), some of which have been further developed from the former main transshipment bases (HUB):

The location structure throughout Germany is to be rebuilt by 2020 as part of a future and innovation program. In future, all parcel handling is to take place in 35 locations. The aim is to handle the further volume growth in online trading and to be able to achieve shorter shipping times.

The LCs are connected to the depots of Hermes Germany, the 39 branches of HES, the logistics center in Löhne , as well as the WZ (goods distribution centers) of the mail-order companies (such as Otto , Baur Versand or QVC ) and the European Hermes companies.

The LC at Hanover-Langenhagen Airport was opened in the summer of 2012 as the "North HUB". Around 40 million shipments per year are handled here with 150 employees.

The LC in Hückelhoven (formerly "West-HUB") is operated jointly by Hermes in cooperation with QVC. The LC in Ohrdruf is operated in cooperation with OTTO, here mainly bulky goods are handled.


The network in Austria consists of a HUB in Salzburg , which is connected to the five distribution centers (VZ) and the goods distribution centers of the mail-order companies as well as the European Hermes companies. The cooperation partner Gebrüder Weiss in Linz takes over the HUB sorting of all mail order items from the Primondo Group.


In Great Britain there are two regional HUBs and one central HUB in Peterborough and in Italy one HUB in Tribiano . They are connected to their depots and the WZs (goods distribution center) of the mail order companies, as well as to European Hermes companies.

Group structure

Hermes Europe is organized as follows:

Hermes in Germany

Hermes in Germany is structured as follows:

Parcel delivery and transport logistics

The Hermes Germany GmbH (ex. HLGD + HTL) based in Hamburg, is a German logistics service provider. Partners are online shops and multi-channel dealers at home and abroad. The focus of Hermes Germany is on national and international parcel delivery as well as on the processing of upstream goods flows worldwide. Hermes Germany is part of the internationally active Hermes Group, which is part of the Otto Group. The management of Hermes Germany includes (as of January 2020) Olaf Schabirosky (Chairman), Dennis Kollmann, Marco Schlueter and Hendrik Schneider.

Furniture and large items service

The Hermes Einrichtungs Service GmbH & Co. KG (short: HES), with headquarters in Löhne / Westphalia, is a joint venture between Hermes Germany GmbH and Sänger Service GmbH (55:45). Within the Hermes Group, HES is responsible for the two-man handling business. 47 German and 10 international depots are operated, including the logistics center in Löhnen and a central transshipment point near Posen (Poland) for the bundling of box and upholstered furniture from Eastern European furniture suppliers. Of around four million deliveries to end customers each year, 50 percent are in the furniture segment and 40 percent in large household appliances.

quality control

The test institute Hansecontrol GmbH was founded in 1982.


Hermes-Otto International was founded as a service and trading company in Hamburg in 1966.

Hermes Austria

The Hermes Logistik GmbH in Austria , with its headquarters in Schwechat , is for the delivery of parcels up to 31,5 kg responsible. It operates six distribution centers there. The shipments are then passed on to the cooperation partners DPD or Österreichische Post AG , who then deliver them on the same day.

Hermes UK

Hermes Ltd. (formerly Parcelnet Ltd.) is a logistics company in Great Britain . It was founded in 2000 by Speedlink & Direct Line and Otto UK and is based in Bradford . Hermes Ltd. has specialized on the delivery of parcels to private individuals (B2C). 16 depots and 135 satellite depots (cooperation depots) are operated. The shipments are then passed on to independent deliverers (subcontractors) who deliver them on the same day. It serves customers across the UK (including Northern Ireland , the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man ). With the purchase of 'Redcats UK' and 'TNT Post UK', the delivery area was considerably denser.

Hermes Italy

Hermes-Porta a Porta S. p. A. is a logistics company in Italy , as a joint venture between Hermes Europe and Swiss Post International (70:30). Hermes-Porta a Porta has specialized in the delivery of parcels to private individuals (B2C sector). There are 3 branches and more than 35 satellite depots (cooperation depots). The shipments are then passed on to independent deliverers (subcontractors) who deliver them on the same day. The Italy delivery area is divided into three regions (north, south and east).

Swiss Post-Porta a Porta S. p. A. is a logistics company in Italy , as a joint venture between Hermes Europe and Swiss Post International (30:70). Swiss Post-Porta a Porta has specialized in the transport and delivery of letters in Italy.

Hermes France

Mondial Relay is a logistics company based in France . It was founded in 1997 by Groupe 3SI (a subsidiary of the Otto Group ) and is based in Hem near the city of Lille. Mondial Relay specializes in the delivery of parcels to private individuals (B2C and C2C sectors). It operates two parcel distribution centers and 20 hubs spread across France. The shipments are passed on to delivery partners who deliver them on the same day. Mondial Relay is also represented in Spain , Luxembourg and Portugal . In Belgium , Mondial Relay works with the Belgian service company AMP . The company has been operating as Hermes France Holding SAS since 2017.

Hermes ParcelShop

A Hermes ParcelShop serves as a drop-off point for parcels and parcels from private individuals. Mail order customers of the Otto Group and customers of, Inc. can use a Hermes ParcelShop as a delivery address or as a drop-off point for returns. There are currently over 14,000 ParcelShops in Germany, around 1,600 in Austria, around 3,800 in France (relay stores), and around 15 in Russia. B. from gas stations , kiosks or dry cleaners. Parcels and small parcels posted in the ParcelShop can be sent throughout Germany and, with restrictions, throughout Europe. The parcels may weigh a maximum of 25 kg and have a maximum size of 120 cm (longest plus shortest side). The parcel shops also offer shipping boxes in different sizes. Private and commercial users can set up a free Hermes shipping account on the Internet. With this type of use, it is possible to create your own parcel labels with your own printer and thus save between 20 cents and one euro per parcel. The parcel labels can also be printed out without a Hermes account, but the sender's data must then be re-entered each time. The shipping price includes insurance (liability up to € 500 / package - € 50 / package) and tracking of the package. Payment is only made in cash. Hermes now also offers the so-called mobile parcel label via its app , with which you can create the parcel label paperless with your smartphone and scan it using a QR code in the ParcelShop and then print it out there. The prices are the same as those for the online parcel label that you print out yourself.

A network of parcel shops is being set up in Great Britain and Italy.

Environmental commitment

In accordance with the company and environmental guidelines, Hermes Europe has ISO 14001 certification (optimization of waste, electricity, heating and water).

From 2013 until the end of the 2016/2017 season, Hermes was a premium partner of the German Bundesliga .

Hermes Europe supported the Hermes Attempto Racing Team from 2007 to 2012 . Mika Häkkinen was featured in commercials for the Hermes Logistik Group in Germany and Niki Lauda in Austria from 2007 to 2011 .

Delivery in Germany

Subcontractor vehicle with Hermes identification in the window.

More and more shipments are being delivered via independent subcontractors . Depending on the size of the delivery area, these employ several messengers depending on the season . Additional income is usually set up for this activity. But orders are also given to other subs, so-called sub-subs. Most of the deliveries are made by private delivery vehicles.

Working conditions, employment models and collective agreements

Around 400 general contractors work as contractors at Hermes . Up to 14,000 parcel drivers work for these at peak times. According to the company’s own information, 70 percent of deliverers are employed by subcontractors and 30 percent work independently .

Even after media reports on the precarious Hermes business models, employees report in 2013 that hardly anything has changed in the poor conditions at the group. They point to often unpaid overtime that has to be worked.

As the mother of Hermes, the Otto Group announced in April 2013 that it would abolish payment per package and introduce a minimum wage of 7.50 euros per hour. ver.di demands the same payment for subcontractors at Hermes, DPD and UPS as for their other directly employed employees. They are subject to the industry-wide collective agreement with hourly wages between 9 and 11.50 euros, depending on the federal state.

In addition, Hermes Germany GmbH has introduced a code of conduct for contractual partners and a whistleblower system, as well as an ombudsman whom drivers can turn to in the event of violations. According to its own information, Hermes paid a minimum wage of 9.50 euros in 2018 and wants to increase this to 12 euros by 2022. In 2018, about 1,000 drivers were poached from the company by competitors who paid higher wages.

Subcontracting models

The broadcasts Quer and Monitor reported on the handling of deliveries. Accordingly, Hermes assigns its delivery orders to so-called satellite depot operators, who in turn award further orders to subcontractors , which in turn award orders to sub-subcontractors. As a result of this constellation, most deliverers have no legal relationship with Hermes, i. H. In these cases, the remuneration of the deliverers is a matter for the satellite depot operator. In this context, the issue of bogus self-employment was raised and reports were made about several proceedings for withholding wages .

On August 3, 2011, Das Erste also reported on the broadcast ARD-exclusiv about cases of exploitation of Hermes courier drivers with the help of a business model based on pseudo self-employment with the help of several levels of sub-companies. In particular, it was criticized that the amount that Hermes pays its satellite depot operator for the delivery of a parcel is not sufficient to guarantee adequate remuneration for their commissioned or employed courier drivers. Collective minimum wages and employment relationships subject to social insurance were circumvented in the documented examples.

Günter Wallraff denounced the working conditions at parcel services in 2014 in Die Loadträger .

Attitude of the Otto Group

In its broadcast on August 25, 2011, Monitor demonstrated that the cases of wage dumping and exploitation of Hermes courier drivers that have already been documented are not just isolated cases, but that these business models are deliberately promoted by Hermes across the board, about higher company profits through lower ones To achieve personnel costs. In this context, the otherwise socially committed Michael Otto was repeatedly criticized and questioned because, as the main shareholder and CEO of the Otto Group , he has known, tolerated and sometimes publicly denied the conditions at Hermes for several years.


In 2004, the parcel service was rated “good” in a test by Stiftung Warentest . The pricing and the duration of the delivery time were praised. The test was repeated in 2010 with the award as test winner. In 2014, Hermes was again rated “good” for the third time.

Web links

Commons : Hermes Europe  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  5. a b New name: Hermes Germany. In: Hermes Newsroom. Archived from the original on June 7, 2016 ; Retrieved June 7, 2016 .
  6. Now officially: Otto sells Hermes - but not to FedEx ; accessed on May 30, 2020
  7. Up close with Hermes. Retrieved December 27, 2019 .
  8. Olaf Schabirosky | Hermes Newsroom. Accessed June 25, 2018 (German).
  9. Hermes Germany GmbH: Imprint of Hermes Germany GmbH. Retrieved January 9, 2020 (German).
  10. Testing institute Hansecontrol GmbH
  11. Hermes France: Viviane Reichert-Brown becomes CEO . In: Hermes Newsroom Germany . ( [accessed March 12, 2018]).
  12. Environmental commitment. In: Retrieved March 2, 2008.
  13. Bundesliga sponsorship ends. In: Hermes. Retrieved January 9, 2020 .
  14. Hermes becomes a premium partner of the Bundesliga. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014 ; accessed on January 9, 2020 .
  15. Hermes: Fair conditions for parcel delivery with Hermes | Hermes. Retrieved January 9, 2020 .
  16. Parcel delivery companies are planning price increases: Hermes wants to make delivery to the front door more expensive - Retrieved January 9, 2020 (German).
  17. Contribution by Monitor of January 27, 2011 ( Memento of January 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ Article by ARD-exclusiv from August 3, 2011 ( Memento from September 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  19. ^ ARD film about wage dumping. The parcel delivery men and the billionaire. In: Spiegel-Online , August 3, 2011
  20. Günter Wallraff (Ed.): The load carriers. Freefall work - flexible toil without perspective . Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-462-04625-0 .
  21. Inquiry: Hermes ( Memento of October 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 72 kB) Manuscript of the monitor broadcast of August 25, 2011 with interviews with Michael Otto, labor lawyers and Hermes courier drivers (copy in the Internet Archive)
  22. Collection of Hermes test reports ; accessed on November 27, 2019
  23. Stiftung Warentest: Parcel services - often damaged - Stiftung Warentest. Retrieved January 9, 2020 .
  24. Stiftung Warentest: Parcel services - fast, but rough - five providers in the test - Stiftung Warentest. Retrieved January 9, 2020 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 40 ′ 27.3 "  N , 9 ° 59 ′ 42.3"  E