Schenker AG

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Schenker Aktiengesellschaft

legal form Corporation
founding July 1872
Seat eat
management Jochen Thewes ( CEO ),
Thomas Schulz,
Oliver Seidl,
Markus Sontheimer,
Christian Drenthen,
Xavier Garijo
Thorsten Meincke
Number of employees 76,153 (2019), of which 17,300 in Germany
sales EUR 17.09 billion (2019)
Branch logistics

Schenker provides intermodal transport at

The Schenker Aktiengesellschaft is an international logistics service provider . The company's range of services includes the transport of goods by land, air and sea, as well as contract logistics. Schenker is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG and, along with DB Cargo, belongs to the “Transport and Logistics” division. In addition to the official company name Schenker AG, the DB Schenker brand name is particularly common. The Schenker brand name has now also been adopted for rail freight transport by Deutsche Bahn, which is now trading under DB Cargo again.

Present position

Schenker AG employs around 76,000 people at around 2,000 locations in 130 countries around the world and generated total sales of around 17.09 billion euros per year (as of 2019). The company's headquarters are in Essen. From there, the company manages its three business areas: European land transport, sea and air freight and contract logistics. Levin Holle, board member of Deutsche Bahn for finance and logistics, is chairman of the supervisory board of Schenker AG. Jochen Thewes has been CEO since September 1, 2015.

In January 2006 the freight forwarding company BAX Global was taken over by Deutsche Bahn AG. With this takeover, Schenker will become one of the world's leading logistics service providers. In terms of freight volume, Schenker ranks first in European land transport, second in global air freight and third in global ocean freight.

Schenker is the official partner of the German Olympic team and was the service provider for the freight forwarding and customs formalities of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Schenker was also the official logistics service provider for the 2006 soccer World Cup in Germany.


History of the Schenker companies in association with Deutsche Bahn
The company's founder Gottfried Schenker
Bozen advertisement for Schenker & Co from 1925

The forwarding company Schenker & Co. was founded in Vienna in 1872 by the Swiss Gottfried Schenker (1842–1901) together with Moritz Karpeles (1834–1903) and Moritz Hirsch (1839–1906) . Karpeles and Hirsch were the owners of the freight forwarding company Karpeles und Hirsch, which had been founded earlier and which was merged with Schenker & Co. in the second half of the 1890s . In 1873 Schenker introduced collective rail transport, which was the first on the Paris – Vienna route. The consolidation of small consignments into larger units, as one of the great innovations in the freight forwarding industry, made use of all land routes for faster processing of transports, which led to better pricing. Two years after it was founded, branches were set up in Budapest , Bucharest , Prague and London , and others followed; their number had increased to 33 by the death of Gottfried Schenker. In the course of the establishment of the Adria Steamship Company (according to another source: Adria Steamship Company , founded in 1879) he acquired a stake in this company in 1880. Also in 1880, Schenker began to set up its own travel agencies so that Schenker & Co. could be appointed as the official forwarding agent for various world exhibitions, which in turn represented an innovative expansion of the service sector. In 1891 Schenker & Co. bought around 60 railway wagons and was thus able to offer rail freight from London to Constantinople from London to Constantinople , as the only European forwarding company at the time with continuously calculated and binding tariffs . In 1895 he founded together with Burrel & Son and August Schenker-Angerer , the Navigation Company Austro-Americana , based in Trieste. The shipping company , which initially operated four ships until 1898, established the regular connection between North America and Trieste for Schenker . In 1896 Gottfried Schenker became an Austrian citizen and adopted his Austro-Americana partner August, who was married to his wife's niece. Further contractual connections were continuously agreed with the most important rail and shipping lines in Europe and the USA , thus expanding the forwarding network more and more. In his last year 1900/1901 Gottfried Schenker was due to progressive disease Kuratel found and August Schenker-Angerer took over the management. In the meantime, the company was represented in almost all European countries and had achieved market leadership in many of them .

1919–1945: Weimar Republic and war years

In 1928 the company moved its headquarters to Berlin.

Against the background of steadily declining market shares of rail freight transport as a result of state-set prices and the increasing attractiveness of road freight transport, the Deutsche Reichsbahn was looking for ways to stabilize the freight transport business at the beginning of the 1930s.

After the Reich government was not ready to raise the freight tariffs, what was then the largest freight forwarder in Germany was taken over by the Deutsche Reichsbahn at the end of January 1931 under a contract that was initially kept secret. A week later, on February 5, 1931, the Reichsbahn also signed a - initially also secret - cooperation agreement with the company. As part of this so-called “Schenker contract”, the forwarding company received the exclusive right to organize road freight transport in the pre- and post- carriage of rail transport. Schenker was also able to assign this right to other freight forwarders on site, provided that they undertook not to operate long-distance freight transport and to handle the transport at tariffs set by the railways.

The secrecy was intended to avoid an increase in the reparations to be paid by the Reichsbahn . While the purchase remained secret until 1937/1938, the cooperation agreement became public two weeks after its conclusion and sparked a wide range of criticism. The freight forwarders saw a "systematic stalling of commercial goods traffic". The Reichsbahn was also criticized for concluding such a comprehensive deal without consulting the Reich government. With the conclusion of the rail forwarding contract on December 6, 1931, the exclusive agreement with Schenker was canceled, while at the same time the Reichsbahn was given the opportunity to set its own freight tariffs. In 1933, the purchase price for Schenker turned out to be much too high after it became known that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy .

After Schenker had already taken over the shares of Aachener Spedition- und Lagerhaus Aktiengesellschaft (SPELAG) in 1932, a forwarding company operating throughout the Rhineland and in the neighboring Netherlands under the management of Albert Schiffers, the two companies finally merged in 1936, with SPELAG as GmbH was continued.

In the war years 1939–1945, the entire company, as part of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, was involved in the transport of confiscated households from Jewish victims of the Holocaust . How much the company was involved in Aryanization is controversial. A clear statement as in the case of the Dorotheum has not yet been made.

1945–1990: reconstruction

The Second World War and subsequent expropriations resulted in the loss of numerous branches. The company remained in the possession of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, renaming on September 7, 1949 the Deutsche Bundesbahn . After the company was rebuilt, the internationalization and intensification of air freight took place. In 1947 a subsidiary was established in the United States. In addition, business activities were expanded to the Asian market and a separate company was founded in Hong Kong .

1991–2001: Takeover by Stinnes AG

In 1991 the shares of the Deutsche Bundesbahn and thus the majority of the shares were taken over by Stinnes AG . In 1997 Schenker AG was founded with the business units "Schenker Logistics", "Schenker International" and "Schenker Eurocargo". After the takeover of the Swedish BTL AB, Göteborg in 1999, the name was changed to Schenker-BTL AG .

2002–2019: Reintroduction to Deutsche Bahn AG

The old Schenker logo with its distinctive "S" lasted for decades

In 2002, Deutsche Bahn AG again took over a majority stake in Stinnes AG. In the same year, Schenker-BTL AG was merged with Schenker International Deutschland GmbH to form Schenker Deutschland AG . In 2007/2010, the Austrian subsidiary acted as a key witness in the case of the freight forwarder groupage conference .

In 2009, the transport business areas of Deutsche Bahn were restructured under the umbrella of Schenker AG, whereby the business unit "DB Schenker Logistics" took over land transport (except rail transport), air and sea freight and contract logistics and the business unit DB Schenker Rail controlled rail traffic .

In July 2011 it was announced that the air freight service of the subsidiary Bax Global , which has so far operated with 20 aircraft in North America and Mexico, will be discontinued. The reason is weak economic growth, combined with high fuel prices. In future, this part of the freight will be transported by land.

In mid-March 2015, the company surprisingly parted ways with its CEO, Thomas Lieb, without giving any reason. According to media reports, he is said to have known of bribe payments to Russian customs in the amount of at least five million US dollars. In July 2015, the European Commission imposed a fine of 31.8 million euros on DB Schenker for the company's participation in a cartel for block train loads between 2004 and 2012.

Another restructuring was carried out in 2016, in which the former "DB Schenker Rail" business unit was separated from Schenker AG and renamed "DB Cargo". The second business area "DB Schenker Logistics" was thus completely absorbed by Schenker AG and has not been listed separately since then.

DB Schenker is already cooperating in Sweden with the parcel service GLS , a subsidiary of the British Royal Mail (as of 2015). From 2016, Schenker plans to serve the parcel business as a growing area in the freight forwarding market in Germany as well. The offer is aimed at corporate customers as senders, Schenker transports general cargo on pallets for GLS, GLS delivers the parcels to the recipients.

In October 2018, DB Schenker integrated the what3words navigation and address system into its services.

In a pilot project in Sweden, DB Schenker has been using the autonomously driving, fully electric T-pod truck from the cooperation company Einride since 2019.

Corporate structure

Schenker AG headquarters on Kruppstrasse in Essen

Schenker AG has its headquarters in Essen.

It divides its operations into 4 regions:

The activities of the top management are managed in parallel in a separate organizational unit.

The national companies are organized within these regions. The national company responsible for Germany (and thus part of the "EUROPE" region) is Schenker Deutschland AG .

Special tasks

  • Schenker was the official freight forwarder for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, 2000 in Sydney and 2002 in Salt Lake City.
  • Schenker accompanies and supports the exhibitions of the United Buddy Bears worldwide. The realization of the exhibition in Pyongyang ( North Korea ) in 2009 was a particular challenge .


  • Susanne Kill: Schenker is a secret / How the company came into the possession of the Reichsbahn. In: Verkehrsgeschichtliche Blätter , Volume 47, No. 2 (March / April 2020); Pp. 51-52.
  • Herbert Matis, Dieter Stiefel: The Schenker House. The story of an international forwarding company 1872–1931. Ueberreuter, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-7064-0152-5
  • Herbert Matis, Dieter Stiefel: Limitless. The history of the international shipping company Schenker 1931–1991. Ueberreuter, Frankfurt [Main] 2002, ISBN 3-8323-0895-4

Web links

Commons : Schenker AG  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Management team. In: DB Schenker Global Page. Schenker AG, accessed on January 7, 2019 .
  2. ^ Sandra Lehmann: Personnel: Schenker AG appoints three new board members . In: , December 3, 2018, accessed on June 18, 2019.
  3. a b accessed on March 26, 2020
  5. Franziska Nieß: Three new managers for the Bahn subsidiary . In: , November 16, 2018, accessed on July 8, 2019.
  6. Profiles. Who is DB Schenker? Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  7. , accessed on March 26, 2020
  8. The new Schenker boss . In: (Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung), August 27, 2015, accessed on July 16, 2019.
  9. Marianne Enigl : How Austrian aristocrats joined the NSDAP despite being blocked from membership. ( Memento of the original from November 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (“Shelter”.) Profile online , January 9, 2010. Accessed October 10, 2010. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. a b c Charlotte Natmeßnig:  Schenker, Urs Josef Gottfried. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 22, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-428-11203-2 , p. 681 f. ( Digitized version ).
  11. a b c DB Museum (ed.): In the service of democracy and dictatorship. 2nd edition, Verlag DB Museum, Nuremberg 2004, ISBN 3-9807652-2-9 , p. 32.
  12. ^ Herbert Matis, Dieter Stiefel: Limitless. The history of the international shipping company Schenker 1931–1991. Ueberreuter, Frankfurt [Main] 2002, ISBN 3-8323-0895-4 .
  13. The Standard of May 11, 2010.
  14. High fuel prices - DB gives up air freight business in the US. In: July 26, 2011, accessed February 7, 2018 .
  15. Schenker boss stumbles over corruption . In: Handelsblatt . No. 51 , March 13, 2015, ISSN  0017-7296 , p. 20 .
  16. Antitrust law: Commission imposes antitrust fines of EUR 49 million on rail freight operators. European Commission, accessed July 18, 2015 .
  17. Deutsche Bahn enters the parcel business,, September 14, 2015, accessed September 14, 2015.
  20. "I'm unsuitable as a manager": After work - WELT. Retrieved August 21, 2017 .