41-42/2016 Annniversary after anniversary
Anniversaries aren’t half as innocent as they may seem. They harbour risks as well as opportunities. On the one hand they provide you with an opportunity to take centre stage as the hero, to welcome guests of honour, to break open the bubbly. They offer a moment to take your eyes off mundane everyday business and look back with satisfaction at the challenges you’ve mastered all together, and the success you’ve achieved. The spirit of the founders and predecessors, the performance put in today, and the necessity of everyone sticking together for a brighter future are all evoked. An anniversary provides you with a moment when you’re sure you’ve got it all right. This is particularly valuable, as anniversaries aren’t celebrated so frequently these days.
The risks involved in an anniversary mustn’t be underestimated, however. First is the most obvious pitfall – did you count properly? For example – how old is truly the good old standard container, without which the transport and logistics industry as we know it today would not be what it is? Is it 50 or is it 60 years old? Both counts were cited this year, with strong justification from both sides of the fence. At least this birthday bo(y)x isn’t going to complain that you got it wrong.
And then there are some surprising anniversaries. If at the mention the port of Hamburg you think only of maritime services, then you’re guilty of oversimplification. For the gateway’s port railway also has a long tradition to be proud of, as was discovered by a flock of journalist who visited the Hanseatic city to celebrate the jubilee. There was plenty from the past to admire there, such as an old MAN trainset that has been restored by a team of enthusiasts in the port’s own workshops to its former birthday glory from 60 years ago.
The managers’ speeches looked to the future, however – which is only right, as that is where their focus should be. The near-term future for the Hamburg port railway apparently started in earnest with substantial investments ten years ago. Today, the port‘s 200 daily freight trains to and from the hinterland make it a leader amongst Northern Range hubs. The line’s managers have got their business strategy right – with the end of the line not in sight (see page 23).
We crunch some other firms’ key figures in this issue too. You’ll find an interview with Patrik Tschirch, CEO of the 50-year-old enterprise LUG Aircargo Handling, on page 44. Then there is one number I find particularly interesting – the firm Dreier Transporte-Logistik is celebrating its 111th anniversary (page 29). Thus the third generation of the family in charge has an opportunity to reflect on its achievements. All that leaves for me to say is – ad multos annos!