LTN joins Online Systemlogistik

General cargo association Online Systemlogistik (OSL) has gained a new system partner: On June 1st, LTN GmbH will join the network with its Dortmund location.

LTN GmbH will approach the OSL central hub in Schlitz for the first time in the night from 1st to 2nd June 2022. For distribution in the region north of Dortmund and hub transports, LTN can rely on a fleet of over 100 vehicles. The company employs over 150 people at nine locations in North Rhine-Westphalia.

With the entry of the new system partner, the freight forwarder Kockel, Soest, leaves the general cargo network; Kockel was active as an OSL service provider.

Service providers support OSL in distribution and procurement, but do not feed in any cargo themselves. “We are now one step closer to our goal of having only system partners in the network,” explains Verena Käuper, authorised signatory at Online Systemlogistik. “As soon as there are only system partners in the network, all participants have the same rights and obligations, and costly special regulations for non-partners are no longer necessary.”

Stable economic situation in NRW

According to the Kompetenznetz Logistik.NRW, the volume of consignments in North Rhine-Westphalia remains stable despite the generally tense economic situation. The logistics companies surveyed by the competence network even expect the utilisation rate in the most populous federal state to increase. About 18 of the 50 largest German trading companies have their headquarters here; the food industry, mechanical engineering and vehicle manufacturing are particularly well represented in Münsterland. In the metropolitan area of North Rhine-Westphalia, 17 of a total of 91 system partners are working for OSL.

Aid transports for Ukraine

Partner companies and employees of the general cargo network Online Systemlogistik (OSL) collect on their own initiative for aid transports to Ukraine. The OSL head office coordinates the collection; all relief goods first go to the central HUB in Schlitz near Fulda. Already during the first collection, three truckloads were collected.

The relief goods are mainly durable food, drinking water in bottles and canisters, wheelchairs, surgical gowns, hygiene articles, children’s toys, sleeping bags and sleeping mats. The first of three trucks left the HUB in Schlitz on April 8th for a relief goods HUB in Przemyśl, Poland. From there it will be transported on to Ukraine. The second truck will start this week. Przemyśl is located directly on the Polish-Ukrainian border, and the city of Lviv in western Ukraine is just under 100 kilometres away.

The transport was organised by employees of Online Systemlogistik, the first delivery was made by a company of the Polish system partner JAS-FBG S.A. The actions are to be continued. As the situation on the transport market is tense, the frequency of deliveries depends on the availability of drivers and vehicles. In March, OSL had already carried out an aid transport with mineral water together with the system partner Nothegger; the delivery arrived in Ukraine on March 23rd.

Online system logistics continues to expand general cargo network

At the beginning of the year, eight companies strengthened the general cargo network of Online Systemlogistik (OSL): Werner Transport & Logistik and 17111 Logistik in the north, Spedition Vögele, Grieshaber Logistik (Weingarten) and Allgäu Frachtlogistik in the south, Kurt Rothschild in Rhineland-Palatinate and Rottbeck Spedition (Bottrop) and Wwe. Th. Hövelmann in North Rhine-Westphalia.

When it comes to expanding our network, the focus is currently on optimizing supply,” explains Petra Welling, Managing Director of Online Systemlogistik. “When changing partners or strengthening our general cargo network, we pay more attention than ever to ensuring that every system participant has the shortest possible routes in their region. That was always the goal, but sometimes it was not possible to implement it operationally. For reasons of sustainability alone, we set our priorities differently today. Short distances mean less energy consumption and less CO2 emissions.”

Reinforcement, change, start-up

The companies 17111 Logistik and Werner Transport & Logistik strengthen the network in Schleswig-Holstein, together they take over the area of ​​the previous service provider Sprint from Neumünster. Kurt Rothschild replaces the Gräfen forwarding company in Rhineland-Palatinate. In the west of NRW, the new system partners Hövelmann and Rottbeck relieve the neighboring partners; Wwe. Th. Hövelmann had previously worked as a service provider for OSL.

The newly acquired companies Vögele and Grieshaber share the former area of ​​the former system partner Fecht in southern Baden-Württemberg with the existing system partner Transco Süd. In the south of Bavaria, the newly founded company Allgäu Frachtlogistik takes the place of Fecht Allgäu. In the course of the founding, Allgäu Frachtlogistik took over the former Fecht location in Weitnau, Managing Director is Markus Hofer.

Service providers as a preliminary stage to the partnership

OSL distinguishes between system partners and service providers for the companies that take part in HUB traffic: Service providers operate procurement logistics for the system partners and distribute shipments in the destination area, but do not feed them into the network themselves. “OSL’s goal is not to have any service providers in the system in the medium term,” says OSL authorized signatory Verena Käuper. “However, in order to adjust structures step by step and slowly build up new system participants, 17111 Logistik, Grieshaber Logistik and Werner Transport & Logistik initially started as service providers on January 1st.” Grieshaber and 17111 Logistik will become system partners on April 1st, 2022, Werner on January 1st January 2023. The system partnership of Rottbeck Spedition starts on February 1st. Vögele, Rothschild, Allgäu Frachtlogistik and Wwe. Th. Hövelmann have been system partners since January 1st.

Hintzen and Transland now drive for ONLINE Systemlogistik

The Transland logistics location in Haiger

Hintzen Logistik GmbH, Eschweiler, and Transland Spedition GmbH, Haiger, are new partners in the general cargo association Online Systemlogistik (OSL). Since 1 October, Hintzen has been responsible for the Eifel region and the Eschweiler area, while Transland has been strengthening the North Rhine-Westphalia area since 1 November.
At the same time as the new partners join, OSL is changing the division of its territory. “It has proven successful to work with several partners in conurbations and to optimise the territories themselves by making them smaller,” explains OSL Managing Director Petra Welling. “In this way, we are countering the increased volume of consignments – we are relieving the individual partners and once again increasing the quality of our service with the network density.”

New regional distribution in North Rhine-Westphalia

Online Systemlogistik has used the departure of the Kost forwarding company on 31 October for a new division of the region: The region east of Cologne has been taken over by the partner Heuel Logistics since September, and the adjacent area in the Siegerland/Sauerland region between Schmallenberg in the north and Burbach in the south has been served by Transland since November. The company is headquartered in Haiger in Hesse. There and at the Herborn location, 200 employees and 62 local transport vehicles are in operation; a double-decker semi-trailer drives in the OSL main run. Transland has been part of the Zufall Group since 2007. Transland was already a system partner of OSL from 1995 to 2008.

The Eifel region in the western part of North Rhine-Westphalia bordering Belgium and the region around Eschweiler has been covered by Hintzen Logistik GmbH since 1 October. Hintzen thus relieves the system partner Gräfen. Hintzen employs 125 people at its headquarters in Eschweiler and at its Bergheim site. Of the total of 65 vehicles, one truck is on the main run and 26 distribution vehicles are on the road for OSL.

Online Systemlogistik invests 2.5 million euros in new building at central hub

Purchase of land in winter, start of construction in autumn: With the symbolic ground-breaking ceremony in September, Online Systemlogistik (OSL) underlines the importance of the new office and social building, which is being built directly at the central hub in Schlitz near Fulda. Spacious break and changing rooms as well as modern sanitary facilities are planned for drivers, as well as a training room, offices and 120 car parking spaces. The 800-square-metre, energy-saving building in timber construction is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.

“We are very pleased to be building a new facility in Schlitz and to be able to offer our employees better working conditions there,” says Petra Welling, Managing Director of Online Systemlogistik GmbH & Co. KG. “The previous premises are getting on in years and are not tailored to the recent growth in staff.” For the new building, the OSL real estate company, which consists of system partners, has acquired the corner plot of around 10,000 square metres adjacent to the central hub.

Photovoltaics also generate electricity for the Hub – “Efficiency House 55

A photovoltaic system on the roof of the new building generates energy. It will not only cover the fully air-conditioned building’s own needs at all times of the year, but also supply the central hub with electricity. In anticipation of increasing electromobility, charging stations for e-cars will be installed at the staff car park.

The new building is designed to meet the KfW criteria for an “Efficiency House 55”: Compared to a reference building that meets the requirements of the Building Energy Act (GEG), it requires only 55 percent of the primary energy such as coal or mineral oil. At the same time, the thermal insulation is 30 percent better, and the timber construction offers high energy efficiency. “Sustainability is a must for us – and also economically more attractive,” explains Petra Welling. “The investment costs are higher at the beginning, but this is offset by the lower maintenance costs.”

Time for modernisation

As soon as the new building is occupied, the renovation of the old rooms is to start. “We will start with the basic renovation of the handling office, which is located directly in the hub, very soon,” says Petra Welling. “The sanitary facilities will follow as soon as we can move into the new building.”

The new building in a nutshell:

  • 10,000 m2 plot
  • 3,000 m2 outdoor area (access road and parking spaces)
  • 800 m2 of usable building space on two floors
  • Photovoltaics, heat pump, ventilation system with heat recovery and the wooden construction minimise the CO2 footprint
  • Total investment 2.5 million euros (2.2 million for the building, 0.3 million for the land)
  • Address: Fraurombacher Strasse 5, 36110 Schlitz

HEUEL LOGISTICS joins ONLINE Systemlogistik

Josef Heuel GmbH, Meinerzhagen, has been a new partner of the general cargo association Online Systemlogistik (OSL) since 1 September 2021. OSL thus has a high-performance logistics service provider at its side that can reliably handle the increasing volume of consignments in the conurbation east of Cologne. The system partner Kost, Attendorn, who was previously responsible for the area, is leaving at the end of the year.

“As a renowned, owner-managed logistics company, Heuel Logistics is a very good fit for us, and we also have the same high quality standards,” explains Petra Welling, Managing Director of Online Systemlogistik GmbH & Co. KG. The membership of Heuel Logistics is the first step for a new distribution in the postcode areas 51, 57, 58 (Bergisches Land / Sauerland). Currently, four lorries per night leave from there in the direction of the OSL HUBs, feed consignments into the network and take loads back for distribution: Heuel Logistics drives to the central HUBs I and II in Schlitz near Fulda as well as the northern HUB in Porta Westfalica with one lorry each; one lorry is provided by the forwarding company Kost. Another partner is to be added to the region before the end of the year.

Strong together in Europe

By becoming a member of Online Systemlogistik, Heuel Logistics strengthens its transport handling throughout Europe. The international services of the family-owned company, founded in 1926, include not only general cargo but also long goods, thermal and hazardous goods.

In addition to its headquarters in Meinerzhagen, Heuel Logistics operates four other locations: in Drolshagen, 15 kilometres away, in Nabburg in the Upper Palatinate, as well as in the Czech Republic and Poland. 380 employees send 1,800 consignments on their way every day. 30 trucks are used for feed-in and disposal in the OSL network, the entire fleet comprises 250 vehicles. More information at www.heuel.com

ONLINE Systemlogistik optimises B2C business

Fluctuating consignment volumes, unusual dimensions and individual deadlines – B2C consignments pose major challenges for general cargo logistics providers. In order to make the processes more efficient, the general cargo association ONLINE Systemlogistik (OSL) is now breaking new ground.

Ten percent more consignments and 13 percent more tonnage were recorded by OSL compared to the previous year. A large part of this is due to the increasing demand in the B2C business. In order to deliver goods punctually and reliably in the future, the general cargo association is reorganising its processes: From 1 September, the receiving forwarder will no longer take over the notification of national shipments with a fixed date, but the shipping forwarder. This means that it is already clear at the beginning of the supply chain when the delivery is to take place. This means more planning reliability for all parties involved.

New processes for more efficient transport planning

In future, the procedure will look like this: When a shipping agent receives an order from his customer to deliver a shipment within Germany to a private recipient, he picks up the goods from the customer and parks them in his depot for a short time. He then arranges a delivery date with the recipient by telephone or e-mail. Only after successful confirmation of the appointment does he feed the consignment into the ONLINE Systemlogistik network. The receiving forwarder is automatically informed about the arrival of the consignment and the advised delivery date at the final recipient: He already knows whether he has to reserve space for temporary storage or organise a quick onward transport.

If desired, the private recipient will receive an e-mail notification one day before the agreed delivery – if the notified date no longer suits, a new date can now be arranged. In addition, if a telephone notification is desired on the day of delivery, the driver will announce his arrival one hour before delivery.

Compared to the previous process, OSL thus makes the delivery to end customers even more efficient and ensures a smooth flow of information between the logistics partners and the customers in the B2C sector. Unplanned, unforeseen shipments in the receiving depots and time-consuming rescheduling are now largely eliminated.

Existing product range covers everything

“Since we guarantee our system partners a fixed loading contingent at the HUB, we are in a position to meet the deadlines at almost any time – apart from natural events and other external factors,” explains Marcella Rennecke, who heads quality management at OSL and played a major role in developing the new process in the “Operative Working Group”. “But the upstream and downstream transport processes must also be plannable and transparent in order to function optimally. Flexibility is often at the expense of quality – if you ‘squeeze in’ shipments, you risk other deliveries not arriving on time. And this is precisely the danger that our new notification process avoids.”

With the new processes, the existing fixed-date products and the automatic recipient notification by e-mail, OSL is well positioned for the national B2C business and other deliveries with appointments. A special B2C product is not planned.

ONLINE Systemlogistik expands management team

The board of directors and the management of ONLINE Systemlogistik GmbH & Co. KG (OSL) have redistributed managerial responsibilities: Verena Käuper, assistant to the management, and Mike Wüllner, assistant to the management, have been given joint power of attorney. In the course of the reorganisation, Managing Director Petra Welling is to represent the company alone in future. Angelika Hinsch will leave the management.

Verena Käuper has been with the company since 2016. As authorised signatory, the 33-year-old will be responsible for the areas of network support and expansion as well as marketing and sales. Mike Wüllner (49) has been working for OSL for nine years. He will be responsible for the network structure, the regional hubs and the international area with the allnet network. The formal implementation of the changes will take place soon.

Internal solution

“We are pleased that we were able to fill the newly created management positions internally. In this way we ensure that the knowledge, the great expertise and the precise knowledge of all processes bundled here are also available to our association in the long term,” says Petra Welling. “At the same time, this is our way of expressing our appreciation for the excellent work done so far.”
Together, Petra Welling, Verena Käuper and Mike Wüllner will take over the operational management, which has so far been in the hands of Angelika Hinsch. “We thank Ms Hinsch for the constructive cooperation and for bringing her many years of experience in the general cargo business to the association,” says Petra Welling. “We are convinced that the current realignment will further secure the stability and future viability of ONLINE Systemlogistik.”

ONLINE Systemlogistik: New software simplifies certification process

Certification processes are time-consuming. For the partners of the general cargo association ONLINE Systemlogistik (OSL), the procedure will be easier in the future thanks to a new software.

OSL is currently preparing to introduce new software for digital data and document management. The system, which will go live later this year, will also simplify the certification process. “All partners will then have access to the comprehensive audit checklist and will be able to upload the completed questionnaire together with the required documents,” says Marcella Rennecke, who heads quality management at OSL. “In addition, they can confirm the dates for the audits here. This makes the audit preparation much easier for the quality officers of our system partners.” In addition, the partner companies can use the new software to advance their own digitalisation.

Certifications are often decisive for the awarding of contracts and are virtually a prerequisite in quality management (DIN EN ISO 9001), environmental management (DIN EN ISO 14001) and food safety (HACCP). But the smaller a company is, the greater the challenge posed by an audit. OSL quality management accompanies all partners from the beginning so that they offer the same quality, regardless of their size.

Audits in times of the pandemic – five new partners certified

In the pandemic year 2020, OSL quality management has certified five new system partners: Bergmann Spedition (Wuppertal), Gerstlauer Spedition + Logistik (Vöhringen), Gustke Logistik (Rostock), Kost Spedition (Attendorn) and Kleine Spedition (Grevenbroich). In 2021, JAS-FBG (Katowice, Poland), Global Express (Kalsdorf near Graz, Austria), Kleyling (Breisach), Gustav Mäuler (Remscheid) and the Nothegger site in Wels, Austria, are to follow. “In 2020, we had to wait for the lockdown to be lifted and, with the distance and hygiene rules in place, we were able to carry out the audits in May and June,” says Marcella Rennecke. “This year the procedure will be similar.”

Support for the newcomers

“In our audit questionnaire, we have broken down the criteria in such a way that they can be understood by new partners without prior knowledge. If there are difficulties, we provide support,” explains Marcella Rennecke. In addition, OSL offers new partners an extra pre-audit; the actual “internal” audit only follows afterwards. “Officially, only the Dekra audit is considered an external audit. But we also rely on qualified, independent auditors for the so-called internal audits, who critically examine the processes at the system partners on our behalf.”

Reason to celebrate: 25 years of ONLINE Systemlogistik

Five shareholders founded ONLINE Systemlogistik GmbH in 1995 as an association for general cargo transports throughout Germany. The anniversary year 2020 did not invite any celebrations because of the pandemic. Although there are plenty of reasons: The B2C offer is being expanded, the cooperation with the British partner Palletforce is secured despite Brexit, the new office building at the central hub can start and the new management has been in place since summer 2020.

The merger of medium-sized logistics service providers as a counterweight to large corporations is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago. The emphasis has changed: while B2B transports were the focus back then, business with the end customer is just as natural today. This is one of the reasons why the signs are pointing to further development.

Using and expanding established structures

“Especially when it comes to innovations, as is the case now, the long-standing, trusting partnerships are very valuable. This allows us to offer new products throughout the entire network right from the start,” says Angelika Hinsch, CEO of ONLINE Systemlogistik. “At the moment, for example, we are intensively working on revising the existing processes in the B2C area. The processes for notification requirements, both for deliveries to private and major customers, are also being put to the test. The goal is to offer our partners and their customers a high level of transparency all the way to the end customer.” The Corona pandemic has changed the situation in B2C business and is a driver for new developments. Even industry giants in online retailing that have their own logistics division are reaching their limits due to the high volume of shipments and are more dependent than ever on cooperation with medium-sized companies.

Overall, new structures are needed to meet the current requirements. The association has prepared itself for this. “In 2021, we will connect more partners to the regional hubs in order to further optimise vehicle utilisation and increase freight capacities,” explains Petra Welling, CFO of ONLINE Systemlogistik. The two managing directors see the regional hubs, which complement the central hub in Schlitz near Fulda, as a decisive advantage of their general cargo network: “The distances from the smaller, regional locations to the partners and thus also to the recipients are shorter. Delivery times are reduced, and at the same time we can reduce CO2 emissions even more.”

More international, more digital, and greener

Since ONLINE Systemlogistik was founded, the number of partners has not only more than tripled, the association has also become increasingly international. Under the umbrella of the European groupage network allnet, ONLINE Systemlogistik cooperates with the British logistics network Palletforce, among others. “Together we have worked out a system that ensures a smooth flow of goods between the UK and the EU,” says Angelika Hinsch. “In cooperation with our customs service providers in Fulda and in Birmingham, we are very well positioned for the requirements of the future connection to and from the UK.” General cargo transports with Great Britain currently account for about 9 per cent of the European transports at ONLINE Systemlogistik, the share of cross-border transports in total is 25 per cent in the network.

All system partners see digitalisation and sustainability as the greatest challenges for the next 25 years – and the greatest opportunities. “From the very beginning, these topics have been in focus for us, they have accompanied us since our founding,” explains Petra Welling. “In 2021, we are particularly concerned with new software to make digital processes even more efficient and transparent.”

Celebration and new building at the central hub

So much commitment needs to be celebrated. “As soon as the Corona development allows, an anniversary celebration will definitely take place at our central hub under the motto ’25+1′,” says Angelika Hinsch. “If everything goes as we hope, we can then meet with our shareholders, system partners and business friends – and maybe even inaugurate the new ZUB administration building.”

25 years of ONLINE Systemlogistik – Milestones

  • 1995 Foundation with 28 partners
  • 1996 Completion of the central hub in Schlitz near Fulda
  • 1997 Internationalisation with partners from the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland; first expansion of the central hub
  • 1998 Second expansion of the central hub
  • 2002 Certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001 (quality management) and DIN EN ISO 14001 (environmental management)
  • 2003 Third and last expansion of the central hub
  • 2007 First transnational cooperation between national networks with the French forwarding association Astre Palet System
  • 2009 Introduction of early and late deliveries
  • 2010 Introduction of HACCP hygiene management
  • 2012 Cooperation with the Italian cooperation One Express
  • 2013 ONLINE Systemlogistik, Astre Palet System and One Express found the European logistics network allnet. logistics network allnet