150 years together in motion
A company does not become 150 years old just like that. It is the people who make it, who carry it every day, fill it with life and constantly develop it further. In short: Our special anniversary is primarily thanks to our colleagues, because without them FIEGE would not be what it is today: a family business in its fifth generation.
Behind the scenes
We are FIEGE
On the occasion of the anniversary year, we present personalities from FIEGE - representing all 23,500 colleagues working in the field and in offices worldwide. Without them it would have remained a short story.
We are FIEGE. 150 years together in motion.
Without you, it’d just be service without value.
Angelina, 53, is a quality control inspector at our branch in Bocholt. She makes sure that our customers can depend on value added services made by FIEGE. Whether a display set-up, packaging, or product refinement – no flaw escapes the scrutinising eyes of Angelina. With her cheerful and straight-forward manner, she adds genuine value to the team, bringing a smile to her colleagues’ faces day in, day out.
Without you, it’d just be a workout on wheels.
In the 1950s, truck drivers like Bernhard Moss made up the largest category of professionals working at FIEGE. Back then, that was no easy feat. Trucks had no power steering or air suspension seats which meant driving those dinosaurs was a real grind. But under the lead of Josef Fiege, who came up with ways to improve the driver’s cabin and the superstructure at the in-house workshop, an innovative spirit already infuses the company.
Without you, there’s no cool in conveyor.
Mikel, 30, has mastered the art of loading at our branch in Mönchengladbach. He is adept not only at handling the many different conveyors but also when it comes to interacting with his colleagues. Being reliable and honest, and having a caring nature paired with that je-ne-sais-quoi kind of cool have done wonders for Mikel’s popularity – and made him a go-to member of the location’s events-organising team.
Without you, there’s no “hello, how may I help?”.
Celia, 45, is a true multi-talent. As a Personal Assistant, she is the Frst point of contact for our Co-CEO, Jens Fiege and deftly directs all incoming enquiries with her gawlessly friendly demeanour. Whether coordinating an appointment, tasked with a project, or handling inbound and outbound communications: her outstanding organisational skills help Celia to keep an eye on things and keep things running jointly with her colleagues.
Without you, there’s no more than 3 hp.
Before 1924, FIEGE relies on genuine horsepower – but then Josef Fiege junior buys the Frst truck. In taking this revolutionary decision, he deFes the initial scepticism of his father, Josef Fiege. Because, even then, he believed in technology to achieve progress. Today, our Operational Excellence drives our technological progress whenever this is smart and possible. The only difference is that nowadays, vehicles move with a lot more horsepower and often in auto-mode.
Without you, it’d just be a unit without unity.
Grzegorz, 41, is head of our logistics centre in Gardno, Poland. He has been on board since day one, and significantly helped to shape the development of the location over the past six years. Grzegorz always has a friendly ear for his 3,000 colleagues. And his humour is a surefire way to create a feelgood atmosphere even when the pressure is on. As captain, he is passionate about leading his team – not only on location, but also on the pitch during the FIEGE Soccer Cup.
Without you, it’d just be empty calories.
With their warm personalities, Michaela, 50, Wolfgang, 61, and Karin, 51 turn lunch into more than having something to eat. Whether a longer break with colleagues or a quick bite for in between: Thanks to their cooking skills – always garnished with a sprinkle of a smile – a trip to the canteen becomes a highlight of a day at work.
Without you, it’d be a backlog of goods.
Christian, 56, is head of the outbound goods department in Greven-Reckenfeld. For over 30 years, he has contributed significantly to shaping the location. His vast expertise also helped with supporting the locations based in Barleben, Ibbenbüren, and Worms. Christian sees himself as part of the FIEGE family. And whenever snow brings traffic to a standstill, he will gladly walk his 15 km-commute to work on foot.
Without you, there're no returns on the rack.
Petra, 53, works in returns for our client, BP at the Greven-Reckenfeld location. Thanks to her skilled eye, returns reliably Fnd their way back onto the right shelf. And when Petra is not talking to customer services, she likes to chat in the good old Plattdeutsch dialect. She has been with FIEGE for ten years now and enjoys the family-like atmosphere here – which is why Petra has also organised the odd outside-of-work event for her team.
Without family, it’s only business as usual.
150 years ago, Joan Joseph Fiege, a farmer at the time, laid the foundation for our enterprise. From the start, a tight-knit family was crucial to him. One winning formula that made FIEGE what it is today and that still applies to our 23,000 colleagues around the world is: We are family.
Without you, there’s no moving 40 tons of steel on wheels.
Colin, 65, has found his passion in driving trucks. For five decades, he has been behind the wheel on Europe’s roads. Colin feels most comfortable at FIEGE. Not only when driving one of the brand-new electric trucks but also in our extensively restored Büssing 8000. Colin will also be seen driving the 1951-built vintage vehicle with a retro FIEGE livery for our 150th anniversary celebrations. Because you can always rely on Colin.
Always in motion
We have grown from a small haulage and forwarding company to one of Europe’s biggest logistics enterprises. Every single generation has reinvented itself along the way. Chart the key milestones of our success story.
Joan Joseph Fiege founds his haulage business in Greven in Westphalia, Germany in 1873. Initially, the transport business is a genuine sideline for the farmer. He uses a horse-drawn cart to bring coal to his customers and make deliveries. Later, he adds running errands for Greven’s retailers and industrial enterprises to his services.
A new era begins after purchasing a goods vehicle in 1924. A revolutionary purchase at the time, Josef Fiege jun. asserts himself against his father’s initial scepticism. The motorised power considerably increases not just transport capacities but also the range of operation – and marks the start of the second decisive development phase in the company’s history.
In 1928, the company receives its first long-distance transport contracts. With this growth comes the need to expand the business premises in Greven-Wentrup. Four years later, the division is separated from the traditional forwarding operations and, together with the repair workshop, accessories and the warehouse, is passed to Josef Fiege junior.
After the death of his father in May 1938, Josef Fiege jun. takes over as sole owner and shifts the focus to lucrative long-haul transport operations. But World War II changes everything. From August 1939 onwards, the haulage business becomes part of the Münster-Land Motor Pool. Most of the 18 trucks in the fleet are requisitioned to supply war-time productions and essential services. As a result, the agricultural business has to secure the family’s livelihood.
Despite the many difficulties, Josef Fiege jun. manages to steer the enterprise through the recession. After the war, the high demand for heavy transport vehicles accelerates its turnaround. By 1948, the pool of trucks has increased to 41 vehicles. The existing compound no longer suffices, which is why Josef Fiege jun. purchases additional plots of land in 1950.
Practice makes perfect: Based on its broad practical knowledge of product handling, FIEGE starts to build its own special solutions for the transport segment.
In 1959, Josef Fiege jun. dies as the result of a tragic accident. Karl Fischbach and his wife Änne (née Fiege) take charge of management. A branch already under construction in Bremen is completed. Fischbach gradually shifts the primary focus of the company’s business activities to freight forwarding.
Heinz Fiege (1967) and Dr. Hugo Fiege (1973) both join the company within a few years of each other. The sons of Josef Fiege jun. push the business concept even further towards forwarding. 1970 sees the inauguration of branches in Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin, which serve as a base from that point on for the company’s international haulage to neighbouring European countries.
The first Germany-wide logistics concept is devised for international tyres maker Bridgestone. The Fiege brothers thus shift their focus towards becoming a contract logistics provider. The final breakthrough comes after relocating the company to Greven-Reckenfeld. The head office and the administration are built on compound covering 100,000 square metres – the striking hexagonal goods distribution centre will later become recognised beyond the region.
Bundesvereinigung Logistik e.V. (BVL), Germany’s logistics association, presents the prestigious logistics award to FIEGE for its pioneering achievement of combining economics with ecology within logistics. In the same year, the Ibbenbüren/Osnabrück goods distribution centre opens. Today’s Mega Center Ibbenbüren is an example of the company’s resource-preserving concept, which will go down in history under the term eco-logistics. Four years later, Heinz and Dr. Hugo Fiege receive the Eco-manager of the Year award for their pro-environment corporate management.
Digitalisation and automation are progressing. In 1996, FIEGE ships out its first eCommerce shipment. The unit grows continuously in the following years.
Heinz and Dr. Hugo Fiege form the Josef Fiege Stiftung in memory of their father. It is their goal to donate funds to facilities and projects that are committed to the well-being of man and nature.
Around the turn of the millennium, internationalisation is clearly on the horizon. New branches are set up in Europe’s west and south, and FIEGE expands into Eastern Europe. Even in Asia, where Fiege has been active in freight forwarding for over 20 years, new branches are set up in the most important economic regions of China, Hong Kong, and Taipeh.
FIEGE fundamentally restructures its organisation. The company changes from a generalist into a vertical organisation comprised of decentralised Business Units. The strategic reorientation makes FIEGE a leading European provider of omnichannel fulfilment services.
Jens Fiege, son of Heinz Fiege, and Felix Fiege, son of Dr. Hugo Fiege, assume the company’s leadership. This concludes the next change of generation. Together with Alfred Messink and Peter Scherbel, they form the Executive Board of the FIEGE Group.
The launch of robotics sees FIEGE set the course for digital transformation. The nine mobile picking robots by Magazino GmbH work side-by-side with their human colleagues and help optimise material flows.
Innovation has always been engrained in the company’s DNA. To promote future-proof business models, FIEGE looks also beyond the core organisation. Co-operation with start-ups becomes a crucial pillar in the company’s corporate strategy.
Investments in new business models take a more professional form with the founding of company builder XPRESS Ventures and venture capital fund F-LOG Ventures. FIEGE actively invests in young enterprises besides supporting tech-driven and innovative ideas through co-operation and funding – to build and invest in the next big things.
Anniversary year. 150 years is a very, very long time. Countless people were and are part of the history of FIEGE and have helped write this history. We look forward to the next 150 years.