Ceremonial act: 150th anniversary of FIEGE
The FIEGE Group is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Over the past one and a half centuries, the family business from Greven in Westphalia has grown from a small haulage company to a provider of international logistics with a headcount of 23,500. Attending the ceremonial act: the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst and the Lord Mayor of Münster, Markus Lewe.
A milestone anniversary: The family business FIEGE celebrated its 150th company anniversary at Münster’s Hafen district on Thursday. Right in the heart of Münster is where the logistics company from Greven in Westphalia is currently building a new, ultra-modern office building where, as of next summer, around 500 employees will continue co-authoring the FIEGE story.
Celebrations, as it were, thus took place at the construction site in what was still a very festive setting: The speakers addressing the roughly 100 invitees included next to the company’s Co-CEOs, Felix Fiege and Jens Fiege also the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst and Münster’s Lord Mayor, Markus Lewe. Wüst said: “Family businesses like the FIEGE Group are firmly ingrained in the DNA of North-Rhine Westphalia’s economy. For five generations, the company has produced quite a remarkable record of growth and innovation. Today, after 150 years, FIEGE with its 23,000 headcount working in 15 countries has become a global player from Westphalia. FIEGE is a strong part of the logistics industry in North Rhine-Westphalia. As one of our country’s growth drivers, it takes the lead on topics like Logistics 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, and climate action. FIEGE’s success story is far from over – after all, the company addresses challenges and invests into the future. To have the courage to invest into the future despite today’s many uncertainties is what we need now, far and wide, to strengthen our ability to compete and preserve our prosperity.”
Markus Lewe pointed out that FIEGE is “an impressive example” of the great importance of family enterprises for society and the economy as a whole when managed successfully for decades, or in the case of FIEGE, for over a century. He added: “I am very much looking forward to welcoming FIEGE to our wonderful Hafen district as from next summer. And even if the company’s head office remains in Greven: FIEGE is a huge asset for Münster and will be a crucial employer for our city in the future.”
The cousins, Felix Fiege and Jens Fiege who are co-managing the enterprise as fifth-generation family members, took the opportunity to say thank you during the celebrations. Felix Fiege stated: “Our 150th anniversary is a special milestone to celebrate in the history of our company. We realise this is a privilege, and anything but a given. Therefore, today, we wish to shine the spotlight on our 23,500 colleagues around the world, as they are the ones who make this incredible team achievement possible to begin with. We owe them our special gratitude because without them, our company would not be where it is now.” And Jens Fiege added: “Our relationships with our clients are more like partnerships, many of which have existed for several decades now. They also form a key element in our long history. Thus, on our anniversary, we wish to say thank you from the bottom of our heart not only to our team, but also and especially to our clients and partners for their trust.”
The logistics company FIEGE was formed in 1873 as a haulage company in Greven in Westphalia. In the beginning, the farmer, Joan Joseph Fiege ran small errands and transported coal with his horse-drawn cart. Following Joan Joseph Fiege’s death in 1905, his son, Josef Fiege kept the business going. After his son, Josef Fiege Jnr then bought a first truck in the 1920s, the company ventured into long-haul transportation, ringing in a first strong growth phase. Following the untimely death by accident of Josef Fiege Jnr in 1959, his sister, Anne Fischbach née Fiege and her husband, Karl took charge of further advancing the constantly growing forwarding business.
Roughly a decade later, in 1967, Josef Fiege’s son, Heinz Fiege joined the company and in 1973 brought his brother, Dr Hugo Fiege on board. As the fourth generation at FIEGE, the two siblings triggered the company’s pioneering development by steering it from a forwarding enterprise towards contract logistics. In the 1990s, they were awarded the German Logistics Prize (1992) and the accolade as Eco-managers of the Year (1996) for their trailblazing achievements. In 1998, they formed the Josef Fiege Stiftung, a foundation in honour of their deceased father which to this day supports social projects and institutions that are committed to the well-being of society and nature. In 2014, Heinz Fiege and Dr Hugo Fiege handed the reins to their sons, Jens Fiege and Felix Fiege, who have since spearheaded the business together and were distinguished as Family Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2021.
Today, 150 years following its formation, FIEGE is one of Europe’s most innovative logistics providers, devising cross-sector, modular solutions in logistics, real estate, ventures, and digital services. Felix Fiege and Jens Fiege summarised the recipe for the company’s success in their anniversary speech like this: “If there is one thing that has defined us throughout our long history, then most and for all the fact that we, as a company, have time and again reinvented ourselves and always remained open to change. That was our path – and that will remain our path for the next 150 years.”