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The hands-on guys

Two locations, one shared fascination: for “logistics NewsFeed,” two experienced DB Schenker employees who are still passionate about logistics show each other where they work. Photos: Matthias Aletsee

Look out – forklift truck! The outbound goods department is really buzzing like a hive this afternoon. And not only today: automotive components are delivered to BMW’s main plant in nearby Munich from DB Schenker’s Supply Center in Eching. The team ships up to 4,700 large load carriers and almost as many containers of smaller components each day. Everything is dispatched on orders from the customer, and everything is handled just in time.


“Four hours at the most after an order has been triggered, the components must be ready at the assembly line,” Peter Altinger explains. This is an achievement that his colleague Shaban Mulji finds impressive. His place of work is only a stone’s throw away, at DB Schenker’s Land Transport Terminal in Neufahrn. “logistics NewsFeed” brought the two of them together – with the request that they show each other around their respective workplaces.


175 people work at the dedicated warehouse in Eching – and Peter Altinger’s workplace is actually a desk. There, the commercial employee prepares and checks invoices, calculates new and additional orders, or deals with IT issues. At the same time, he keeps himself well informed about what is going in other areas within the facility’s 43,500 square meters of logistics space. Like in the outbound goods department, for instance. “Every day our trucks do up to 130 trips shuttling back and forth, and the vehicles bring back empties on each trip,” the 53-year-old explains.


“We have been in a partnership with BMW for over 35 years now, and I think that speaks for itself”

Peter Altinger, commercial employee, Supply Center Eching

Such a high volume requires perfectly smooth processes and calls for continuous optimization measures. Which means what? “That,” says Peter Altinger, “is what I am going to show at the so-called wholesale store.” Over there, the employees manually subject small components to order picking. For the last year, they have been doing this job using the ProGlove, where a scanner is mounted on the back of their hand. The change from the early to the late shift gives Altinger an opportunity to put on one of these gloves and demonstrate how it works. “Yes, it clearly saves time, and people are no longer going to drop the thing either,” says Shaban Mulji.


At the workplace of this 44-year-old, which the two colleagues already visited in the morning, nothing ever stands still either. A total of 205 employees and 30 trainees are busy round the clock here, handling goods from paint buckets to ride-on snow blowers. “Once we even had a display board from the football stadium of FC Bayern Munich,” recalls Mulji, who arrived in Munich from Kosovo 25 years ago. His job at the terminal is to coordinate the loading of trucks doing short-distance trips. “We receive general cargo from all over Germany and beyond and distribute it to over 50 destinations in the greater Munich area.”

Race against the clock: Once an order has been triggered at BMW, the team at DB Schenker’s Supply Center have four hours to deliver the components to the assembly line. Photo: Matthias Aletsee

During our tour, the two halls within the terminal are about half full. “First thing in the morning there is so much freight in here that has arrived over night that we can barely move,” says Shaban Mulji. The same goes for the open yard, where trucks are constantly passing through at this time – and, between them, the shunting vehicles referred to as “weasels”; these are busy moving swap bodies around. Goods are delivered on local routes using a total of 115 trucks. “By 13:00 hours at the latest, the terminal is empty once again, and for me that is an exciting moment each and every day.”


The fascination with logistics, even after decades on the job, is something Peter Altinger and Shaban Mulji can agree on immediately. “Here at DB Schenker, we make sure that things keep moving,” says Peter Altinger. “And what’s more, we’ve been in a partnership with BMW for over 35 years now, I think that speaks for itself.” This is almost as long as Altinger has been working at this location – and he still gets a buzz whenever there is a Series 3 model ahead of him at the traffic lights: because this is the model for which the parts are intended that he and his colleagues receive, hold in stock, and deliver to the assembly line just in time.

People who want to develop further and take on responsibilities are always welcome at DB Schenker!”

Shaban Mulji, warehouse foreman, Land Transport Terminal Neufahrn

Shaban Mulji leads his colleague to the Dispatch department, the terminal’s nerve center, where the team is working under high pressure. On the way there he talks about the time when he started work here, two decades ago. “In those days all I did was menial labor, and now I have already been a shift leader for eight years,” he says. Then he points out that his case is far from unique at DB Schenker: “People who want to develop further and take on responsibilities are always welcome here!”


And that is why neither Peter Altinger nor Shaban Mulji hesitate for a moment when they answer the reporter’s next question: if they could wind the clock back, would they again choose to work in logistics, at DB Schenker? “Knowing what I know now, about my job and about my employer, I would be even more excited about it than I was back then,” is Mulji’s succinct reply.

Real experts: logistics service providers must work hard to attract highly motivated staff. It is therefore good to know that DB Schenker already has many such employees around the world – like Peter Altinger and Shaban Mulji in Munich. Photos: Matthias Aletsee

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