Günther Maters started Koeltrans Angeren 12 and a half years ago. Today this Dutch transport company has branches in Germany and Romania too. More than 35% of the fleet is already on LNG, and the company is situated on sustainable premises.
“Who'd have thought that 12 and a half years ago?" begins the CEO. "On August 1, 2010, we started in the Netherlands with four vehicles and five drivers. As a team, we put our shoulders to the wheel and convinced customers of our drive, flexibility, and, above all, our motto: a deal is a deal. No ask was too crazy, we didn't balk at challenges, and besides doing planning during the day, I was regularly behind the wheel myself. I'd bring a trailer to a location or to couple up near Frankfurt."
"Then we could be back in Munich on time the next morning. Great times, hard work, expansion, and above all, going full speed ahead. We never thought and certainly never expected that our conviction and willpower would lead to such a company all this time later. We have loyal, hard-working employees and, of course, many clients with whom we have grown together. They could build on us, and we on them. We achieved this together, and we can undoubtedly be proud of that," says Günther.
Koeltrans Angeren focuses on transporting fruit, vegetables, flowers, and plants but also does fair goods, frozen goods, and various other goods to and from Germany, but also increasingly within that country. That is done via complete FTL freights and groupage LTL. Koeltrans operates about 135 conditioned tractor-trailer combinations daily.
They also have combi trucks and LHVs. Most have tailboards and some double evaporators. "We have a state-of-the-art warehouse too. Our location near the German border allows us to cross-dock goods, thus, optimizing groupage. Those shorter transit times bring products hours closer to customers."
Günther is also the director of the forwarding company Trax (founded in 2015). It focuses on Linehauls of, for example, E-commerce/Pakket/Fashion logistics across Europe. Every day, Trax has about 80 vehicles with Boxtrailers on the road.
These go to the French cities of Lille, Metz, Lyon, and Paris, Madrid in Spain, Germany's Wels and Salzburg, Kolding (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Mälmo (Sweden), and other destinations. To be flexible and avoid waiting times, coupling trailers are also regularly used at both loading and unloading locations.
Maters is a pioneer in the area of sustainability. "To, say, abandon traditional diesel, you need vision, cooperation, and often plenty of courage. As a progressive company, we must keep innovating. That means daring to take risks. You could well compare transportation to an elite sport. You have to be on the ball every day and get the most out of that day," he says.
"You must want to improve and will advance only if you have the best team. We want to get the best out of our sector along with our clients and employees. We want to work for and with the best customers. We are driven to give it our best and keep developing, and we want to do even better every day."
50% diesel, 50% BIO LNG
Switching to a fully LNG fleet is an ongoing process, with the current oil crisis emphasizing how vital it is to take these steps. "This year, a large BIO LNG plant will open in Germany and produce 100% BIO-LNG. We're eagerly looking forward to that," Günter admits.
The move to 100% BIO LNG is a big step in making the transportation sector more sustainable. "BIO LNG is produced from natural materials, which are freely available, so we don't expect any shortages. The biggest advantage is that the process requires zero petroleum. That lowers the pressure on diesel availability."
“LNG is a game-changer and is a good fit for us and several of our customers. LNG trucks are exempt from German tolls until the end of this year. That's also necessary to make it profitable. We're delighted with our LNG trucks; they're reliable and have a long range with low operating costs. I'm ambitious about our corporate footprint, and Shell BIO LNG is the right fuel to start this journey to net zero," Günter continues.
"We can give our customers a 30% CO2 saving with Shell BIO LNG compared to diesel, and with 100% Bio-LNG, expect that to reach 80% by mid-2023. Potential customers are suddenly orientating themselves and see that LNG is a good alternative. It's available internationally and in large volumes. Electric or hydrogen will take several years before it's widely available, and people can drive it everywhere."
“We're optimistic about the future. I prefer looking ahead rather than back. You can't change yesterday, but you can change today and tomorrow. I look forward to new market opportunities," the CEO states. "Together with our staff and customers, we want to develop concepts, think more in partnerships, and create a longer-term vision. Whatever steps we take, we need a horizon in this rapidly changing market."
"It has many challenges: personnel availability, vehicles, fuel types, European load capacities, vehicle lengths. These issues all have future solutions, but we must start working on and discussing them in the present. The future will be sustainable; we've already started with that and, thus, have experience. Saving CO2 isn't foreign to us. So, the future starts today," Günter concludes.
For more information:
Tel: +31 (0) 263 252 407