Greece is another market covered by the Raben Group network following the acquisition of the local operator Intertrans SA in October 2021. Regular connections between this country and the Group's depots in Germany have been operational since the middle of last year, and since the beginning of 2022, lines connecting this country with depots located in Western and Central and Eastern Europe will be systematically launched. It is an element of a bigger project - the creation and reorganization of the Raben European network, which will enable quick and efficient transport within the fifteen countries of the Old Continent.
Over the past few decades, Greece has been slowly abandoning industry in favour of other economic sectors, including services, agriculture, and tourism. However, it is wrongly regarded as a commercial niche - on the contrary, it is a market for almost 11 million consumers and this number is increased every year during the vacation season by the huge number of tourists. Returning home, they bring back suntan, beautiful photos, nice memories and... an appetite for Greek specialities. So they take with them olive oil, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, herbs and spices.
Nevertheless, agricultural products are not the only - albeit very important - export commodities for Greece, which also include aluminium, petroleum products, minerals and pharmaceuticals. However, deindustrialization has resulted in the local economy relying heavily on imports and it has great potential from the perspective of foreign entities interested in selling their products. In fact, Greek economy is well prepared to do so. The Port of Piraeus plays a huge role in Greek commerce – it is the 6th largest port of Europe, which is also a gate for trade with Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries as well as with all other countries through specific economic solutions offered to large international manufacturers and traders.
14th family member
In 2021, Raben Group strengthened its position in the Greek market with the acquisition of Intertrans SA, a leading logistics company specializing in groupage transport to and from Greece and Cyprus. During its 40 years on the market, the company has gained industry recognition and built a reputation as a reliable logistics operator, becoming a leader in the transport market, primarily in Germany and the Benelux countries. Before the acquisition, it had 11,000 m2 of warehouse capacity, over 90 trucks and it employed 70 people. The head office of the company, now under the name of Raben Intertrans, is located in Piraeus, with two other depots in Thessaloniki and Heraklion in Crete. Its European transport network includes 12 countries, 23 HUBs and 17 partners across the continent.
As with the other markets we are entering, we quickly began the process of integrating the local distribution network with the rest of our Group. Intertrans resources in the form of personnel, infrastructure, knowledge and contacts provided us with an excellent starting point and useful tools to develop a network of connections between Greece and other European countries - explains Marcin Łuczak, Market Development Manager at Raben Group.
From South to West
Increased traffic on the aforementioned routes was initiated by connections to Raben depots in Germany in mid-2021. Currently, this trade lane consists of up to ten daily connections for imports and the same number for exports, which are served by depots in Fellbach, Nuremberg and Wuppertal as well as in Athens and Thessaloniki. As a result, the number of orders increased by an average of 100% compared to last year, and in some months by as much as 200%. Raben offers excellent customer service, short lead times, full range of services for products not requiring controlled temperature (including groupage, part and full truck loads, dangerous goods, transit to and from Cyprus and customs services) as well as full traceability of shipments.
We offer comprehensive solutions for small, medium and large enterprises. Many companies with headquarters in Germany, owned or run by Greeks, use Raben Group services, which is a special proof of their trust in us - emphasizes Marcin Łuczak.
However, this is only part of the complex network of connections. Since the beginning of this year, the Group has been successively opening new routes that increasingly integrate Greece into the system of the European trade: with Italy (January), Poland and the Baltics (March) and the Netherlands (April). Bulgaria and Romania will join them in the middle of the year, and then the rest of the international Raben family will follow.
Klaudyna Polanowska - Skrzypek