HGK Shipping acquires Koppen’s tank container logistics business

HGK Shipping is expanding its area of activity to include the pre- and on-carriage business for tank containers, thereby creating important synergy effects for customers in the chemical industry.

As part of an asset deal, the company is taking over the entire operational tank container logistics business of Köppen GmbH, which has about 1,000 tank containers in use.

The company is a strong service provider in intermodal hinterland transport for the chemical industry.

The purchase contract was signed today (25 October), with an undisclosed purchase price.

By taking over the three business sites in Duisburg, Hamburg and Ludwigshafen, HGK Shippping is in a position to efficiently connect the production sites of the most important centres of the chemical industry with the container terminals, both in the region and at the ARA ports.

The expanded service portfolio includes intermodal transport for liquid and temperature-controlled chemicals as well as the transport of compressed gases.

Customers will therefore receive these integrated and needs-oriented logistics offerings – including the transport modes of inland waterway, rail and truck – from a single source. Tank container transport by road will continue to be carried out in close partnership with Köppen.

“Intermodal services, which use inland waterway vessels, have proven their worth as a climate-friendly transport option for the chemical industry. This acquisition provides an ideal growth platform and extends the business portfolio of our company, but also of the HGK Group as a whole. The Group’s objective is to provide an integrated supply chain using all the means of transport available,” said Steffen Bauer, CEO of HGK Shipping.

He added: “We can offer our existing customers and new clients attractive one-stop logistics services through our extended service portfolio and also increase the resilience of our customers’ supply chains, particularly during phases when water levels are low.”

The tank container business is also being strategically developed to transport goods such as hydrogen, hydrogen derivates or CO2 with tank containers and therefore make HGK Shipping fit for the future in this field as well.

Organisationally, the new business part is located in HGK Chemical Logistics GmbH.

Dirk Czerlinski, will take responsibility for the area. Among other roles, Czerlinski worked for VTG GmbH, based in Hamburg, for many years and was responsible for the tank container business there.

“Continuing the freight forwarding activities with a strong partner is the logical consequence of the growth that we’ve achieved during the last two years,” said Jochen Köppen, managing partner of Köppen, who specifically thanked the employees working with Dirk Czerlinski for setting up the freight forwarding centres.

Köppen added: “The HGK Group not only offers our customers the guarantee that it will continue and expand our previous business by taking over all our personnel, but also complements this through its favourable portfolio of services.”

Köppen has been carrying out the onward carriage of tank container imports for the chemical industry and trade as a neutral seaport freight forwarder for many years.

The company took advantage of the gradual withdrawal of a tank container operator to become active as a tank container forwarder and to build up its own tank container fleet.

In the future, Köppen GmbH said it will concentrate on the further development of its core competencies of storage, cleaning and repair of tank containers at the Duisburg location and the transport operations in Duisburg and Dessau.