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Interview with the CEO

“Making headway with our 
Roadmap 2026 strategy and 
journey to Vision 2030”

The CEO of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, Stefan Paul, reviews the first year of the corporate strategy Roadmap 2026 and Vision 2030. The Company has made sustained progress in all four strategy cornerstones.

On 1 March 2023, we outlined our new Roadmap 2026 strategy that sets us on our path to achieve our Vision 2030 of becoming the most trusted supply chain partner supporting a sustainable future. At the core of Roadmap 2026 are four cornerstones: Kuehne+Nagel Experience, Digital Ecosystem, Market Potential and Living ESG. These cornerstones are interlinked to maximise successful implementation.

We are making very good progress and the new strategy is already shaping our daily operations. A central element is our digital transformation, allowing us to respond faster to ever-changing market and customer needs and to utilise generative artificial intelligence (AI) at an early stage. Our sustainability focus is an integral part of our Vision 2030 and underlines our commitment to continue to pioneer new solutions and be at the heart of collaborative sustainable partnerships which are essential to enact change. We also see a great opportunity to grow in new markets such as renewable energy and are expanding our footprint in Asia and Africa to be closer to our customers. Everything is aimed at offering the most extraordinary employee and customer experiences in the industry, by providing the highest quality and being globally consistent. 
 

Kuehne+Nagel Experience

At the centre of our strategy is our desire to create an extraordinary Kuehne+Nagel Experience for employees and customers. We surveyed both employees and customers to listen more closely and to find out what drives great engagement and experience. That is why we invited all of our employees to participate in an independent survey by Great Place to Work. At the same time, we increased our survey reach to thousands more customers. Both surveys were received very positively with outstanding participation and feedback. On top, 53 of our countries were certified as a Great Place to Work and our Canadian management team recognized for their trusting leadership. Additionally, as part of our commitment to bring our services closer to our customers, we opened 27 new Customer Care Locations and are planning a further 23 openings in 2024.
 

Digital Ecosystem

The volume of data being used in the logistics industry is on the rise. Data that needs to be turned into value driven insights. Being able to harness data is a key driver for our multi-year journey to become a cloud native company. Our ambition is to turn data from inside and outside of the Company into accessible and actionable insights. We are also automating processes, piloting generative AI cases on practical services like customer support, and one of the first global companies to make ChatGPT broadly available to employees. Our cloud environment optimises our operational systems and offers a better experience to our customers thanks to a central CRM system. This allows us to have a much closer relationship with our customers and enables us to offer improved, personalised services.


Living ESG

Living ESG reflects our commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative and being an early adopter of new sustainable solutions such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which is in high demand by customers globally. In 2023, we introduced a first-of-a-kind collaboration with our customer Lenovo. The solution allows its end user customers to have the choice to ship their IT equipment using SAF.

We have also been investing in zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and ensuring our warehouse facilities operate on 100% renewable energy with zero waste going to landfill. Last June, we stepped up our focus with the launch of a new global facilities carbon calculator for scope 1 and 2 emissions. This tool provides us with a real-time dashboard for our facilities’ use of electricity, gas, water, waste, and paper with the end goal to track emissions from company cars, company trucks and even calculate individual customer emissions. We see greater visibility as a way to open up collaboration opportunities to engage proactively with third parties, especially with our customers.    
 

We are focused on making the employee and customer experience extraordinary with sustainability at its core.”

Stefan Paul

Market Potential

Market Potential represents our ambition for growth and expansion in key industries and markets. In response to the rising demand for renewable energy, we have established a Renewable Energy logistics business to address solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power generation systems. In 2023, we were awarded a major onshore wind logistics project to transport 190 wind turbines and 67 turbine towers for 257 installation sites in the Middle East. 

We have also delivered close to 11 million solar panels globally, establishing our expertise in this industry. Customers are also increasingly relying on customs clearance services to support complex international trade regulations. That is why we acquired Farrow, a Canadian based customs company. This acquisition brings eight hundred customs experts into the Company, allowing us to provide services for more customers with cross-border business between Canada, the United States and Mexico. 

Our Healthcare business continues to grow and has a market reputation for quality with 270 locations GxP-certified globally. We will continue to expand access to our services with new dedicated healthcare space for customers around the globe. We are also further developing our e-commerce services. Our focus is on medium-sized to large customers, expanding last-mile delivery options from multiple carriers, and creating a direct-to-consumer cross-border solution that helps e-commerce businesses to ship more competitively. 

We are also expanding our Asian and African markets to make it easier for customers to do business with us. In Asia, our focus is on increasing our customer base in Japan, Korea, and China. In Africa, the population is set to grow from 1.4 billion to 2.5 billion by 2050. This growth will spur new infrastructure requirements as well as burgeoning new businesses. Over the past three years, we have responded to this opportunity by expanding our agents’ network from 6 to 36 across 28 countries.

With our Roadmap 2026 strategy and Vision 2030, we have laid the foundation for our continued success. We are focused on our four cornerstones, making the employee and customer experience extraordinary with sustainability at its core, supported by a world class digital transformation that is already underway and a clear focus on new market opportunities to serve our growing customer base.  

Read on to discover all four cornerstones
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