The Rhenus World 02/17

The Chemistry Is Just Right

Biesterfeld Spezialchemie moves into the digital age
About a dozen kilometres separate Hilden and Solingen but it was more than just a move to a new warehouse for Biesterfeld Spezialchemie GmbH. With support from Rhenus Freight Logistics, the distributor of special chemicals also introduced a new logistics concept for its central European warehouse; it supplies its European branches and distributes materials to its customers around the globe from its new business site near Düsseldorf.

Biesterfeld Spezialchemie has a reputation for being one of the leading international distributors of products and solutions in the world of specialty chemicals. These substances are needed for paints and printing inks – but also for adhesives and electronics or even in the fields of foodstuffs, health care and personal care. As the previous warehouse in Hilden had become too small, the company decided in December 2016 to move into business premises in neighbouring Solingen. However, it set very high standards: the company was aiming to do more than just move into a new warehouse. Logistics needs intelligent management to ensure that goods reach the right place at the right time anywhere in the world.

Rhenus Freight Logistics in Hilden shares the same outlook; it supports the special service company and was delighted to be able to extend its logistics agreement with the firm in the spring. It was necessary to transport almost 240 truckloads during the move to the new European central warehouse, which has 14,000 square metres of space – an increase of 25 percent over the old building; and this all had to take place within just one week.

A transparent flow of information and goods formed the basis for success. This not only applied to the move. The new warehouse itself and its latest technology are designed to meet this requirement too: electronic process integration along the complete value-added chain and dynamic materials management in the roomy high-shelf warehouse now enable goods to be handled in a very flexible manner.


The chemical products stored here are used in many industrial sectors: health care, medical engineering, personal care and cleaning, foodstuffs, paints and printing inks, polyurethane, polymer additives, building materials, adhesives and lubricants, composite and tooling materials as well as products for the electrical industry.

New logistics concept
Rhenus is responsible for the new logistics concept. This involves the multimodal distribution of groupage freight and complete loads by truck, ship or plane across Europe. About half the consignments are transported within Germany; the other half are shipped to many countries in Europe. Rhenus is responsible for incoming deliveries, picking and packing and even shipping the supplies to customers – including the returns management. However, good planning is not everything.

There are special requirements for certain products – e.g. for hygiene management. “The warehouse enjoys HACCP food certification, for example. And the warehousing logistics is audited by our suppliers in the health care sector several times a year,” Andre Neddermann, Head of Logistics at Biesterfeld Spezialchemie, explains. “This demonstrates that the warehouse management scheme is geared towards the high material and quality requirements for up-market products.

In addition to HACCP, the business site in Solingen is certified in line with ISO and the SQAS safety and quality standard. It is only possible to obtain these kinds of certification if a building has access checks, camera monitoring, temperature measuring equipment and regular employee training courses. After all, some of the sensitive products, for which there are two special cold storage cells in the warehouse, are used in electronics for making circuit boards or in aircraft manufacturing.

Guaranteed cold chain
Transporting temperature-controlled goods presents many challenges. Rhenus handles the refrigerated items with the help of cool pads and appropriate packaging so that the cool chain is not interrupted. “Using our special service, we can guarantee that the high-quality goods reach their recipient without suffering any damage. Consignments can also be monitored using our Track&Trace shipment tracking system,” says Christian Seis, Head of Logistics at Rhenus Freight Logistics in Hilden.

One special feature in Solingen is the use of a version of Rhenus’ own Warehouse Management System (WMS); it has been specially tailored to the customer’s requirements. “As a result of the customer’s complex needs, high-quality technical equipment like devices for the mobile logging of data and the capacity to operate with WiFi were necessary and they’re used to scan barcodes,” says Seis. In the chemical sector, the item number and the item name are important – but data on hazardous substances, uninterrupted batch tracking and the maximum storage life is essential too.

However, this software can do even more. As an exchange of data permanently takes place between Biesterfeld Spezialchemie and Rhenus Freight Logistics, constant stocktaking can be completed, in addition to handling the goods. This provides benefits for the company and its customers, for they can always rely on the highest degree of transparency and precise deliveries.


European central warehouse in Solingen

The new European central warehouse offers 14,000 square metres of space and consists of two buildings. The premises have 22 gates and ramps and an area for small parts – as well as a bonded warehouse and refrigerated space. The equipment also includes fire and smoke alarms, a burglar alarm system and ceiling sprinklers. It is certified in line with ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO50001, SQAS and HACCP. WiFi is available anywhere in the warehouse.


Remaining articles of the same issue
Editorial 02/17

by Klemens Rethmann

We are currently going through the process of change associated with Industry 4.0 – but the next catch-phrase is already following close behind: Mobility 4.0. What does it mean? Industry 4.0 represents automation – that is to say, standardising processes and categorising data. Mobility 4.0 entails significantly greater flexibility, particularly when it comes to mobility for people. That is to say, if services operate according to a set timetable at the moment, they will be organised in line with demand in future.
Rhenus in brief 02/17

Rhenus Short News

“Provide evidence of your creativity and entrepreneurship” – that was the invitation issued to all Rhenus employees during the spring to take part in the Rhevo innovation project. 260 workers from 28 different countries did not need to be told twice and developed ingenious ideas and solutions in order to enable the Rhenus world to move forward with the help of digital technologies. The best projects presented to a jury in July are now set to be implemented. The project was also introduced at the first digital summit organised by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Lead story 02/17

individual, fast, autonomous

Tokyo at 7 a.m. in the year 2030: Ken Yamada takes the back seat in the driverless taxi that he has just ordered and answers his emails. The electric vehicle suddenly glides into the right lane, because it knows that there is a traffic jam at the next crossing. Yamada changes to a driverless underground train at a railway station and completes the last few metres to his office on a rented e-bike. Once he has arrived, he has already completed many tasks.
Interview 02/17

Rhenus builds an electric Transporter with individual Cargo Bodies

Rhenus SML N.V., a subsidiary of Rhenus Automotive Systems, is handling the complete production of a new electric trans- porter that is especially suitable for last mile deliveries – i.e. transport operations right to a company's or consumer’s premises; this work is taking place in Belgium. Rhenus SML’s Managing Director Stefan Maussen talks about the innovative project and the challenges facing the automotive sector.
Trends & Markets 02/17

Rhenus creates new connections between global markets

TWO NEW GATEWAYS FOR THE RHENUS AIR & OCEAN NETWORK The Rhenus air and sea freight units have enjoyed considerable growth during the last few years. It is therefore not surprising to hear that the logistics specialist opened two new gateways in Germany for groupage freight at the same time in 2017. The sea freight gateway is located at the Hilden business site near Düsseldorf, while the air freight hub is based at “Cargo-City-Süd” at the international airport in Frankfurt. Goods for import and export are consolidated at both the gateways and new freight services are being developed and expanded.
Report 02/17

From Wilhelmshaven to the North Cape

Rhenus Midgard in Wilhelmshaven has everything that a bridge needs: adequate space (15,000 square metres), a motorway link for deliveries and a heavy-duty quay that is not adversely affected by 700 tonnes! This means ideal conditions for the final assembly and shipment of a network arch bridge that is set to span the Bøkfjorden fjord in Norway in future.
Sector 02/17

Mobile Post

While a set place of work or at least a postbox were the rule in a company in the old days, things have changed radically in recent years. “You can hardly find a banker with a pigeon hole nowadays,” says Axel Rautschka, Managing Director of Rhenus Mailroom Services. “Instead, there are mobile workstations everywhere. Employees work where there is a free space.” This is compounded by the fact that employees are more often on the road and sometimes work from home too.
City 02/17


What do Amsterdam, Madrid, Copenhagen, Brussels, Prague, Dublin and Vilnius all have in common? They were all the European Capital of Culture at some stage. When Vilnius was allowed to share the title with Linz in 2009, the Baroque city with its impressive architecture was still unknown to many Europeans.
More articles of the same category
The Rhenus World 01/20

Elegant and Inexpensive

Good taste does not have to be expensive: the Polish discount store chain, PEPCO, sells fashionable clothing and stylish interior accessories for very little money. The company opened its first five shops in Bulgaria in the spring of 2019 and 15 more are due to follow. PEPCO trades its products across Europe. A slim supply chain is essential for this. Ever since the first PEPCO store opened in the capital Sofia in April 2019, Rhenus Bulgaria has been handling the complete transport and warehouse management operations for the company in the country.
The Rhenus World 02/19

Very close to customers

The leading European logistics fair in Munich is held every two years and is the most important sector event for all who work in the logistics and transport sector. As in previous years, the Rhenus Group was not going to miss the opportunity of attending this mega-event to be there to meet interested parties and customers. The Rhenus Group's core business involves providing professional solutions along the supply chain and keeping customers' requirements firmly in its sights at all times.
The Rhenus World 01/18

after 38 Years of Senior Management Responsibility:

Having reached the age limit, Reinhard Lohmann has retired from the supervisory boards of the RETHMANN group and its divisional companies, REMONDIS, Rhenus and SARIA.
The Rhenus World 01/18

Norbert Rethmann

The Polish employers’ association presented awards to twelve persons and institutions for their outstanding service and major contributions to the Polish economy at this year’s ceremony on 13 January 2018. One of the prize-winners was Norbert Rethmann, a Member and the Honorary Chairman of the RETHMANN Group’s Supervisory Board.
The Rhenus World 01/17

Staying Cool.

The Rhenus Group has been successfully working for DuPont de Nemours for 20 years. The trust placed in Rhenus by the customer is enormous: in addition to classic overland transport services, Rhenus has also been handling highly sensitive ultra-cold transport operations to several European countries since 2012. Rhenus has to guarantee a cool chain of -55 – -60 degrees Celsius end-to-end.
More Logistics People