„Austria’s accession to the EU was the right step for our industry”

Alfred Schneckenreither, chairman of the forwarders group in the Austrian Economic Chamber, comes to this conclusion

„Austria’s accession to the EU was the right step for our industry”

Although the companies were prepared, Austria’s accession to the EU meant an enormous challenge for the domestic forwarding industry. Until then, many companies had defined themselves via freight rates and found a reasonable economic livelihood with their complex additional customs services.

This option was mainly eliminated on 1 January 1995. Hundreds of customs specialists lost their jobs at the time, and this was to be repeated just ten years later as part of the EU’s eastwards expansion to the countries of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.

It is thanks to the establishment of the “Ausped” foundation that the people affected by the thinning out in numerous forwarding companies sooner or later have found new employment thanks to retraining. Although this was sometimes a difficult time for those affected, Alfred Schneckenreither considers Austria’s accession to the European Union to be a good thing, in retrospect.

“As a result of this, our industry has experienced a considerable growth spurt, resulting in a signifcant rise in demand for the services of the transport and logistics industry”, says the managing director of Schneckenreither, an international forwarding company and chairman of the forwarders group in the Austrian Economic Chamber.

However, the companies had to work hard for this. Alfred Schneckenreither iluminates this with the example of his company. Until the early 1990s their core business was land transport of general cargo, full loads and less than full truck loads. This was followed by the phase of expanding the range of services into new segments, such as warehouse logistics with additional services like order picking, packaging, repacking, co-packing or the assembly of tires and rims.

As a result, the family business grew organically and on its own. And so did the industry colleagues, who also act far-sightedly.

The current edition of the OVZ magazine features a detailed interview with Alfred Schneckenreither.

www.wko.at; www.schneckenreither.com