From a technological point of view, the logistics industry faces serious changes. In order to be able to influence developments at an early stage, the Schwertberg-based company Hödlmayr International AG participates in the DigiTrans project. Funded by the Research Promotion Agency FFG and the State of Upper Austria, it creates a well-equipped test environment for researching new technologies related to automated driving and freight mobility.
A concrete project deals with truck platooning. Two or more trucks are connected via an “electronic drawbar”. Fuel savings of up to 15 percent are possible with this new technology. Hödlmayr is taking part in a five-year test with its own trucks and drivers in the course of this project. The starting shot should be made this year.
“For us, this commitment offers great opportunities in many ways. By networking with research institutions, we are part of an innovation history and can gain practical experience with new technologies at a very early stage, “says CEO Johannes Hödlmayr.
The blatant lack of qualified truck drivers is seen by the entrepreneur not only as a danger to the industry, but as a possible “brake pad” for the entire economic development in Europe. In his opinion, decisive markers must be laid down as soon as possible, which counteract the further aggravation of the situation by the increasing age structure. “If we don’t get more people to learn and practice this profession soon, we are going to face a real fiasco in the medium term. No economy in the world can develop well without functioning logistics,” warns Johannes Hödlmayr.
He believes that a whole package of measures is necessary to make the profession even more attractive. This also applies to financial incentives. “In logistics, too, the incontestable market laws of supply and demand are decisive. Every bottleneck and shortage ultimately leads to a higher price for the demanded service,” emphasizes Johannes Hödlmayr.
In the past financial year, the Mühlviertler vehicle logistics company was unexpectedly confronted with the discontinuation of a major order (€ 20 million). In this situation, the company’s comprehensive range of services has proven itself, which goes far beyond the transport of vehicles from A to B. Hödlmayr’s innovative comprehensive logistics concepts enabled it to make up for a large part of the lost sales within a very short time. “Ultimately, we achieved the second-best result in the company’s history – and that’s really extraordinary under these conditions,” reports Johannes Hödlmayr.
Facts & Figures Hödlmayr International AG
Ø 2017 about EUR 275 million
Ø 2016 about EUR 270 million
Ø 2015 about EUR 245 million
Employees in 16 European countries
Ø 2017 about 1,800
Ø 2016 about 1,800
Ø 2015 about 1,650
Ø 2017: 780 vehicle transporters
12 block train systems
Ø 2016: 740 vehicle special transporters
20 block train systems
Ø 2015: 650 vehicle special transporters
15 block train systems
Storage area of approximately 1.1 million m² with 50,000 parking spaces
Transport volume around 1.75 million vehicles
Releasing agent in six plants of well-known automobile manufacturers
Quality control for 1 million new vehicles