Milestones in our history


Martin Faber first appears in Viernheim records in 1899 as a "milk trader". His entry in the trade diary marks the year the company was founded.


Unfortunately, Viernheim did not remain unaffected by the events of the First World War. From 1914 the war raged in Europe and it is unclear how Martin Faber was affected. In any case, he had to temporarily deregister his business in 1917 and the company was closed for the next few years.


From 1919, the Faber family resumed and even expanded its transport business. Initially, the company continued to concentrate on supplying milk to Viernheim and the surrounding area. From 1922, Faber also supplied the Mannheim milk centre. As technology progressed, motorised lorries gradually replaced horse-drawn vehicles, although the latter were still used for maintenance work or when road conditions were unfavourable.

Post war period

In the post-war period, goods are scarce and the family business has only one roadworthy vehicle at its disposal. However, this does not mean that milk transport is completely discontinued, so that the supply of dairy products to the Rhine-Neckar region can be maintained. This subsequently leads to the expansion of the company into a transport company.


The founder's daughter, Elisabeth Faber, helps him in the day-to-day running of the business and is the first woman in Viernheim to obtain her own lorry driving licence, enabling her to take over the main business of transporting milk. She and her then-husband Johann Pfenning thus mark the birth of the future transport company, which is officially founded as a haulage firm of the same name.


The margarine transports to Saarbrücken are the first long-distance truck transports up to 150 km. These may only be carried out with a so-called blue concession, which pfenning had to acquire separately.


After all, the first truck transport in unrestricted long-distance traffic is only possible with the acquisition of the red concession. However, unrestricted means that the truck may undertake a fixed tour in one direction.


In the "decade of warehouse construction", various types of warehouses were built. Around 1973, the first external warehouse was rented. Around 1975, the first new warehouse was built for the company's own use. Finally, in 1978, pfenning builds the first warehouse on behalf of a customer.


The logistics sector is "fragmented", and the individual small companies compete with each other without any significant chance against the few large companies. That is why Pfenning is trying to make the small logistics companies competitive by founding "LOG SPED", the first logistics cooperation in Germany. In this way, he wants to promote his ideas for the logistics sector.


The construction of the transhipment warehouse, the so-called JET terminal, marks the entry into general cargo transport. The abbreviation JET stands for: any time – ready to use - on schedule. This combines the promise to the customer in one slogan. With the new warehouse and the fleet of vehicles at that time, the proximity to the customer is illustrated and the delivery can be made quickly and reliably.


The network of the individual logistics companies enables a new warehouse concept, the so-called "5-star goods hotel". It is an offer for distribution and warehousing networked with modern EDP, which sees itself as a complete service package for the customers. Through defined performance and quality standards for the entire network, new standards are quickly set and new order dimensions are possible.

Further insights into the innovative concept can be found here.


With the end of LOG SPED in April 1996, pfenning went the way of Eastern Europe at the request of its customers. Proximity to customers has always been an important factor in business policy. This is what makes the start of a new beginning possible in the first place. Pfenning is challenged and has to build up business in Eastern Europe within a very short time. This succeeds so well that the path will later even lead the company to Romania.


At home in Germany, the opportunity arises to take over large parts of the old LOG SPED business again. The first step was the re-establishment of Pfenning Kontrakt- und Handelslogistik, followed by the re-purchase of Pfenning Spedition - still two main pillars of the corporate group today.

The return home picks up speed and many more locations develop over time.


The mobility industry is one of the three key industries in Germany. The entry into automotive logistics and thus into a part of the technological core competence of the German economy enables large steps of growth. Since then, pfenning has been acting as an extended workbench at the Mannheim location in the industrial port, right through to metalwork in the bus production of a well-known automotive manufacturer.


With the acquisition and integration of Spedition Erck GmbH in Berlin-Hoppegarten, the pfenning Group's fleet management has traditionally been based there. Today, the entire truck fleet is still administered in the admin centre.


For the automotive business in Bremen, where a leading car manufacturer produces passenger cars, pfenning is entering JIT and JIS plant supply. The abbreviations stand for just in time and just in sequence. In logistics, they help to ensure that the customer's plants are effectively supplied with production parts so that they are delivered at the right time and in the right selection to match the respective production step.


In order to delve deeper into the production processes of automotive and industrial customers, pfenning is expanding its service portfolio with the acquisition of Metallbau Nick Lampertheim. In automotive & industrial logistics, they enable customers to handle metal processing efficiently.


Founding of an in-house personnel service provider: both to cope with seasonal peaks, but also to diversify the product portfolio.

Today, be4work GmbH acts as a sparring partner in the daily personnel and deployment planning for a large number of customers from logistics and industry throughout Germany.

Read more on the homepage.


With the construction of the nationally renowned multicube rhein-neckar logistics centre, not even 20 years after the end of LOG SPED, pfenning is launching a groundbreaking innovation in the construction of multi-user facilities. With a top rating of 1.20, the multicube rhein-neckar leads the ranking of DGNB Platinum certified industrial buildings.

The headquarters are thus also located in Heddesheim in Baden-Württemberg, so that the head office will leave Viernheim in Hesse when it moves.

This is the first time the company is building on this scale for its own needs. The expertise for this has been available since the 70s and is used in the context of customer orders.


With a fleet of almost 1,000 commercial vehicles and cars, the amount of work, maintenance and service required is enormous. This is why pfenning decides to take over the Ebert car dealership group, one of the oldest car dealerships in Germany with eight locations in the Rhine-Neckar region.

The diversification of the portfolio is thus further advanced.


The Bremen site gets a new company headquarters. Pfenning builds the administration as well as a truck workshop with parking spaces and a filling station for the factory supply of Germany's leading car manufacturer. Working in three shifts and with up to 1,000 vehicle tours per day, pfenning logistics has been providing a transport cycle since 2006 that integrates all loading and unloading points in the plant as well as the supplier companies located in the surrounding area into the just-in-time and just-in-sequence factory supply system.


The personnel service provider be4work, which supports the pfenning Group, is expanding with 1,000 employees at 15 locations.

In addition to the familiar personnel services such as temporary employment or personnel placement, the company also offers full-service add-ons such as on-site management.

You can find more information about be4work here.


The "multicube family" grows with the construction of the second multicube in Monsheim. With a total area of 63,000 m² and a storage area of 55,000 m², it is slightly smaller than the first multicube in Heddesheim. The multicube rheinhessen is also certified DGNB Platinum and occupies top 9 of the industrial buildings.


Acquisition of Herbst Frischelogistik GmbH in Bad Hersfeld, the logistics hub within Germany and Europe. Pfenning logistics is thus closing a blind geographical spot. With this expansion, however, the company is also strengthening its transport network at the same time, as HFL has over 200 trucks in fresh produce and pharmaceutical transport.


pfenning acquires three companies from North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. SONIMA GmbH specialises in supply chain service solutions and value-added services for the entire mobility industry and has foreign subsidiaries in Hungary, Poland and Sweden. HTH Logistics and GILOG GmbH are logistics companies that specialise in fulfilment, e-commerce and fashion logistics. This strengthens pfenning logistics enormously, not only in terms of logistics, but also in terms of its value-added portfolio.


The joint venture with Oelrich Logistics GmbH from Ladbergen strengthens pfenning logistics' expertise in building materials and food logistics. At the same time, the company is also expanding its regional presence. In addition, the new location offers a direct port connection and enables inland transports.


The "multicube" family grows with three more locations. The multicube berlin is being built in Berlin - as the first brownfield facility.

The freshcube osthessen is being built in Bad Hersfeld - also as the future headquarters for the employees of the subsidiary HFL.

The multicube osthessen is being built in Mecklar near Bad Hersfeld and will be the first multicube to be operated in a climate-neutral manner.

Further information is available here.


125 years of change

The roots of the pfenning group go back to the year 1899. The founder Martin Faber, initially known as a bricklayer, registered as a milk trader on September 16, 1899. In the years that followed, he expanded the business and repeatedly appeared in the trade register with registrations and deregistrations. His daughter, Elisabeth Pfenning (born Faber), was the first woman in Viernheim to obtain a truck driver’s license in her 20s so that she could be a passionate truck driver. This laid the foundations for her to join her father’s company. Her husband Johann Pfenning supported her and founded the haulage company of the same name in 1949.

It was the beginning of a family business that experienced enormous growth with Karl-Martin Pfenning, son of Johann and Elisabeth Pfenning, in the third generation. In 1975, at the age of just 25, Karl-Martin Pfenning joined his parents’ company after studying business administration. He industrializes transport, builds a large fleet of trucks and sends the fleet all over Germany. Pfenning is a founding member of the medium-sized cooperative LOGSped and becomes its Managing Director, CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board within 15 years. Five years later, in 1980, he made the leap into the new business field of contract logistics. This made Pfenning one of the first contract logistics companies in Germany to be certified according to the ISO standard in 1993. In 1996, when he withdrew from the LogSped group, Karl-Martin Pfenning decided to go completely independent. In 2009, he set the course for another major step in the company’s history: the pfenning Group’s logistics center was planned long in advance, but built in a record time of just 12 months. It has been standing on a 20-hectare site since 2012. The multicube rhein-neckar is the most modern and sustainable new industrial building in Europe. This marks the start of the nationwide and cross-border expansion of the multicube logistics centers.

Since then, the pfenning group has undergone enormous growth and is now a full-service provider of supply chain solutions.

125 years of change form the foundation for this success story.

Interviews with Contemporary Witnesses of the pfenning group

In the course of the 125-year history of the pfenning group, there have been numerous companions who have made a decisive contribution to the company’s continued existence and current success. In the course of reviewing the company’s own history, exciting and entertaining interviews were conducted with contemporary witnesses who describe their impressions of special events in the past. Passages from the interviews have been specially selected for the relevant sections of our anniversary book, which you will soon be able to read here.

Enjoy watching and reminiscing together!

Click here for the full playlist of all the interviews.


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video