Innovations that make history
In the last century, in the 30s, a girl got her truck driver’s license because that is what her father wanted. Milk churns had to be collected from farms in the Odenwald and the Rhine Valley. When grandfather, Martin Faber, and his daughter, Elisabeth Pfenning, née Faber, established their company in 1932, she was the only one of five daughters to enter the male-dominated world of agricultural milk transportation. So the story of pfenning logistics began in an unusual way, but its continuation over the following 80 years has been equally remarkable: It is the story of a family company with the third generation now at the helm in the person of Karl-Martin Pfenning, son of Johann Pfenning.
In 1975, at just 25 years of age, Karl-Martin Pfenning entered his parents’ company after graduating in business management. He “industrialized” the transport, developed a company truck fleet and nationwide transport services. As founder member of LogSped, a cooperation for medium-sized providers, he became executive director, chairman and supervisory board chairman within 15 years. Later in 1980 he succeeded in getting into the new business sector of contract logistics.
During this time, pfenning logistics developed an innovative warehousing concept – the first 5-star ware hotel in Germany. In 1993, pfenning was one of the first contract logistics company nationwide to receive ISO certification.
In 1996, with withdrawal from the LogSped federation, Karl-Martin Pfenning opted for complete independence. He developed the family company into a modern contract logistics provider ensuring they had a leading market position as retail logistics provider. In 1996 and 2005 he led the company into the highly competitive Romanian and Hungarian markets. However, for strategic reasons, this eastern European engagement was discontinued in 2011. In 2006, he was finalist in the national “Entrepreneur of the year” competition.
In the year 2009, Karl-Martin Pfenning set the right course for another big step in the history of the company: Planned long in advance, but set up in a record time of just 12 months. Since 2012, the pfenning group logistics center on its 20 hectare site is the most up-to-date and sustainable new industrial building in Europe: the multicube rhein-neckar.
In 2013, after 80 years, the company moved its headquarters from Hessen to Baden-Wuerttemberg and settled in Heddesheim, the site of the new logistics center. In the same year the “multicube” received the German Sustainable Building Council’s (DGNB) gold certificate with a top mark of 1.21 out of all newly built industrial plants in Europe.