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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Germany’s logistics giant

IFM_Klaus-Michael Kuehne
As of 2023, Klaus-Michael Kuehne owns around 53.3% stakes in Kuehne + Nagel

‘Kuehne + Nagel’ is a global logistics company with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1890 in Bremen, Germany. Over the years, it has become one of the world’s leading logistics service providers, offering a wide range of services to facilitate the efficient transportation of goods around the globe.

With a presence in more than 100 countries and a network of over 1,300 branches, ‘Kuehne + Nagel’ has established itself as a major player in the logistics industry. The company specialises in various segments, including air and ocean freight, contract logistics and land transportation, providing tailored solutions to meet the individual needs of its diverse customers.

Kuehne + Nagel’s commitment to innovation and technology is evident through its digital initiatives to improve supply chain transparency and efficiency. Their integrated systems and platforms enable customers to track and manage their shipments in real time, ensuring transparency and reliability throughout the logistics process.

Environmental sustainability is a key focus for ‘Kuehne + Nagel’, as the company actively works to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable practises in the industry. They have set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, optimise transport routes and minimise waste, and align their operations with global sustainability goals.

The company’s commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in its customer-centric approach, which prioritises building strong relationships and delivering first-class service. Kuehne + Nagel’s extensive industry expertise allows them to serve a wide range of industries, including automotive, healthcare, aerospace and more, making them a trusted partner for companies around the world.

‘Kuehne + Nagel’ is a global logistics company with a rich history, a commitment to technological innovation, a strong focus on sustainability and a customer-centric ethos. They continue to play a critical role in facilitating the smooth flow of goods across borders and maintaining their position as market leaders in the dynamic and ever-evolving logistics industry.

The company was co-founded by August Kuehne, and currently it is run by his 86-year-old grandson Klaus-Michael Kuehne, a German billionaire businessman. He is currently serving as the honorary chairman.

Who is Klaus-Michael Kuehne?

  • Klaus-Michael Kuehne was born and brought up in Hamburg, Germany in 1937
  • In 1963, Klaus-Michael Kuehne joined his father Alfred Kuehne (1895–1981), as a junior partner at Kuehne + Nagel
  • In 1996, he became the CEO of the company
  • In 2020, Klaus-Michael Kuehne upped his stake in shipping company Hapag-Lloyd to 30%, having previously owned 26% of the business, making him the largest shareholder
  • In 2022, he doubled his stake in Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Germany’s largest airline
  • As of 2023, Klaus-Michael Kuehne owns around 53.3% stakes in Kuehne + Nagel
  • He also runs Kuehne Holding AG, one of the worldwide leading container shipping lines
  • The Kuehne Logistics University in Hamburg is named after Klaus-Michael Kuehne
  • As of October 2021, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated Klaus-Michael Kuehne’s net worth to be USD 36.2 billion, making him the richest person in Germany

Klaus-Michael Kuehne Wants To Buy The Port Of Hamburg

Klaus-Michael Kuehne says, “Want to buy the Port of Hamburg.”

This is what the weekly “Der Spiegel” writes in response to the billionaire’s complaints of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (Hhla), the organisation in charge of running Germany’s biggest port.

The businessman, who serves as honorary president of the logistics and transportation firm Kuehne + Nagel, expressed his “serious concern” over the port of Hamburg, which he deemed to be “poorly structured, poorly managed, and unable to keep up with the competition.”

“A port terminal would be a good solution to this end,” Klaus-Michael Kuehne added further.

His company plans to boost investments.

He continued, “I’m thinking of presenting an official takeover bid for the majority of Hhla’s shares.”

However, the billionaire acknowledged that “the city” of Hamburg “He won’t be very enthusiastic” about his plan. In reality, the city-state, which owns a 69% interest, owns Hhla.

According to the company, Klaus-Michael Kuehne has not made any offers. Regarding his own circumstance, Hhla emphasised that despite the challenging global economic environment, he sits “on solid foundations” and that he has proven his capacity to withstand even in this circumstance.

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