30. November 2020

Interview with HERFRIED LEITNER

Mr. Herfried Leitner holds a Master’s degree in business economics and globalization and lectures since 2012 at the University of applied sciences BFI in Vienna – the subject of “Inland Waterway Transport.” 
Further, he was elected as Chairman of the Board for Pro Danube International, a non-profit organization with the focus to increase the competitiveness of transport and logistics along the river Danube.
Mr. Leitner is a minority shareholder and General Manager of TTS (Transport Trade Services) GmbH. in Austria – a subsidiary of TTS S.A., Bucharest – one of the leading European companies on river shipping, port and private railway operations.   
Prior to this entrepreneurship he was working as the CEO for Helogistics Holding GmbH. – heading Erste Donau Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft mbH., Mahart Duna Cargo Kft. and Ferrexpo Port Services GmbH.. 
But river logistics was not always the core focus. 
In his function as General Manager for FM Logistics and MAERSK Logistics, he was stationed for more than ten years in Prague. During this time, he was operating more than 200.000m2 of warehouses and providing complex logistic solutions to the automotive and FMCG industry as well as typical logistic services such as Air, Sea, Road and Rail transports.
Nowadays, he is dedicated to implementing the gained experiences – into the world of river transportation. 

1. What are the main disrupters for River Services development?
River Services and Transportation are very traditionally businesses. 
The investments are extremely high, and the life period of vessel and equipment minimum 20 to 25 years, sometimes even beyond 50 years. 
Disruptive inventions will come from a technical perspective – whereas it is unclear as of today if the direction will be green hydrogen, electric or fuel cell technology.

2. Tell us about key areas in Logistics/Supply chain where River services can improve the most and why?
Car-manufacturing industry. 
Many production facilities are in the vicinity of the waterways but not using the opportunity and strength of waterborne transportation. 
One single river unit will be capable to replace 60+ truckloads and able to sail from the production site to distribution platforms or overseas ports. 

Another example might be industries that are producing oversized equipment, such as windmills, transformers, power plants, etc. 
In river transportation, the limit for size and weight is a multiple of other transportation means.
That might open completely new engineering possibilities in consideration of production size and areas of application.
 
Thinking overall about environmental impact, carbon neutrality, and logistics cost, such ideas will evolve dramatically soon.

3. Themes such as Green Deal and the reduction of CO2 play a big part in our conference program. Have you seen a large increasement in the shipments via river services due to the political guidelines outlined in The European Green Deal?
The European Green Deal will radically change many industries’ mind-set to the future of their supply chain and logistic chains.
More than ever, carbon-neutral transportation, will be a decisive factor in their future success. 
During the last years, we could see exponential demand for alternative transport solutions – such as intermodal river transportation. 
Today we are working with several leading companies to find technical solutions for the implementation of such services.
 
4. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in the Central and Eastern Europe region?
Logistics and Transportation are the back-bone of every industry and the absolute necessity to keep consumers demand fulfilled. 
The year 2020 taught us to see beyond our own countries and borders, and so does logistics. 
WOF EXPO in Central and Eastern Europe will strengthen cross-border relationships and will compact expertise from the same region to everyone’s benefit.
 
5. What will be the impact of Covid19 for further business development?
River Transportation is always cross border transportation.
In many cases, we cross six, seven or more territories. 
It is important to keep borders for the means of transportation open and to find common regulations between the countries/region.
That was not ideally managed during the Covid19 lock-down phase and caused delays and interruptions in general. 
To learn from the past for the future – this will be one of our concentration areas.

 
TTS (Transport Trade Services) GmbH Vienna, Austria promotes all services offered by the TTS network on the Austrian market. It acts as a freight purchaser and organizes logistics flows on the Upper Danube. The entire service in the hand of one organizer. TTS (Transport Trade Services) S.A. was set up in 1997. Since then, TTS distinguishes itself through the multimodal approach of services offered: river/maritime and land transport of bulk and packed commodities goods, handling of goods and equipment in Danube ports and Constanta, door to door transportation.

Operating with its assets plays a key role in TTS in providing efficiency and flexibility of service to its clients. Complete transport solutions and capacity to accommodate significant quantities of cargo enabled TTS to become a reliable service provider for top commodity traders.

TTS is a member of PRO DANUBE INTERNATIONAL who is running new projects to develop the infrastructure for logistics on the inland waterways of Europe (TEN-T).
http://www.tts-group.ro/
http://www.prodanube.eu/