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Introducing our trade lane managers: 

Oliver Ossenbühl, 31 years old, Trade Lane Manager Germany – Brazil, the USA & Canada, location North Rhine-Westphalia. (Right on the photo)
Johannes Buchholz, 29 years old, Trade Lane Manager Germany – India & Southeast Asia, location Weil am Rhein. (Left on the photo)

What does trade lane management mean?

Johannes: “At Rhenus, trade lane management aims to develop and strategically manage the trade lane between two defined countries in accordance with agreed-upon targets.”

In doing so, our areas of responsibility include:

  • Development of the corresponding trade lane (increases in volume and amounts)
  • Preparing marketing strategies
  • Acquiring new businesses
  • Expanding portfolio businesses
  • Market observation and analysis
  • Supporting key sales campaigns
  • Designing new products
  • Sales and price increases 
  • Identifying sales leads 

What trade lanes currently exist at Rhenus Air & Ocean Germany and are additional ones planned for 2019?

Oliver: “Currently, we have trade lanes with the USA, Canada and Brazil, as well as Southeast Asia and India trade lanes. In the future, we aim to press ahead with expansion into South and Central America, as well as in the UAE and South Africa.”

What are your goals?

Johannes: “First and foremost, the goal which we strive towards involves promoting development in volume and amounts on the corresponding trade lanes—through new businesses in particular. In addition to this, we attempt to resolve conflicts and avoid escalations, primarily to prevent the loss of regular customers.”

Oliver: “The strategic alignment with our on-site establishment or partner is also important. We use regular discussions and on-site visits to work towards further developing our products together.”

What projects are you currently working on?

Johannes: “In addition to my existing trade lane, Southeast Asia, I will also be taking over the India trade lane from my colleague Vicky Lal as of 1st January 2019. In Germany, we are currently considering setting up an “India desk”, where the key issues concerning India will be able to be processed. I am currently engaged in discussions with my counterpart in India, Lukas Schmitz, as well as my colleague Vicky Lal, as to what this “India desk” should look like.”

Oliver: “At the beginning of 2019, I will be paying particular attention to the Germany-Brazil trade lane. Here, we are looking to further consolidate and expand our console products in the LCL and air freight sectors, together with the sales team in Germany and in Brazil. To do so, we are planning a roadshow through our branches in order to bring all colleagues from the Brazilian (business) culture closer together. This is being planned alongside our new colleague Mathias Nagraes, who has now been in Germany for one year after arriving here from Brazil.”

What challenges are involved in trade lane management?

Johannes: “In my opinion, the biggest challenge is made up of the cultural differences concerning international collaboration. There are often misunderstandings or a general lack of understanding when it comes to certain situations.” 

Oliver: “Needless to say, here, we have to try to appear as a neutral mediator, representing the points of view of both parties and finding a solution for our common goal.”

What has been your best/most successful/funniest experience at Rhenus, or what do you like about your job?

Johannes: “What I particularly like about my job is that I get to work with the most diverse people every day and that I am always getting to meet new people. The funniest experience I’ve had during my time as Trade Lane Manager was undoubtedly a visit I undertook to a customer in Indonesia. The visit concerned a German company with a foreign branch in Jakarta. I visited the customer together with my local sales colleagues and we had a great laugh during the discussion with our contact partner. The colleagues hadn’t told the woman that I came from Germany and, at the end of the discussion, she said that she would never have been able to speak so freely with a German because they were always so serious. She was extremely embarrassed when my sales colleagues then told her that I was German. This meant that, in addition to my sales activities, I was also able to improve the foreign image of Germans somewhat, something which I was very happy about.”

Oliver: “As Johannes has already said, it’s very exciting to be faced with new topics every day and to constantly be getting to know new people and cultures. Here, I particularly enjoy acting as a mediator between our establishments. You first have to get to know the local conditions in order to understand many topic areas. Of course, then we have the advantage of better being able to communicate understanding for certain things.”

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Rhenus SE & Co. KG
Rhenus-Platz 1
59439 Holzwickede
E-Mail: info@de.rhenus.com