Following the merger with DACHSER in January 2023, Müller Fresh Food Logistics has also been a member of the European Food Network since January 1, 2024, replacing its long-standing partner Bakker Logistiek. In an interview, CEO Jan-Peter Müller explains the new logistical services that Dutch customers can expect. Retailers, food manufacturers and restaurants benefit from the strong network for general cargo transport, which enables exports to and imports from 34 European countries.
Headquarters of Müller Fresh Food Logistics in Holten, Netherlands
Mr. Müller, with the acquisition of your company Müller Fresh Food Logistics by DACHSER, you have full access to the services of the strongest logistics network for food transport in Europe, as a new member of the European Food Network. To what extent did this influence your decisions to sell your family business?
Jan-Peter Müller: "That was certainly a key point. In the past, we saw ourselves more as local heroes. A good 80 percent of our sales were generated in the Netherlands. The remaining 20 percent was realized in the other Benelux countries and in the United Kingdom. Now, through the network, we can distribute the food from the Netherlands almost everywhere in Europe. This gives us a unique selling point in the market. From now on, we will be able to carry out temperature-controlled food transports to 34 European countries efficiently and safely via the European Food Network by means of regular scheduled services, coupled with fixed transit times."
Real added value for your customers ...
Jan-Peter Müller: "... which they appreciate. The merger with DACHSER and the connection to the European Food Network has been received positively by our customers."
Surely you expected that?
Jan-Peter Müller: "Yes. The Netherlands is one of the leading nations in Europe when it comes to exporting food. From this point of view alone, the merger with DACHSER is a real win-win situation. For our customers, for DACHSER, for the member companies in the European Food Network and for Müller Fresh Food Logistics. This is because we can expand our export business, DACHSER can push exports to the Netherlands, and our network partners benefit from general cargo shipments from the Netherlands to their home countries as well as from exports to our home country."
You and your company have only been part of the DACHSER family for a few months. Have you already recorded new business?
Jan-Peter Müller: "Yes, we have already been able to open up some new business. Without wanting to list them all here, for example, we distribute the products of a large German producer from the milk processing industry in the Netherlands and have also taken on tasks in the area of contract logistics. As far as international general cargo distribution is concerned, we were able to win one of the leading cheese exporters from the Netherlands as a new customer just in time for the launch of our membership in the European Food Network."
You are certainly working at full speed to ensure a smooth connection to DACHSER and the European Food Network. Which projects are currently in focus?
Jan-Peter Müller: "In addition to connecting our IT systems and synchronizing our processes, our focus this year was primarily on the integration of our employees into the DACHSER family. It is a great advantage that DACHSER and the companies in the European Food Network are family-run and cultivate a medium-sized corporate culture. These include values such as trust and reliability as well as long-term action.
In particular, we attach great importance to the satisfaction of our employees and live this throughout. When companies that share a common corporate culture merge, integration is much easier."
You can concentrate fully on the logistical and technical tasks.
Jan-Peter Müller: "And here we are going full throttle. After all, we want to complete the 100% linking of IT systems as quickly as possible. We certainly have high-performance IT, but DACHSER's IT systems are in a different league. Especially with regard to our customers, we will be able to offer even more comprehensive information and tailor-made solutions in the future. For example, we can provide our export customers with the DACHSER eLogistics Portal with its tried-and-tested tracking and tracing information and digitally available proof of delivery."
DACHSER plays a pioneering role in the logistics industry in the fields of digitalization.
Jan-Peter Müller: "In an interview, I once said that we are in the process of developing from a teenager to adulthood in the coming years. Figuratively speaking, I wanted to express that with the merger we have set the right course for the future viability of Müller Fresh Food Logistics. This applies to digitalization in the field of logistics, but also, for example, with regard to the climate transition. After all, the challenges that lie ahead are almost impossible for medium-sized logistics companies to cope with on their own."
It is certainly a great advantage to benefit from the experience of DACHSER and the members of the European Food Network.
Jan-Peter Müller: "Absolutely. This is because the members of the European Food Network maintain a very open exchange of experiences. DACHSER already has a number of e-trucks and e-cargo bikes in operation, and Galliker in Switzerland is already using hydrogen trucks, to name just a few examples. We benefit from the experience we have already gained in the network and can thus implement future technologies even faster."
Mr. Müller, you helped out at Müller Fresh Food Logistics as a young boy, washing the vehicles and driving tours as a student – you are, so to speak, a born logistician. What do you like about your job?
Jan-Peter Müller: "The dynamics in logistics, working with people and getting to know them and their cultures better. And as a gourmand who likes to enjoy the specialties from other countries, I love, for example, to make the excellent cheese from the Netherlands available to end customers all over Europe and in return spoil my fellow citizens with excellent food from other countries."
Thank you for the insightful conversation.