Sustainability Report


Foreword of the Management Board

Reiner Heiken
CEO | Chief Executive Officer
Jens Wollesen
COO | Chief Operating Officer
Martin Eberle
CFO | Chief Financial Officer

In addition to marking our 150th anniversary, 2021 was an exceptional year in many respects: The Covid-19 pandemic continued to have a significant influence on the world and the logistics industry: The global flow of goods was severely restricted and capacities were extremely scarce, especially in Airfreight and Seafreight. Furthermore, the shortage of containers was a challenge, and additional events such as the Suez Canal blockage put further pressure on the logistics industry. In such an environment, it was essential to maintain global transports chains as well as possible and to offer flexible and individual solutions for our customers. Despite these challenging conditions, 2021 was the most successful year in the Hellmann Group’s 150-year history. As a global team, we have succeeded in increasing our shipment volume by 25 % compared to the previous year. Group sales increased by EUR 1.5 billion and amount to more than EUR 4 billion for the first time. In addition to the increase in shipments, the freight rate development also contributed to this. As freight rates already increased in 2020 due to the capacity shortage, this trend once again intensified in 2021.

»Despite these challenging conditions, 2021 was the most successful year in the Hellmann Group’s 150-year history.«

During the reporting period, we again demonstrated the strength of our team and our ability to generate record results even in turbulent times. We want to continue this development in the current fiscal year. Sustainability – with its three pillars economy, ecology and social – will have an even more central role in the future. While "Live Sustainability" has always been firmly anchored in our corporate DNA, sustainability will now also become an integral part of our strategic corporate development. After all, sustainable corporate action not only meets our demand for responsible management but now is also crucial for the company’s long-term success. As a global family business, we want to grow sustainably in such a way that the 150th anniversary year will be followed by many more successful years in the company history. With this in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to once again express our sincere thanks to all of our employees who, despite all the challenges, were never tired of finding solutions for our customers and implementing them together with our partners. At the same time, we would also like to thank our customers for their loyalty and excellent cooperation.

150th Anniversary

In 2021 we celebrated our 150th anniversary. As a symbol of this longstanding history, the two shareholders Klaus and Jost Hellmann, together with CEO Reiner Heiken, planted a tree at the headquarter in Osnabrueck to commemorate the anniversary. The company also donated 150 additional trees to the city of Osnabrueck - one for each year in Hellmann's history.

More about history
Klaus Hellmann | Shareholder | Based in Germany
As a family-owned company, we look back on 150 years of sustainable innovation development – and this is also of central importance with a view to the future for all of us: issues such as climate change, the digitalization of the workplace, diversity, and the ongoing trend toward e-commerce are defining our times, and have a concrete impact on the logistics concepts of the future. Thus, it will continue to be important for us to recognize trends early on, never stand still, and look beyond the horizon so that we can move forward courageously. At the same time, it is important to remain mindful – because one thing is clear, sustainable thinking and behavior is and will remain the basis for our success.
Jost Hellmann | Shareholder | Based in Germany
My motto is ‘Not bigger is better, better is better!,’ because I am convinced that a company like Hellmann – with a global presence and well positioned digitally has enormous potential. But size alone is not everything: customer proximity, innovative strength and sustainable action have always characterized us and will continue to be what people associate with Hellmann in the future. Strategic growth with a good understanding of the people who make up the company is what we want for the future as well. Our lived F.A.M.I.L.Y  DNA makes the difference.

General Development

While sustainability has always been of particular importance to Hellmann and is firmly anchored in our corporate DNA, we will now take the next step and make sustainability an integral component of our corporate strategy: The aim is to develop a global sustainability strategy and integrate key sustainability issues into our daily processes. In this context, a global Sustainability Council was created under the responsibility of the Management Board, which met for the first time in December 2021. In addition to the three members of the Management Board, the interdisciplinary Sustainability Council consists of a cross-functional team with colleagues from Sales, Product Management, Compliance, Legal, Real Estate, HR, Communications, Controlling and QHSE. With the goal of developing an integrated sustainability strategy for Hellmann, a materiality analysis was conducted in the reporting year. As part of the survey, employees, the entire management team, representatives of the shareholder families, and selected external business partners were asked which sustainability issues are considered most relevant to Hellmann. At Hellmann, sustainability is viewed integratively and comprehensively in the so-called sustainability house. The three areas economy, environment and social create a framework that will ensure transparency with regard to data, goals and improvement projects in the future.

Reiner Heiken | CEO | Based in Germany
We understand sustainability as a process that aims to consider economic, ecological and social aspects in our daily activities in a way that is as balanced as possible. This also includes keeping future generations in mind. I am pleased that we are now focusing on the issue of sustainability even more.

Hellmann in figures

4.07 bn
Euro Turnover
Offices Worldwide
20 Mio.
Shipments per Year


Hellmann remains a family business 150 years after its foundation. We are proud of that. And that is why we are committed to what family means: integrity, understanding, trust, and cooperation. This is the basis of our corporate DNA. Our common goal is to ensure the long-term development of Hellmann so that the company can continue to offer many opportunities for future generations. In short: Hellmann means F.A.M.I.L.Y.


First, People First

The success of a company depends on its employees. That is why we create an attractive and professional environment at Hellmann, which captivates, binds, and promotes the interest of good employees. Through training, remuneration, and recognition, we encourage our employees to develop their talents in a climate of mutual respect and trust. They determine how our company is perceived externally. They directly influence the satisfaction, enthusiasm, and loyalty of our customers and we know that. That is why people always come first.

All About The Customer, Always

We are constantly looking for ways to expand and improve our services to exceed the requirements and expectations of our customers. It is our goal to offer our customers around the world the knowledge and experience they need most. We achieve this by listening to them and taking the time to get to know them better. The customer is always our focus. We ensure to handle all our tasks with a view to our customers. This leads to longterm customer relationships we are rightly proud of.

Making It Work Better, Everyday

Through business processes with high-quality standards, we are continuously improving our organizational agility and operational efficiency. We use every opportunity to increase efficiency by improving productivity and maintaining excellent supplier relationships. As a result, we not only contribute to our results but also improve the added value for our customers. In addition, we consistently live the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP).

Innovation And Entrepreneurship

At Hellmann, we promote creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit in all areas and create an environment in which risks are allowed. We encourage our employees to develop unconventional ideas and drive the adaptation of our services to our customers‘ wishes. We want to meet the constantly changing requirements and expectations of our customers.

Live Sustainability

At Hellmann, we attach great importance to a service offering based on economic, ecological, and social sustainability. After all, it is about the chances for future generations. We are responsible for people, society, and the environment in all areas where we operate. And we act accordingly. It is these principles of sustainable development that help us to secure the future of our family business.

You And Me!

Every day, we set new goals and face new challenges. Whether it is a successful shipment, a change of work process, or new concepts that are still under development - „You And Me“ makes it possible. The guiding principle stands for mutual responsibility. A responsibility that gives us support in times when we have to rely on each other. „You And Me“ also stands for cooperation and, thus, encourages us to support others and to motivate us to develop solutions together for our customers.

Under the Sign of the Wild Geese

The V-shaped formation is considered a phenomenal presentation of science and cooperation. None of the animals could cope with the journey on its own. Wild geese plan their flights up to the smallest detail jointly weighing up risks, and they have excellent communication skills as well as a perfect balance. They are faithful to each other all their lives and have a strong sense of responsibility. We are convinced that these are the characteristics that also make an outstanding logistics service provider. Therefore, the wild goose is more than a logo for us it symbolizes our entire philosophy as a family business and forms the basis for our success. Partnership-based, trusted and long-term business relationships, a great sense of responsibility, flexibility, innovative spirit, and an excellent communication in short: the Wild Geese is a trademark that suits us.