The German transport and logistics provider Hegelmann Group is expanding its operations into the U.S., announcing today that it would spend $12 million over the next three years to “kickstart the growth” of the new subsidiary.
The nascent Hegelmann USA division will be based in Chicago, operate a fleet of 10 trucks, and create at least 15 new job opportunities in its first year, Bruchsal, Baden-Württemberg-based Hegelmann Express GmbH said. Planned purchases include dry van trailers, thermal trailers, platforms, silos, and car carrier trailers.
After its first year, the unit intends to expand that fleet with liquid natural gas (LNG)- or electricity-powered trucks. And then it plans to expand its reach towards additional parts of North America, as well as towards Central America and Canada, the company said.
According to Hegelmann, the new division will build on its existing relationships with U.S. customers who currently purchase its logistics services in Europe. “We want to offer the same range of services in the USA as in Europe very quickly. We are a global and powerful company,” Andrew Jasinskas, who as Hegelmann’s head of business development is responsible for the U.S. expansion, said in a release.
“We had already considered expanding into the USA at the end of 2019,” Jasinskas said. “We want to become a global organization that offers its services on the European, North American, and Asian continents. We believe that by working hard and honestly we can become a successful, ambitious and growing player in the US and North American market.”
The move comes as the U.S. trucking sector is looking to rebound from pandemic conditions and chronic driver shortages and is currently in a period of tight freight capacity. Those conditions contributed to parcel and logistics giant UPS Inc.’s decision to sell off its barely-profitable less-than-truckload (LTL) and dedicated truckload business for $800 million last month. However, other lines such as Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., Werner Enterprises Inc., and XPO Logistics Inc. have been investing in new technology and expanded services.
Despite those challenges, Hegelmann may have the resources to seize a stake of the U.S. market. In its European operations, the family-run company specializes in time-critical deliveries for the automotive, heavy-duty, and food industries. It operates a fleet of more than 4,000 dispatched vehicles and a wide range of special equipment. Founded in 1998, the company employs over 7,000 people in its 26 branch offices across Europe.