In 1962, the German company Schenker & Co expanded into the Australian marketplace, setting up a base in Sydney. Now called DB Schenker, after Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) became the majority shareholder, the organisation has presence all over the nation and provides sophisticated supply and logistics solutions across a range of industries.

CEO Australia and New Zealand Ron Koehler shares some of DB Schenker’s proudest moments, its commitment to sustainability and his vision for the future with The CEO Magazine.

The CEO Magazine: You started your career with DB Schenker in 1978 as a heavy-lift transport specialist and worked your way up the ranks. Over the years, what have been the biggest changes within the industry and how has the business had to adapt?

Ron: It is a much more professional industry these days and I would say it is probably more competitive. Obviously IT and visibility play a major role, so we have had to be highly proactive as an organisation in order to be competitive in the marketplace. That is very important. We are proud of ourselves because we are capable of delivering end-to-end solutions and that is what distinguishes us from the crowd.

Throughout your time with the company, what have been greatest highlights or biggest projects that you have worked on?

I will concentrate on two main ones. One was in 2000— the Sydney Olympic Games. This was a highlight because we were able to pull this contract and handle all of the international activities for the event, building up a team from two to 250 permanent people at the peak.