A woman overlooks a BERTSCHI container terminal.
A BERTSCHI truck unloads his liquid container using a heavy lift crane.
Bertschi Employees holding yellow hearts and smiling into the camera
Bertschi employees planning an intermodal rail container transport.

"Families are known to stick together..." Bertschi Netherlands Celebrates 25 Years

Group of people smiling

Bertschi Netherlands was founded 25 years ago. To commemorate this special occasion, the local team organized a fantastic event, inviting employees, family members, partners, and cusotmers to all take part. Among others, Subsidiary Manager Gian Bühlmann delivered an inspiring speech, reflecting on our journey and future aspirations. We are delighted to share his words with you below...

Gian Buehlmann speech

Dear Employees, dear Partners, dear Customers, and especially important, dear Family Members, it is a special pleasure for me to welcome you all today to celebrate our 25th anniversary in Rotterdam. Since the beginning of the year, I have had the joy and honor of helping to shape the fortunes of our company in this wonderful country. I am particularly pleased that such a joyous event as today is taking place.

I am particularly delighted about the customers who have found their way to us today. You are the reason why we give our best every day. Your presence is a strong sign of appreciation for us. We hope that you can enjoy the time in our circle and that we can toast to our good partnership today.

We are also pleased to welcome many family members today. Dear partners, children, grandchildren: welcome. This celebration is also for you, because you ensure that our employees are doing well in their private lives. You offer them – hopefully – a balance to their work life and at the same time strong motivation in life. Without you, our employees would not be as good as they are. Thank you! And for your sake, I will refrain from using technical terms and Bertschi slang in this speech.

Now, please allow me to address my employees. It's great that you are all here today! Wow, these are turbulent times. Agreed? For the past four years, one challenge has followed another. What was it like 25 years ago, on May 12, 1999, when Bertschi BV was officially founded? A quick experiment: can everyone who worked for Bertschi 25 years ago please raise their hand? Now everyone who was with Bertschi 15 years ago? Everyone who has been with us for 10 years? And everyone with 5 years of service? This makes me proud, so many years of passion and commitment! A round of applause for you all!

Life 25 years ago, I would like to give a few anchor points:

  • On January 1, 1999, the Euro was introduced as book money
  • Wim Kok had been Prime Minister of the Netherlands for 5 years and was doing well
  • Everyone was terribly afraid of the upcoming millennium bug with the turn of the year

Man, that was a long time ago, but it feels like yesterday... have we really gotten that old? Being old is not necessarily a bad thing. For a company, being old is mostly something very positive. It means that a company has been successful for a long time. It means that a company has been able to convince customers in the long term. It also means that a company has been able to withstand both simple and difficult times.

Now I have to relativize a bit. Being old also has its pitfalls. You all know a few old people... let's say your parents. No, better: your parents-in-law. Being old doesn't automatically mean that you know and can do everything better. On this topic, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant already said in the eighteenth century: Nothing is more constant than change. One should not simply rely on existing knowledge and experience and trust that this is enough to continue doing everything right in the future. What was valid in 1999 may no longer be valid today. Did you know, for example, that many people in the late nineties thought the internet was just a fad? Bizarre, right?

The same applies to a company. We must constantly question ourselves critically and continue to develop so that we do not lose touch with our customers. They are constantly improving to grow with innovative and efficient products. We must keep up with this. If we do this right, we can not only keep up but literally grow with our customers as partners.

Bertschi has successfully done this in the Netherlands over the past 25 years. From a small preloading concept in Moerdijk and a relatively narrow rail terminal in Rotterdam, great things have emerged. Today, in addition to the two aforementioned terminals, which have been significantly expanded since then, the terminals in Delfzijl and Terneuzen are also included. We are proud to say that we offer everything from integrated preloading concepts to storage and transport services. We adhere to the highest safety standards, maintain intensive contact with our customers, work more and more digitally, remain flexible at all times to support our customers even in turbulent times, and take care of ourselves and our colleagues. The latter point is particularly important to me.

Bertschi is a family business, and families are known to stick together. Families inevitably develop further but remain true to themselves. Just like Bertschi. In the course of my career, I have had the privilege of coming into contact with Bertschi colleagues all over the world, and I can tell you one thing: there is an incredible diversity of different people coming together. But a few things all these people had in common: a great passion for their own work, a healthy portion of expertise, many creative solutions in times of difficulty, a great willingness to learn, adaptability, and, not least, no idea where Dürrenäsch is before they started. I got to know all of you here in the Netherlands in the same way, and I can say with a clear conscience: we owe the past 25 years, but also the next 25 years, to all of you. Thank you!

I must not forget to thank all our partners for their tireless efforts. You may not be traveling in the beautiful Bertschi yellow, but you carry a good portion of yellow blood with you. Thanks to you, we keep moving here in the Netherlands. You are also our eyes and ears. Thanks to you, we know what is happening with our customers and where we need to improve. You often go the extra mile for us and our customers and succeed where others would fail. You too can be proud of what we have achieved together.

In conclusion, I would like to tell you all that it remains exciting for us. Despite all the adversities, we are still in a growth phase. If the seagulls allow it, we will put another expansion step in Rotterdam into operation this year and next year we will get a long-awaited increase in our handling capacities with a second crane. But we are also in close contact with our customers in Delfzijl, Moerdijk, and Terneuzen and have been able to grow steadily over the past few years thanks to our high reliability. We want to continue to work diligently to ensure that this phase lasts for a long time.

A special thank you today, of course, goes to everyone who organized this event for us. These are especially Kristine, Soraya, Matthew, and the entire Abel team. A big round of applause for them.

Now we want to celebrate, the past, but also the coming 25 years. That's why we are here today. To toast to the past and the future in the company of colleagues and family. So, a triple cheer for Bertschi: Hip, hip, hooray. Hip, hip, hooray. Hip, hip, hooray.

“Bertschi is a family business, and families are known to stick together. Families inevitably develop further but remain true to themselves. Just like Bertschi. In the course of my career, I have had the privilege of coming into contact with Bertschi colleagues all over the world, and I can tell you one thing: there is an incredible diversity of different people coming together.”
Gian Bühlmann
Subsidiary Manager Bertschi Netherlands
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