May 5th 2022 is a big day of celebration for the 50 Bertschi Group team members in China, as well as for the Bertschi staff family around the world – it will mark 10 years since the Business Licence was registered for our first company in China. Bertschi International Freight Forwarding (Shanghai) Co Ltd, was established on May 5th, 2012 – with just 3 team members and a small office in the Xujiahui district of Shanghai.
Today, the main office remains in Shanghai, but has been joined by another one in Tianjin, as well as a chemical warehouse and container terminal of 60,000 square metres in Zhangjiagang which is under construction and due to start operations in the second half of this year.
Bertschi Chemical Warehouse and Container Terminal in Zhangjiagang, China. Construction to be completed in Q2 2022.
Bertschi has a long history as a chemical logistics service provider in Europe, having started business in 1956. But 10 years ago, a growing number of our customers were encouraging us to establish services outside Europe, as they were selling more products worldwide and procuring raw materials globally. They needed Bertschi’s presence in all parts of the world, not only in Europe. And this was the impetus for us to establish a new Business Unit for deepsea ISOtank transportation – which we named Bertschi Global.
China was the first country outside Europe where Bertschi Global opened its office, because we recognized the fundamental importance of the China market in the global Chemical industry. Soon after the China office was established in 2012, we opened offices subsequently in Singapore, in Dubai, in Houston, in Sao Paolo, in Dubai, and Switzerland – thereby providing coverage in all the key geographical zones where major chemical supply chains exist.
Bertschi Global Subsidiaries on the World Map
Bertschi was a latecomer to the China market – some of our professional competitors had opened their offices in Shanghai already 15 years before us. So, we had to ensure that we combined the local skills and expertise of our Chinese colleagues with the many years of experience in safe operation and high service standards, accumulated in Europe. At the same time, we needed to invest strongly in building a modern ISOtank fleet. In 2012, Bertschi owned 7,000 tank containers, all being used for continental transport inside Europe. Today, our fleet has progressed through many milestones: 10,000 – to 25,000 – and to 40,000 today, 28,300 of which are ISOtanks : more than four times our fleet size 10 years ago. In this regard, we have continued to grow faster than the market globally: in 2012 the total number of ISOtanks in service all over the world was 282,000 – whereas today the total is 736,935 : over 2.5 times the total 10 years ago. (Source : International Tank Container Organization www.itco.org)
Bertschi Deepsea ISOtank Containers
With the continuing support of our valued customers, and the growing expertise of our dedicated team in China, we believe that 10 years from now we will be celebrating even more growth and development. We thank you all, our Bertschi friends, for joining us in this journey!
William Leigh-Pemberton (Left) with Alberto Grisone (Right) of Hupac at Korla station for the launch of the block train from China to Europe. This article was written by William, who was the first subsidiary manager at Bertschi China and has played a major role in our success story in China.