Skip to content

Truck Sideview Old Photo

The Story Behind DB Schenker

From the railroad and Gottfried Schenker to the global, leading logistics provider we are today, the success story of DB Schenker logistics experts dates back to the 19th century.

DB AG lays the foundation for a world-renowned combination of logistics leaders — Stinnes AG and Schenker — in 2002, giving both Deutsche Bahn and Schenker a rich history. As we reflect on our past, we look forward to continue to blaze ahead into the future as an innovator in the logistics industry.

Milestones 2021 - 2011

Plane on the runway


Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker show a joint commitment on an aircraft.

Two roboters and a worker


DB Schenker invests in autonomous mobile robotics pioneer Gideon Brothers.

Volodrone in the sky


First-ever public flight of the heavy lift cargo drone VoloDrone.

First CO2-neutral freight flight of Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker


First commercial carbon neutral cargo flight in history.

DB Schenker Building Red Lion


DB Schenker’s new Singapore warehouse Red Lion marks a record investment in its corporate history of 101 million euro.

Electric truck Oslo


DB Schenker is first to run Volvo’s fully electric powered distribution truck in daily traffic.

Opening of first low-carbon distribution terminal in Norway – Oslo City Hub.

Opening of a full solar-powered logistics center in Dubai.

Introduction of what3words start-up.

First with 3-D printing solutions: DB Schenker is the world’s first logistics service provider offering its customers an extensive 3-D printing service.

Introduction of an intelligent scanning glove in Germany.

DB Schenker opens its largest logistic center in Madrid, Spain – 22 Mio EUR investments.

New IT center opens in Warsaw.

olympia 2016 loading aircraft


As the "Official Co-Partner of the German Olympics", as well as the exclusive logistics partner for the German House, DB Schenker is involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

dubai warehouse lkw sign


In Dubai, DB Schenker opens its first logistics center in the Middle East.

E-Commerce Carry pick Warehouse


Next generation e-commerce: DB Schenker continues to strengthen its e-commerce logistics sector with Carry Pick, a system of robotics and automated packaging.

DB Schenker has invested in the digital future by signing a long-term partnership agreement with global marketplace uShip.

DB Schenker is a Partner of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and is responsible for the European logistics for the Formular 1 Team.

DB Schenker opens its most advanced and largest terminal in Viinikkala, Finland.

DB Schenker has been located in Hamburg for 125 years.

DB Schenker is exclusive Logistics partner of the German House in Sochi 2014.

DB Schenker celebrates its 140th anniversary.

DB Schenker ships 100 containers loaded with high-tech equipment for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 safely to Baku, Azerbaijan and back again.

DB SCHENKERsportsevents takes care of the equipment for the stadiums and the media at the venues in Poland and Ukraine.

As official co-partner of the German Olympic Team London 2012, DB Schenker supports the smooth course of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012.

In Leipzig, DB Schenker builds a new logistics center to supply automotive plants in China and South Africa.DB Schenker is involved in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™ as the official logistics service provider.

DB Schenker opens a new logistics center in Pardubice, Czech Republic, and at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport in Sweden.

The national company in Spain enters the market, operating under the brand name of DB Schenker Spain-Tir.

Company founder Gottfried Schenker is posthumously included in the “Logistics Hall of Fame” for his contributions to the development of logistics.

DB Schenker celebrates the 50th anniversary of its operations in Argentina and its 40th anniversary in Singapore.

DB Schenker opens a new terminal in Salzburg at a cost of EUR 26 million to serve as a hub for goods shipped throughout Europe.

For the RUHR.2010 “Still-life A40/B1” street festival, DB Schenker organizes the entire job of setting up 20,000 tables and benches on the

A40 autobahn that runs through the Ruhr region of Germany, and removing them again after the event.

With DB SCHENKERhangartner, DB Schenker offers a product designed specifically for an economical combination of road and rail in European land transport.

DB Schenker is involved in the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada, as an official service provider.

DB Schenker opens its new air-freight center, the largest hub of its kind in the company’s network, at Frankfurt International Airport. 

In the US, BAX Global is integrated into DB Schenker’s national company.

With the acquisition of S.C. Romtrans S.A., DB Schenker now has a dense network throughout Romania and becomes one of the leading national service providers.

DB Schenker launches the “DB Eco Program,” an initiative designed to reduce carbon emissions.

Opening first multimodal logistics center in Finland.

Acquisition of Spain-TIR.

New structure at DB Logistics.

Acquisition of BAX Global.

New Logistics Hub North Asia in Korea.

Schenker logistics center for consumer goods in Willebroek, Belgium, starts operations.

Strengthening of the network in Russia and of the market position in Norway with Linjegods.

Integration of Schenker and Spedpol positions Schenker as one of the leading providers of integrated logistics in Poland.

'A-Class' license for new subsidiary in the growth market China.

Official Supplier to the IOC for freight forwarding and customs clearance services for the Olympic Games (Athens 2004, Turin 2006, Beijing 2008).

Integration of Schenker and Joyau in France.

Schenker celebrates its 130th birthday.

Schenker and Seino merge their international and logistics activities in Japan into Schenker-Seino Ltd.

The Integrated Logistics Centre Narita, Tokyo is opened.

Deutsche Bahn takes over majority of Stinnes.

Merger of Schenker-BTL (Deutschland) AG and Schenker International Deutschland GmbH to form Schenker Deutschland AG. 

Opening of the Integrated Logistics Center Rotterdam.

Schenker, Inc. named for the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Schenker and Deutsche Bahn establish Railog joint venture for rail related logistics services.

What happened in the 20th century

Schenker Tokyo Truck Street Japan


Schenker Australia appoints Official Freight Forwarder of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Strategic alliance between Schenker and Seino.

Rail Freight


Stinnes AG acquires a majority stake in Schenker from the German railroad company Deutsche Bundesbahn.

Seafreight Ocean Freight Container Ship


Schenker is acquired by the German Railways. First sea freight container shipments.

Co-ordination of land transport operations in Europe at Schenker and BTL under the Schenker-BTL name.

Schenker looks back on 125 years of history.
Schenker AG repositions itself by divesting the bulk cargo business and forming three new business areas: Schenker Logistics, Schenker International and Schenker Eurocargo.

The shareholding in the Swedish company BTL-AB, Gothenburg, gives birth to Europe's leading transportation and logistics provider.

Stinnes air and sea freight, land transport, handling/logistics and seaport activities are grouped under the umbrella of Schenker-Rhenus AG.

Company decides to introduce SWORD (Schenker's Worldwide Online Realtime Data Network) and EDIFACTstandards.    

Schenker becomes the official freight forwarder for Munich Olympics.
Coinage of JETcargo, SEAcargo and Eurocargo as trade marks for bulk transportation by air, sea, rail and road.

Dedicated office is founded in Taiwan to oversee Taiwan market.   

Dedicated company is founded in Hong Kong to oversee Asian market.

Subsidiary is established in the U.S. internationalization and air freight are pursued on a large scale.

1931 - 1945

In 1931, Schenker & Co. GmbH is taken over by the then Deutsche Reichsbahn and is henceforth under state control. After the seizure of power by the National Socialists in 1933, the Jewish managing director Marcell Holzer is removed from office and arrested, while decisive positions in management and supervisory bodies are filled with NSDAP party members.  

As early as 1933, the supervisory bodies and management dismiss Jewish employees in Germany and later also in the foreign subsidiaries, with a few exceptions.

During the Second World War, Schenker participates extensively as a freight forwarder in the armaments and war economy and actively benefits from its close ties to the Deutsche Reichsbahn. Schenker expands its entrepreneurial activities, especially in the occupied and conquered territories of Eastern and Central Europe.

Schenker transports war-important goods, munitions and war material, and also undertakes transports for the Wehrmacht, the military economy as well as military supplies. Schenker is also involved in the "eviction transports" of confiscated and looted goods.  

In 1944, Schenker is appointed "Trusted Freight Forwarder of the Reich."

Schenker's role during National Socialism is currently being investigated as part of a comprehensive scientific study by the Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte. The study is intended to help answer to date open research questions. The research questions focus on Schenker's active involvement in "aryanizations" and forced labor. Once the work has been completed, its results will be published. 

How it all began

Truck frontview Old Vintage Photo


The German export industry goes on an international exhibition tour organized by Schenker.

Schenker in Wien


First consolidated rail consignment from Paris, France, to Vienna, Austria.

Gottfried Schenker Old Photo


Gottfried Schenker founds Schenker & Co. in Vienna, Austria.

First air freight shipments in Germany.

After WW I, Schenker focuses on express delivery services, regional freight forwarding, removals and trade-fair services.

Gottfried Schenker passes away in Vienna and is succeeded by his adoptive son Dr. August Schenker-Angerer.

Founded Austro-Americana Shipping Company.

Acquired a stake in the steam navigation company Adria Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft.

Branch offices established in Budapest, Hungary, Bucharest, Romania and Prague, Czech Republic.

Gottfried Schenker founds Schenker & Co. in Vienna, Austria.