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Company profile – This is ZEITFRACHT

The ZEITFRACHT Group is a modern, medium-sized and owner-managed family business in third generation with a national and international focus of activity. As a logistics service provider, we have been firmly established in the national and international logistics industry for over 90 years and are one of the leading providers of system traffic in Germany and Europe. In recent years, ZEITFRACHT has developed into a corporate group with the six corporate segments logistics and system logistics, aviation, marine, real estate, technical building equipment and consulting.

NEW: Here you can find the ZEITFRACHT - companyvideo

Business areas – Our 6 pillars

01 Logistics
Zeitfracht Logistics Döpke Transport Logistics KNV Zeitfracht GmbH
03 Marine
04 Real Estate
Zeitfracht Real Estate  
05 Technology
HVT Haus- und Versorgungs­technik  
06 Consulting
Investment & Consulting Private Equity  

01 Logistics

ZEITFRACHT Logistics - Your reliable logistics partner. We have been moving things for more than 90 years.
Zeitfracht Logistics is one of the most experienced system logistics service providers in Germany and Europa and has had a firm place in the national and international logistics industry for over 90 years.

The name stands for performance: from letters to freight by trailer truck or air charter, we deliver safely, reliably and to the point. To achieve this, 423 employees work with 235 trucks and 700 swap bodies at five locations in Germany. With our special experience in swap body transport, we shape the system traffic in Europe and also serve the oncoming traffic, the national and international line traffic as well as factory logistics and automotive transports. Thanks to this many years of experience and our comprehensive expertise in our field of business, we are well prepared for future developments.
Zeitfracht Logistics

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Döpke Transport Logistics

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KNV Zeitfracht GmbH

KNV Zeitfracht GmbH is the market leader in book wholesale and as such provides comprehensive logistics services for the book and media industry.
For more than 180 years the core competence has been the distribution of books, e-books, games, DVDs, compact discs, calendars and many other book trade articles. KNV Zeitfracht acts as the largest intermediary and link between publishers and bookstores and supplies its customers overnight with around 590,000 articles from over 5,000 suppliers from the distribution warehouse in Erfurt which is one of the largest and most modern logistics centres in Europe. KNV Zeitfracht supplies retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as 70 other countries worldwide. For over 300 publishers, KNV Zeitfracht's publishing delivery service acts as a full-service provider for warehousing, distribution and other services such as order processing, invoicing, accounting, IT development, statistics and evaluations.

KNV Zeitfracht GmbH

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02 Aviation

German Airways - We're going your way.
German Airways is a brand of the Zeitfracht Group and unites the two airlines WDL Aviation and Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (LGW) as independent AOCs. WDL Aviation is the second oldest German airline and has been a sign of excellence in airline services for more than 60 years. The fleet is currently comprised of three passenger and three Embraer E190 Jets, flying for well-known airliners like easyJet, British Airways, SAS, Air France, Finnair and KLM. The aviation company Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (LGW) has been in the airline business for almost 40 years. The fleet is currently comprised of 17 Bombardier DHC-8-400 aircraft currently flying exclusively for Eurowings across Europe. As a leading provider of ACMI and charter services, German Airways is quickly able to generate flexible solutions. For short-, medium- and long-term flights, German Airways offers an attractive wet lease offer at competitive prices.
TFC Flugbetrieb und -technik Beratungsgesellschaft is one of the largest training providers in aviation in Germany. The medium-sized family business, based in Essen, specializes in the professional training of commercial airline pilots as well as the training and continuing education of cockpit crews for various well-known airlines. TFC GmbH employs 50 permanent employees and 300 freelancers.

Collage German Airways

03 Marine

OPUS MARINE - Your ONE-STOP Service Provider for simple to complex offshore solutions
The OPUS Group, to which OPUS MARINE GmbH belongs, owns seven own vessels and is one of the leading German shipping companies in special shipping with professional expertise in the offshore wind industry. We take care of tidal power plants, pontoon transports, towages and heavy-lift operations with floating cranes as well as salvage and wreck removal operations and services for the construction industry. We see ourselves as a German company with international partners in a global environment.

04 Real Estate

Zeitfracht Real Estate - acquisition and development of real estate
Zeitfracht Real Estate buys and develops real estate for the purpose of subletting. The letting and leasing takes place within and outside the Zeitfracht Group to commercial tentants and partly to private persons. Besides to our own companies, Zeitfracht’s main tentant is DPD with its depots 110, 112 and 160.

Zeitfracht Real Estate currently owns 16 properties with an area of 305,578 m2 at the eight locations Berlin, Brieselang, Hanover, Havelberg, Osterburg, Raunheim and Stendal.

05 Technology

HVT Haus- und Versorgungstechnik - Well advised. Completly supplied. We ensure functioning lifelines in buildings.
The HVT Haus- und Versorgungstechnik is a complete supplier in the field of building technology and offers the complete package of supply technology from a single source: Heating, ventilation, refrigeration technology, sanitary and electrical installation – with our well-trained team of experienced project managers, master craftsmen and engineers, HVT realizes projects of all sizes for private and commercial customers in Berlin-Brandenburg and throughout northern Germany. Companies benefit from competent advice, fluent processes and general responsibility, which HVT assumes for all participants in the network. HVT has been providing quality work for more than 27 years and is currently one of the largest companies in the industry in the region Berlin-Brandenburg.

If you require intelligent supply technology and prefer fair, transparent conditions, you have come to the right place. We work hand in hand. Glady also with you. The HVT principle applies to our work: „One contact – all services“: heating, ventilation, electrics: with us, everything comes from a single source.

06 Consulting

Investment & Consulting - The management consultancy for medium-sized businesses
Founded in 2009, the management consultancy Zeitfracht Investment & Consulting GmbH, based in Potsdam and Berlin, supports clients in change processes, in shaping their entrepreneurial future and creates the conditions for profitable and sustainable corporate development.

The consulting focus is on medium-sized and owner-managed companies, which Zeitfracht Investment & Consulting supports in crisis situations and particularly advises in the areas of funding, balance sheet structuring, acquisition and the sale of companies as a result of succession arrangements.

On the basis of many years of consulting experience in medium-sized businesses and our comprehensive know-how, we develop and jointly implement practical concepts together with our clients.

We differentiate ourselves through our holistic consulting approach, which extends from the analysis of internal processes to the common finding of solutions to the implementation and its support.

Zeitfracht - Moving things

German Airways

Company history – Learn more about our 91-year history of development


Everything begins in the Altmark, in Stendal. Horst Walter Schröter was born here on 2 May 1927. In the same year his father, master butcher Walter Schröter, founded a haulage business – based on the idea to offer a feed trade for the Altmark. The young Horst Walter grows up between his father’s trucks and buses. They become his world. The haulage company develops rapidly in the flourishing German economy.


The father’s business receives approval for road haulage in Stendal: In the 30s, Walter Schröter concentrates on the bus business – these are becoming more and more comfortable and now even have fixed seats. He transports shooting clubs, the theather of Altmark and music groups.


MWith outbreak of the war, everything is over all of a sudden: on 1 August 1939, the entire and laboriously built fleet, all trucks and buses, is confiscated for war.

The 18-year-old Horst Walter is drafted into the Eastern Front as a soldier.


After the end of the war, the laborious new start begins. The Schröters screw together transportable motor vehicles and buses from trucks destroyed in the war, the remains of which were found on the banks of the Elbe, with manual skill and improvisational power. The creative motto is: make one out of four – 17 vehicles are produced this way.

The haulage business begins to roll again. From 1949 a regular service between Berlin and Stendal is established in the still young GDR.


„A fight is always a challenge to develop something forward. This was also the drive of the Schröters to always start something new.”

Dr. Peter Stehle, off duty advisory board of ZEITFRACHT Group


A state control brings an abrupt end to the rebuilt forwarding company: 312 litres of diesel too much are found in the Schröter fleet as a difference to the official figures. The company is expropriated, Walter Schröter goes to prison. Again, everything is gone.

In Stendal, the young Horst Walter Schröter no longer sees any perspective. He makes a difficult decision: on the night of 12 December 1951, he and a friend break through the border checkpoint at Glienicker Bridge to Berlin with two trucks. Both reach the American sector unscathed. His wife and daughter follow him a short time later.


Having arrived in West Berlin, everything is back to a new beginning the 24-year-old Horst Walter Schröter now has to rely on his own strength to build up a new haulage company, following the family tradition. Together with his wife, he dares a restart: and this at a time when the truck stops – the birthplaces of long-distance traffic – are springing up like mushrooms in West Germany. In the 1950s they became the main trading centres for the distribution of long-distance transport orders.

Grunewald railway station becomes the first large freight station. Every day, fruit and vegetable wagons arrive here from all parts of Germany and Holland. The goods must be loaded as quickly as possible and transported to the local fruit yard in Mariendorf. Up to 19 tons are loaded and unloaded every day.


The Schröter haulage company prevailed over its competitors and grew with the products it transported. Horst Walter Schröter knows that if his company should grow, he has to leave West Berlin. Schröter focuses on long-distance transport. The breakthrough came with the order from the German Nativ AG to collect empty glas cylinders for trucks with propellant gas drive, have them filled in Kassel and deliver them back to the filling stations in the Hanover area.

Since then, growth-oriented post-war Germany has brought him one commission after another. The order to transport boilers for the whole of Germany as heavy transport comes from Hanover. A short time later, Heye-Glas gives the order to ship spirits bottles from tax advantages to West Berlin for further processing – from here, they are delivered daily to the European beverage industry by 150 trucks.


The forwarding agency Schröter develops magnificently. Already at the beginning of the 60’s the company expanded by the aquisition of other haulage companies from the industry: starting in 1960 with Lücke-Ferntransporte Hameln, Nordlandverke Berlin, Autodienst-Beccard Berlin, LHS Lagegemeinschaft Hannoversche Spediteure, Ferntransport und Spedition Röttger Hannover, Fernfracht Berlin, Fernfrachtkraftverkehr Lüdemann, F.H. Schulze Speditionsgesellschaft Berlin and Heinrich von der Au & Söhne Darmstadt, Singen, Mannheim, Schwelm and Cologne.

The reputation of Horst Walter Schröter as a haulage contractor in the industry grows. At the end of the 60s he is elected chariman of the Berlin long-distance freight traffic. Further offices follow quickly, the influence of the entrepreneur in the sector grows –from this sector networking and the corresponding sector know-how ZEITFRACHT emerges.


ZEITFRACHT developed in 1962. The starting point was the order to transport newspapers and magazines from West Germany to West Berlin. Until then, the problem had been that the transport of magaziines by truck through GDR state territory was prohibited. The military trains of the Western powers, which were used for transporting newspapers, were anything but reliable – loaded trains sometimes stopped for days – and nothing is older than yesterday’s newspaper. This is where the business skills of Horst Walter Schröter come into their own: On a business trip to Volvo company in Stockholm, he talks to a Swedish manager. This manager organizes the official permission for him to transit through the GDR area in return for a participation.

In August 1962, the first Schröter trucks were finally full loaded with newspapers at the border crossing. The situation is tense as the carried newspapers mainly reported about a dead at the wall. But at the border crossing the load is only checked briefly and after the border guard is allowed to keep a few magazines for himself, the trucks are waved through. Schröter is the first and only forwarding agent who was allowed to transport newspapers by truck through the GDR. This is the beginning of the ZEITFRACHT group of companies.


In 1970, the symbol of ZEITFRACHT is introduced as a sign of change. The enormous growth has made restructuring imperative.

The transition from the forwarding company Schröter to ZEITFRACHT is more than just a change of name: the name expresses the idea of tying transport of all services to a guaranteed time window: a special in a time without mobile phones or satellite reception. “Just in Time” was born and the competition had to follow the slogan “Transporting freight in fixed time slots “.

The new positioning primarily entails internal changes: divisions are formed which can be positioned more sharply in the market under the umbrella brand ZEITFRACHT.

“The name ZEITFRACHT stands for our product of transporting freight on time. I had developed schedules from Berlin to Cologne, from Berlin to Munich, from Berlin to Hamburg – at fixed departure times and at fixed conditions. The customer in Berlin or in the respective branches in West Germany could count on the fat that if he delivered his consignment by a certain date, by 5 p.m., the next morning at 6 a.m. the consignment was delivered to his customer’s destination. If you like, it has given rise to today’s term ‘Just in time’.”

Horst Walter Schröter, company founder and long-standing head


The technical partners play a key role in the growth history of ZEITFRACHT. Horst-Walter Schröter is always driven by the will to innovate, always striving for efficiency and optimization of his services. This lead to a corporation with the company Krone – a then unknown agricultural machinery factory from the Emsland region, which first ventured to exhibit at the Hanover Trade Fair in 1971. Schröter ordered the first 10 trailers here.

This order is a fruitful one for both companies: On the one hand, it is the beginning of the success story of Krone, which today is the world market leader in trailer production. On the other hand, ZEITFRACHT received trailers from special production which give ZEITFRACHT drivers a clear competitive advantage in manoeuvring, loading and unloading.

“ZEITFRACHT has grown – very strongly through the good services they have offered their customers. And it is astonishing how many of the major customers that ZEITFRACHT won many years ago are still good customers of ZEITFRACHT today.”

Dr. Peter Stehle, off duty advisory board of ZEITFRACHT Group


And then Horst Walter Schröter came up with the idea of a private parcel service in the 1970s, which would never let him go again. As a member of the board of the Federal Association of German Long Distance Transport, Schröter increasingly received critical voices about the service provided by Deutsche Post: Especially in the area of small consignments, there was an increasing desire to have them transported by forwarders.

“The history has essentially been shaped by the fact that Deutsche Post AG’s monopoly position in the parcel sector was replaced by the search for an alternative due to many customer complaints. And the founding fathers of DPD, in particular Mr. Schröter, recognized this gap and called on their forwarding colleagues to work together to develop an alternative in Germany.”

Arnold Schroven, managing director of DPD Germany

In 1972, Schröter wrote foresightedly in a magazine of the transport industry: “In the future, parcel transport will be the domain of road freight transport.”. Until then, the parcels were still preferably transported by Deutsche Bahn. The Post had taken massive countermeasures against this initiative but had overlooked the fact that the monopoly for the dispatch of parcels by the Post was limited to 2.5 kg. This gap provided the basis for the foundation of the DPD cooperation. In the eyes of Mr. Schröter, three things were decisive for success: state-of-the-art logistics systems, innovative vehicle technology and a considerably greater financial strength than other forwarders.


Following this idea, 18 independent companies joined together to form a cooperative association. The forwarders divide the federal territory among themselves according to postal codes with a territorial protection, but also the territorial obligation.

They were united by a common will to provide their service under the guarantee that every package between 2.5 and 20 kg delivered to them would be delivered to its destination within 48 hours at the latest.

The community was lead by an independent company with its own management – and so, on 1 April 1976, the first private German parcel service DPD took up its work.


DPD benefited from Horst Walter Schröter’s ingenuity because the necessary innovations were driven and realized directly by him and ZEITFRACHT.

The first DPD main depot was put into operation in Griesheim near Darmstadt in the halls of ZEITFRACHT. Together with the company Hummel from Stuttgart, the paperless logistics control is realized via magnetic strips. One of the most modern logistics systems of its time is created.


This also applies to the innovative container, also known as swap bodies. These made it possible to change the box to be loaded like a container, thus giving the customer more time to load and minimizing downtimes. These new swap bodies are time bridges for the customer: Schröter played a decisive role in the development of this swap body. To this day, these swap bodies are the heart of the logistics system and are correspondingly standardized and barcode-compatible.

“The development of the so-called swap bodies took place with the chief designer of the company Henschel in my private house. We developed the first vehicles with air suspension, which were ignored by all other vehicle manufacturers. As I was member of the board of the BDF at that time, we had this development of the swap bodies standardized in the technical committee and from this, the present swap container and the swap body were created.”

Horst Walter Schröter, company founder and long-standing head


A new location is opened in Cologne-Niel for DPD and Bauer Verlag.


Another branch is opened in Isernhagen near Hanover.


Acquisition of the car workshop Auto-Dienst Beccard and opening of the DPD depot 110 in Berlin at today’s headquarters. In 1990, the location is extended by 2 further halls.


1989 the Berlin Wall fell, and Germany was reunited. Horst Walter Schröter returns to his hometown in Stendal. His father’s haulage company, which was expropriated more than 35 years ago, was now VEB Kraftverkehr Stendal, Haldensleben. When Horst Walter Schröter visited the remains of his parents’ business in 1991 and met people who had already worked under his father, he felt a deep sense of home in him.

In 1991, he decided to buy back the company from the trust. In the following years, the moved the entire headquarters of the forwarding division of his ZEITFRACHT Group to Altmark, to Stendal, where it all began.


Purchase of a property in Berlin Hohenschönhausen of the chief foreign exchange dealer of the GDR state Schalck-Golodkowski for use as new depot 112.

However, the building could not be used for the company’s purposes so it was blown up and rebuilt – by this, East Berlin is open up to DPD.


Since 2000, the French postal operator La Poste is major shareholder of the DPD with 83.32% of the shares. The British Royal Mail acquired Dachser's share of 10.47% in DPD. Of the founding members, only ZEITFRACHT still holds the remaining 6.21% in DPD.


For now, Schröter was welcomed in his home town Stendal with open arms: As on eof the largest employers in the region, the secured jobs for 150 people. The trust also worked to secure the new “old” company: The contract for the transport services was contractually agreed with the surrounding communities. However, contrary to the agreements with the trust, the communities set up a regional bus company and withdraw the concession from ZEITFRACHT.

The company had to scrap over 80 buses. Horst Walter Schröter went into battle again at the age of almost 70 – and fought his way to the European Court of Justice to be awarded his right. The concession for the provision of transport services went back to him. Today, the buses of ZEITFRACHT and their partners drive again in Stendal.

In the end, Schröter also won the case before the Federal Administrative Court, but before that the European Court of Justice had to deal with it.

“Then, in 2003, a leading decision was issued, on which the entire financing of local passenger transport throughout the European Union by road and by rail still depends today. In this respect, Mr. Schröter has written legal history.“

Dr. Winrich Ipsen, formerly Federal Ministry of Transport


Altmark Bus GmbH has been grated all the necessary permits by the Regional Council of Magdeburg to operate local public transport services in the rural district of Stendal. New natural gas buses, which meet the highest environmental protection requirements, were purchased.


In Frankfurt-Raunheim, a new building – Hall 5 – is build and equipped with latest conveyor technology, which will increase the parcel output to 12,000 units per hour.


Start of construction of a new administration building with integrated conference centre and integrated first DPD Drive-in parcel shop in Germany in Raunheim.


Horst Walter Schröter dies on 6 April at the age of 85. In 2011, Schröter had already transferred his majority shareholding, including his DPD shares, to his grandniece Jasmin Schröter. Until the end, Schröter had contributes his experience and ideas to DPD as a shareholder and supervisory board member, as DPD head Arnold Schroven paid tribute to the deceased. Since Schröter’s death, the ZEITFRACHT Group has been continued in the third generation by Jasmin Schröter and her husband Dr. Wolfram Simon-Schröter.

Schröter was a visionary who promoted processes, sought opportunities and fought for their implementation.

He has done what he always wanted and ZEITFRACHT is still doing today: moving things.

“If you see my development, then I have actually been marked all my life by the fact that I was dissatisfied. Today, in the autumn of life, you reach your limits. But my employees are highly motivated – from management to IT staff or long-distance drivers. And this is also the pride I have, so I see good opportunities for the future and the further development of the company.”

Horst Walter Schröter, company founder and long-standing head


As new CEO, Dr. Wolfram Simon-Schröter takes over the management of ZEITFRACHT.

In addition, ZEITFRACHT takes over 49% of the shares in HVT Haus- und Versorgungstechnik Potsdam.


The ZEITFRACHT Group sells its last founding shares in DPD tot he French postal company La Poste.

At the same time, the ZEITFRACHT Group expands its logistics division and acquires Döpke Transportlogistik GmbH.


The ZEITFRACHT Group continues to expand its logistics division with the acquisition of TLM Transport & Logistik GmbH.

Furthermore, ZEITFRACHT enters the new business segment of aviation with the takeover of WDL-Aviation GmbH & Co. KG.

HVT Haus- und Versorgungstechnik Potsdam is also fully integrated into the ZEITFRACHT Group.



In addition, ZEITFRACHT logistics is expanding its range of activities with the addition of Road Feeder Services and the acquisition of the OPUS Marine.


WDL Aviation expands its fleet and acquires the first Embraer E190 in March 2019.


Zeitfracht acquires LGW (Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter) from Lufthansa on 1 April 2019.


On 01 August 2019 Zeitfracht acquires Germany's largest book logistics company and book wholesaler Koch, Neff and Volckmar (KNV). Zeitfracht takes over all 1,600 employees at the three locations Erfurt, Leipzig and Stuttgart.

Corporate Values – That’s what we stand for

Being open, assuming responsibility, showing respect and thereby achieving the highest quality – because of its reliable performance, partnership, innovation and added values, ZEITFRACHT is one of the market leaders in freight and logistics across Germany and Europe. Our success is built on quality, trust, respect, openness, transparency and team spirit as well as the responsibility and involvement of each member in our group of companies. Our corporate values shape our daily work, the way we meet challenges and deal with our employees, customers and business partners.


Our commitment to quality is of central importance for our business. The high standard we reached is the result of this self-concept and an obligation at the same time: We measure our conduct and performance by the highest standards. This applies to all our employees within their area of responsibility. To assure the highest level of quality, we permanently work on optimizing our procedures and structures for the good of our customers. This applies to our services as well as to our products and management.









trucks + swap bodies




Contact details

Friedrich-Olbricht-Damm 46-48, 13627 Berlin


+49 (0)30 403 691 799

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