Magazine for ports, shipping and logistics


Trainees are also in high demand in the maritime industry and in logistics, which is why LOGISTICS PILOT asked some of them the reason for choosing their field, how their generation feels about the industry, and what needs to change to maintain or even improve the appeal of the training opportunities.

Credits: Grafik:, Fotos: J. Müller, Nordfrost, BLG LOGISTICS, Jade Dienst, Glomb, Maximilian Henning, Rhenus Cuxport
“I chose this training programme because I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes in logistics and how the goods we use or consume every day get to the supermarket or directly to our homes. And there will always be a future in logistics.

In many ways, the freight forwarding industry has an image problem when it comes to our generation. But that’s often because they don’t really know what the freight forwarding industry is all about. Friends of mine often ask me how I could work in logistics. When I tell them what logistics is all about, many of them are surprised at just how broad the field is.

Suitable pay would make training in our industry attractive. There should also be additional further training opportunities. Vocational education and training programmes, i.e. a so-called dual system, should be made available.”

Jannick Schermann

Age: 19
Apprenticeship: Freight forwarding and logistics services agent
Duration: 2021 to 2024
Employer: J. Müller Weser
Location: Brake

Waldemar Hollmann

Age: 31
Apprenticeship: Warehouse logistics operator
Duration: 2020 to 2023
Arbeitgeber: Employer:
Location: Wilhelmshaven

“I chose this training programme because logistics are essential for the economy. And there will always be jobs in the field of logistics wherever you are. I once worked at a logistics company when I was younger and thought it was really exciting. After completing six years of service in the navy, I thought a training programme in a field I enjoy wouldn’t be a bad idea. Former friends from my time in the navy work in a warehouse – some as civilians and some as soldiers.

Unfortunately, the image of the port and logistics industry tends to be mediocre when it comes to my generation. Working in the industry is often associated with stress and lots of work. Not everyone is up to the task. The pay also varies widely between employers. Generally speaking, there should be more training opportunities available. People’s understanding of the industry needs to improve. An appropriate salary is always good.”

“Before I started my training programme, I didn’t know the company and had no idea what a traineeship in warehouse logistics operations was all about. A friend of mine told me about BLG, and then I completed a three-day internship in retail logistics, which I really liked. The training programme is quite varied, and you get to know a lot of different aspects. I also obtained my forklift licence.

Before that, I didn’t have much to do with the port and logistics industry through my family and friends. Not many of them know what it’s really all about. I think you need to make the industry more interesting generally by providing more insight and showing just how varied it actually is. I would highly recommend doing an internship here. Many people think that all you do in a warehouse is drive forklifts and pack things. But that’s not true. What I really enjoy doing, for example, is working in the warehouse with my colleagues. Spending eight hours working at a desk wouldn’t be for me.

There needs to be more advertising on social media channels and online platforms. I also think that personal contact at school job fairs is important. Talking directly to apprentices and trainees is important because it provides insight into the workday.”

Clara Kunze

Age: 25
Apprenticeship: Warehouse logistics operator
Duration: 2020 to 2023
Location: Bremen

Eduard Wollberg

Age: 22
Apprenticeship: Construction mechanic
Duration: 2021 to 2025
Employer: Jade-Dienst
Location: Wilhelmshaven

“In eighth grade, my class spent some time at the vocational college to learn about different areas of work. I liked the metal sector, which is why I registered for a year in metal technology at the vocational college in Wilhelmshaven. I was interested in learning the basics and considering whether I wanted to pursue this type of work.

After that, I completed a ten-month work placement in metal technology. Then I worked as a packer at a different company to get better acquainted with another sector, but soon realised that I’d rather get back to a career in metal. Then I completed an internship of several weeks with Jade-Dienst, which gave me the opportunity to do many of the most common tasks of a construction mechanic myself, from working with an angle grinder and welding to oxy-fuel cutting.

Ports are very important because they connect the world.With so many different and varied areas of responsibility and jobs, every day is different. I feel right at home in the port industry and could imagine working here in the future.”

“When it came to choosing my training programme, I researched which jobs had a good future. And that’s exactly why I chose the HGV driver apprenticeship. It has a pretty secure future.

There are also a lot more licences you can acquire such as ADR and BF3, which means you’ll always be able to offer something. What I like about the job is that it’s so varied. And because I only work locally, I spend a lot of time outdoors, which I also like. And it’s also very important to me to be at home every evening. During the apprenticeship, I spent two weeks in the scheduling office, but that’s not really for me. I prefer to be on the road and enjoy all the variety.

All my friends think my job is exciting and interesting, but they wouldn’t be able to deal with the working times. Ports have a very good image as far as my generation is concerned because they offer endless variation in terms of jobs and plenty of opportunities to advance in your career. Attractive working times and good wages are very important. A four-day week would also be brilliant.”

Niclas Hiller

Age: 23
Apprenticeship: HGV driver
Duration: 2021 bis 2024
Employer: Glomb
Location: Bremerhaven

Maximilian Henning

Age: 26
Apprenticeship: Freight forwarding and logistics services agent
Duration: 2022 bis 2024
Employer: Alexander Global Logistics
Location: Bremen

“It was my dad, who works in logistics, and a work placement that exposed me to logistics and freight forwarding for the first time. I spent some time studying chemical and pharmaceutical logistics and gained lots of knowledge, but little practical experience. A dual training programme, on the other hand, is based on a direct connection between theory and practice. What I find so fascinating about logistics and freight forwarding is that you have the entire industry at your fingertips.

Many aspects of logistics are simply overlooked. Of course, people are always interested in events like when the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal. But they don’t give much thought to the direct or long-term effects of a brief obstruction of one of the world’s most important waterways. The role of seamless processes during transport, loading and unloading is underestimated.

Overall, the logistics and freight forwarding training programmes are very well structured. But large companies, in particular, tend to break down operations into so many different departments that it’s difficult for trainees to experience them all.

And even with a pay increase, it can still be tight financially if you have to cover all your living costs yourself. Wages are one of the first aspects that applicants think about.”

“I chose this traineeship because I really liked the diversity of tasks at Cuxport. I found out about the programme at the Federal Employment Agency.

I don’t think the port and logistics industry is much of a consideration for my generation because very few are aware of the career potential. Many young people who want to start a training programme are only interested in earning more money with less work. Or they want to go to university. That’s why there are so few apprentices in our industry. Young people should probably give more thought to how their iPhone or PlayStation gets from China to Germany. The containers don’t fly here.

Nearly 90 per cent of the goods come by ship and are usually transhipped in containers. We dockers open and unload some of these at the port in order to load the goods onto lorries. We’re an important component of many supply chains, and nothing would work without us.

Many young people aren’t even aware that this exciting and varied apprenticeship exists. If you want to make the industry more attractive, you need to start advertising more. Not that many people know what this training programme is all about.”

Rebecca Reisen

Age: 18
Apprenticeship: Port logistics agent
Duration: 2021 to 2024
Employer: Rhenus Cuxport
Location: Cuxhaven