In the Port of Hamburg, the Symrise logistics subsidiary Symotion is working on a new and ultra-modern logistics area. The 7,100 m2 hall is helping ensure that the company is well prepared for the future even as its business is constantly growing. The center also ensures greater sustainability: By bundling imports and exports at the site, the Group’s truck traffic can be significantly reduced.

The volumes that Symotion imports and exports increased by more than

30 %

between 2007 and 2017

Symotion’s warehouse has around


m2 of space



employees work for Symotion

The hall has been busy since early in the morning. Jan-Hendrik Jahn uses his forklift to push one pallet after the other into the container, which was docked to the building from the outside at one of the six loading gates. Jahn, a foreman, has a lot to do today. He and his team have to prepare three 40-foot containers for export to various Symrise subsidiaries in China and the USA, later unload and reload the trucks for shuttle transport to the two main warehouses in Holzminden and finally unload, book and label three 20-foot box containers with raw materials from overseas. Not 50 meters away, Nadine Koytek is sitting at her computer. She has also been e-mailing and telephoning since the morning to plan the work for Jahn and his team as well as possible, while at the same time to supply the customers as promptly as possible. The dispatcher has a handle on what is stored or retrieved, which deliveries go to which customer at what time and when the containers have to be ready to be sent from here all over the world: “We have to keep an eye on many factors all day long – and that’s what makes the work so exciting.”

The two young people are part of the 17-member team working in the new warehouse of the wholly-owned Symrise logistics subsidiary Symotion at the Port of Hamburg. Symotion has set up 7,100 m2 here, in addition to the existing warehouses in Holzminden and in the immediate vicinity of the Altenwerder container terminal, which is one of the most modern in the world. “Because Symrise is constantly growing, we also have more and more work to do,” says Reinhard Nowak. “The volumes that we import and export here alone increased by more than 30 % between 2007 and 2017,” explains the managing director of the subsidiary. “We chose this site because it is close to the most important seaports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven.”

For Symotion, which employs around 200 people, the hall means much more than increased capacity: “We can make a significant contribution to sustainability.” Every day, multiple trucks shuttle between Hamburg and Holzminden. They bring imported raw ­materials from all over the world to the plants, for example, or finished products from the plants to the ports, which are then exported overseas. In the past, vans rented by external service providers usually made one leg of the journey empty. “With the warehouse here, we can optimize this and basically use every trip for transport,” says Reinhard Nowak. Shuttle traffic thus saves around 2,000 journeys, which means an enormous reduction in CO2 emissions, fine dust pollution and traffic on the roads.



188000 tons were handled in 2018

The warehouse building, which was awarded a gold certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), was built to ­Symotion’s specifications and the latest standards by Goodman, the world’s leading owner, developer and manager of logistics space. “From here, we have to cover a wide spectrum: from small containers for cosmetic applications to 1,000-liter IBC tanks or barrels of highly flammable orange oil from Brazil and big bags with crystalline raw materials to active ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry,” says Symotion’s CEO. No wonder, with 30,000 products and 10,000 raw materials. An important prerequisite for the work are the certifications that Symotion must have. “We take care of fire protection, air freight certifications and food hygiene, among other things, in order to be able to store all substances.”

As at all other sites, Symotion also offers storage locations for external customers in Hamburg. “With the know-how we have built up over decades for Symrise, we can also store many other products and ship them back at the right time,” says Nowak. There’s plenty of work to do – and there are already plans for further growth: A logistics center is being gradually built at the city limits of Holzminden, the company’s headquarters, which will be able to double Symotion’s capacity in the final expansion phase.

Reinhard Nowak, Managing Director of Symotion