Interview with Matthias Ziegenhagen

Matthias Ziegenhagen is Branch Manager in Wustermark and also works as Regional Spokesperson East. He has been part of Nagel-Group since 1994. Our Wustermark site is particularly well placed close to the German capital and offers pallet storage spaces in all temperature ranges.

Today, Matthias Ziegenhagen reports on the current Christmas business, the past year – another spent in Corona times – and lays out his forecast for the coming year 2022.

Mr Ziegenhagen, Christmas business is currently in full swing and in its final spurt. What is the biggest challenge at the moment?

“Bottlenecks in global supply chains are unsettling the markets and resulting in wide fluctuations in cargo space availability across Europe. As a result, supply chain planning and implementation has been very challenging in the past weeks, including at our branch. For their part, customers have high expectations for delivery reliability, commitment and quality – especially in the autumn and Christmas season. Precise and coordinated interaction is essential between all departments in the light of high order volumes, limited capacity, skills shortages and the particular challenges caused by COVID-19.”

Which product category is in particular demand during the Christmas season?

“The chocolate season is booming at the moment. The focus will shift to the ultra-fresh and chilled product areas just before Christmas and we will be delivering products such as fresh goose, duck, salmon and ingredients for the Christmas holidays.”

2021 is drawing to a close. How do you look back on the past year?

“The Corona pandemic has challenged us all. The remarkable performance from our employees helped us to master these challenges well. Our close customer relationships, the regular liaison and support from HQ and, last but not least, an even stronger team structure means I look back positively on 2021 despite the Corona pandemic.”

And after looking back at the past year, can you also give us your prognosis for 2022? What do you expect you will face as a branch manager?

“It became abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic how systemically vital the supply function of the logistics sector is. However, it has also revealed inherent weaknesses while exacerbating existing problems. Huge fluctuations in orders and rapidly shifting demand for items call for capacity for short-term reaction – for example, having to be better prepared for impending “panic buying”.  The increasing cost of logistics services, availability of transport capacities and recruiting and retaining both skilled and junior staff will remain

Matthias Ziegenhagen has over 35 pinball machines in his collection.

key issues in 2022, and we will continue to work on these together.”

You will soon have a few days to relax after a stressful but successful pre-Christmas period. How will you be spending the Christmas holidays? What are you most looking forward to?

“I will be spending a traditional Christmas with my family, enjoying the good food and trying to work off the calories by taking lots of exercise in the fresh air. I am looking forward to using the time between Christmas and New Year to restore a 1977 pinball machine.”