Our journey to our new premises at Port Salford forms the next chapter in an illustrious history dating back to the 1930s. The structure which today provides customers with logistics solutions across the globe is the result of the hard work, expertise and dedication of one football-mad man, Paul Hauser (1895-1977). Paul Hauser, a Swiss national, shared his passions for the logistics industry and football and completed his shipping apprenticeship with Goth Logistik in Switzerland before joining Witag and later Danzas. In his spare time Paul played football for FC Zurich, it was during his time at FC Zurich that they became Swiss champions in 1924/25. In 1932, after 8 years with Danzas, he moved to England and it was whilst working in Manchester that he decided to start his own freight company, P Hauser & Co.
With the support of local and Scottish exporters and a handful of staff he set to work establishing a groupage service to Basle. The outbreak of the Second World War brought this route to an end and P Hauser & Co was forced to devise an alternative service. After a period of shipping via Portugal to Switzerland the business finally ground to a complete halt in 1943 as a direct result of the troubles in Europe.
During the war the only freight leaving the UK was from the few large exporters who were still able to trade with deep-sea markets. Consequently, P Hauser & Co rented three warehouses in Liverpool and made a swift move into the deep-sea consolidation and warehousing business.
The Company continued this operation until 1945. After the war, Paul Hauser returned to Manchester and re-started the task of developing the Company's services to Switzerland and Central Europe. Traffic picked up quickly enough but one obstacle remained unsurmounted - lack of speed.
Paul Hauser knew the answer lay with "direct" rail services; a brand new system making it possible to ship from Manchester, without transhipment, in as little as 10 days door to door.
With this in mind and after months of planning, P Hauser & Co introduced the first export train ferry groupage service to the Continent from the North of England in 1946.
Chemical Industries in the North were quick to see the speed and frequency benefits of such services and soon P Hauser & Co began to secure new lucrative business for the bulk movement of chemicals as well to the European mainland. The company acquired its own rail depot at Ardwick East Goods Station in Manchester.
The venture was a phenomenal success and by 1952 P Hauser & Co became P Hauser Limited. For the next 15 years P Hauser Limited's train ferry groupage services continued to be a great success and were expanded to serve destinations in France, West Germany, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
In response to the increasing volume of tankwagon traffic undertaken, the Company opened offices in London and Harwich solely to deal with these movements.
During the sixties it became apparent that the Company had to compete in road transport groupage. Not surprisingly, the first P Hauser Limited trailer was soon heading for Basle in Switzerland. By the seventies the road trailer operations had grown to cover most of Europe. As the network of partners increased, so did import traffic and in 1973 the Company opened an office at Stansted Airport where the fast airfreight clearance facilities could be used for trailers arriving from the Continent.
1974 saw the Company's move to a brand new depot at Manchester International Freight Terminal (MIFT) and to new offices in Trafford House. It also saw the direction of the company pass to Paul Hauser’s son P. Michael Hauser.
The advent of the TIR trailer boom in which P Hauser Ltd was a major player had inevitably caused train ferry groupage, but not bulk loads, to decline. During the late 1970's and early 1980's, the Company strengthened its UK network. A clearance office at Dover was opened as were new offices and depot at Walsall
In 1983 a Bradford office was opened, whilst P. Hauser Limited's Southern office had been equally busy operating its own import and export trailer service.
In the summer of 1988 an office was set up in Sheffield to work in liaison with the Bradford office, dealing with operations in the South Yorkshire area. The Bradford operations moved to new larger premises reflecting the continued growth in Yorkshire business.
In 1990 a purpose built warehouse and office complex was opened in Cannock to improve the quality of service offered and to allow storage and distribution facilities for foreign exporters.
In 1993 further expansion to Hauser Yorkshire activity was achieved by the opening of Hauser North East at Newton Aycliffe.
During 1994, due to continued growth in Bradford, a 20,000-sq. ft. purpose built warehouse was constructed at Junction 26 of the M62 specifically for Hauser Yorkshire and became fully operational on 1 January 1995.
In February 1995 Hauser Forwarding Ltd relocated to premises in the Trafford Park area, being 2 kms from the motorway network and the World Freight Village. This move brought all operational and warehousing staff together, concentrating on core activities of freight forwarding and logistics contracts.
In June 1995, in order to meet demand, a satellite office was opened in Glasgow, Scotland, under the direction of Hauser Yorkshire Ltd.
Under the control of the founder’s son, Michael Hauser, the Hauser Group of companies continued to develop, until 2002. At this point Michael passed on the strategic direction of the Group by selling a majority of his shareholding to 3 senior managers. David Williams in Manchester, looking after head office functions, Graham Miller in Bradford overseeing the northern office operations and Gary Cater fulfilling a similar role for the southern offices from Cannock.
This change was the beginning of further development in office coverage, with new offices opening in Leighton Buzzard during 2003 and Hull opening in 2004.
Following a number of years of successful co-operation Hauser became a part of the German owned IHG Logistics company in 2005. This gave Hauser more stability in its European network, and access to additional markets where IHG had strength.
During 2006 IHG and Hauser joined Rhenus Logistics, a larger Logistics business also specializing in contract and port logistics. With the significant financial strength of the Rhenus Group, Hauser was able to look forward with confidence and plan strategically for further growth. At this time Hauser came Rhenus Hauser.
2007 saw the introduction of overseas services by air and sea, giving a much wider service offering to Rhenus Hauser customers.
Following the success of the local offices opened in 2003/4, two further offices were opened in 2008, Lincoln and Swindon. This allowed development of customers in these locations, who previously had little local access to strong freight logistic providers able to offer the service levels of Rhenus Hauser
In 2009 Rhenus Hauser fully integrated into Rhenus becoming Rhenus Logistics Limited. Two purpose built depots were opened in Bradford and Cannock, replacing the existing depots with state of the art facilities and significantly increasing capacity for future growth. In addition 2009 saw Rhenus enter System Alliance Europe.
In the years which followed, Rhenus enjoyed a sustained period of organic growth, which included the expansion of direct services to over 55 cities destinations across mainland Europe and the CIS. During this period Rhenus also expanded its customized solutions offering through the acquisition of Lupprians and Network 4 Home delivery, providing customers with high-tech and home delivery solutions. Significantly Rhenus success during this period led to the decision to relocate its Manchester operation from its existing location in Trafford Park to the UK’s first tri-modal terminal at Port Salford.
In 2016 Rhenus acquired shipping specialist Staples International. Established in 1995, Staples was historically a specialist to the Mediterranean & the Middle East; however continued growth and diversification over the past decade has allowed them to their network to the Indian subcontinent, Far East, Australasia and South Africa.
The acquisition enabled Rhenus’ UK business to further expand its capabilities into the North African and Mediterranean markets.
Today Rhenus Logistics in the UK is ranked among Britain’s leading logistics providers with 11 office locations covering the whole of the UK; part of an exceptionally strong network spanning all 7 continents.