Frankfurt is home to the team that drives business with customers and partners in China for the M&M air sea cargo GmbH in Germany. No easy task, as the market environment in the world’s second largest economy is highly competitive.

The importance of China for the German import and export balance could hardly be greater: for the eighth time in a row, China was Germany’s most important trading partner in 2023. Goods worth almost 255 billion euros were traded between the two countries. As a result, this trade lane is highly competitive for logistics companies.

“The market is turbulent”, says Jie Li, Trade Lane Manager China at the M&M air sea cargo GmbH. “In airfreight, the industry is experiencing capacity bottlenecks in some cases due to the sharp rise in e-commerce volumes generated by the industry giants Shein and Temu. The local economy is showing the first signs of a downturn, which we are preparing for at an early stage.” For Militzer & Münch, this means intensifying the exchange with Chinese partners and prioritizing increases in efficiency. An important strategic focus is therefore on digitalization. Key technologies such as AI are to help simplify processes and shorten response times. The agenda also includes further expanding the sea freight services. The emphasis is on introducing new products such as a groupage service from China to the West. Militzer & Münch is also aiming for additional growth in airfreight. “Our business is running smoothly despite the strong competition”, says Jie Li. “We are benefiting at this time from our valuable, long-standing relationships with our partners in the Greater China region.”

Militzer & Münch has a wealth of experience in the import and export business with China: the company has been active in the country since 1981. In the “Middle Kingdom”, the company has dedicated experts for all customer needs, whose work is complemented by the team in Frankfurt. “In Trade Lane Management, we work together to maintain existing partnerships, develop new products and support our sales team here in Germany”, explains Simon Lu, Trade Lane Manager China at the M&M air sea cargo GmbH. “Our task requires a lot of intercultural negotiating skills and diplomacy.”

Due to the six-hour time difference between Germany and China, mornings in particular are always very busy for the team in Frankfurt. The exchange with contacts in China usually takes place before 12 noon, when the working day slowly ends in China. “I’ve gotten into the habit of having breakfast after 1 p.m.,” says Jie Li. “That may seem unusual, but it allows me to be as productive as possible and respond quickly to our customers’ needs.”

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