How a local transport company grew to become a global logistics provider. This is the story of Oldenburger|Fritom.
1917| It started with a horse-drawn vehicle
At the end of WW1 the Netherlands found itself in economically turbulent times. The then 37-year old farmhand Jan Oldenburger wanted to provide a better future to his family. He registered his last name as a trademark and started his own transport company. His equipment? A horse-drawn vehicle.
1928| The second line of business: sand
The first contract Jan Oldenburger took on was with the brick factory W. Everts & Co in the city of Veendam. He supplied construction workers with bricks, but noticed they needed sand as well. So, in 1928 he started his second line of business transporting sand. Just one year later, in 1929, he purchased his first truck: a Ford with a loading capacity of 1,500 kilo’s.
1945| Oldenburger & Sons – Oldenburger & Zonen
After WW2 the sons of Jan Oldenburger took over the business. They mainly transported sand, gravel, manure and flour. In the 1960s the brothers Jurjen, Simon, Jan Willem and Jan split up. Jurjen continued the transport company located at the Middenweg in Veendam, supported by his sons Jan, Willy and Simon.
1968| Oldenburger Brothers – Gebroeders Oldenburger
In 1968 Jan, Willy and Simon renamed the company Gebroeders Oldenburger (the Oldenburger Brothers). The three brothers gave the company a new boost, and signed for the expansion in the 70s, 80s and 90s. They were one of the first in the region to purchase a tautliner and started combining transport and storage. Their business location at that time offered insufficient possibilities to do so, which led the brothers to move to de Zwaaikom.
1999| Fritom Corporate
By the end of the 90s Jan, Willy and Simon realized they had no successors. At the peak of their success, in 1999, the brothers decided to sell their company to the Friese Transport Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij, known as Fritom Corporate today. The company continued as Oldenburger|Fritom.
2004| Transformation to a global logistics provider
The actual transformation of a transport company becoming a global logistcs provider happened in 2004 when CEO René Dale joined the company. Together with a team of dedicated colleagues he introduced the Lean Six Sigma method, putting customers first. Distribution centers in Hungary and Italy were opened and services were expanded including freight management. This laid the foundation for a large and worldwide network of partners. In addition, the QHSE management system was introduced to guarantee sustainable business operations.
2016| Air freight and office at Schiphol Airport
In 2016, Oldenburger|Fritom has been providing tailor-made air freight solutions for some time. In order to better manage air freight shipments, an office at Schiphol Airport is opened in this year. Together with the status of Regulated Agent, the IATA-membership and the AEO-C and AEO-S licenses, Oldenburger|Fritom becomes known as a worldwide air freight specialist.
2017| Celebrating 100 years in business and Royal Warrant Holder
Oldenburger|Fritom celebrated its 100th birthday on November 10, 2017. The centenary took place at cultural and conference center vanBeresteyn in Veendam. To honor this, a presentation was arranged for the commemorative book titled ‘100 years – Oldenburger|Fritom’. The following January Oldenburger|Fritom received the title Royal Warrant Holder 'By Appointment to the Court of the Netherlands' by the King’s Commissioner in the province of Groningen.
2019| BREEAM Outstanding distribution center
In 2018, Oldenburger|Fritom had a new warehouse built across from its existing location at De Zwaaikom in Veendam. It was decided to build according to the highest BREEAM level: five-star Outstanding. The first of its kind in the Northern Netherlands. The state-of-the-art distribution center without a gas connection was built within one year. There was a heat pump installed, a solar park with 1,600 solar panels and a buffering and infiltration facility to the neighboring site. At the same time, the existing warehouse complex in Veendam was renovated according to four-star BREEAM Excellent.
2020| Belonging to a vital sector
When the coronavirus crisis broke out in March 2020, Oldenburger|Fritom belonged to a vital sector. In addition, the demand for specific logistic solutions grew. Due to the problems in international container shipping, air freight solutions were required more frequently. Including for face masks and COVID-19 test kits. That is why Oldenburger|Fritom was certified according to ISO 13485 for medical devices. The COVID-19 pandemic also led to a surge in e-commerce. Thanks in part to previous investments in an advanced digital infrastructure, Oldenburger|Fritom was able to flexibly meet the growing demand for its e-fulfillment solutions.
Present time| Logistics knowledge organization
Today knowledge and customer-oriented quality are the pillars on which the strategy of Oldenburger|Fritom is based. Its employees are the most important capital of the logistics knowledge organization. They are the ones making the difference. This is also the reason why there is close cooperation with regional educational institutions. Among other things, by serving on advisory boards, offering internships and organizing company visits and guest lectures. For the future Oldenburger|Fritom wants to stay focused on its distinctiveness.