Road to Ridel
15 April 2008
Over the lasta 20 years Germany's Riedl Group has earned a strong reputation worldwide for its consistent ability to handle tough challenges. These involve specialized transportation and shipping, rigging and installation services, export packing, and technical consulting. In the process, the group also has fortified the image of the entire industry.
From the time Rolf Dieter Riedl founded the group's cornerstone, Rolf Riedl GmbH, in 1987, he continually expanded its reach and impact. Today the Riedl Group consists of five independent companies that complement one another.
Rolf Riedl GmbH, based in Hagen, still specializes in international heavy transportation, assembly and industry service. Complete logistical systems are offered to the heavy machinery and plant construction industry – from logistical feasibility concepts to the delivery and installation of components at industrial sites around the world.
Major expansion began in 1994 with the formation of Riedl & Stöcker GmbH, based in Hagen and Leipzig, and Riedl & Tschierscke GmbH, based in Karben/Frankfurt. These companies specialize in rigging by means of hydraulic gantries, air cushion systems and other lift systems, machine installation and industrial systems worldwide.
Joining the Group in 1995 was Transgerma Riedl & Kiehntopf GmbH, a Bremen-based ocean freight company that also is involved in worldwide project transport coordination, including land transportation overseas, as well as port and ocean freight related services.
In 2006 the Riedl Group further extended its reach from land and sea to air transport by adding the Kelsterback/Frankfurt-based Fritsch Air Service GmbH (FAS), a member of the International Air Transport Association.
The Riedl Group also has always been instrumental in building a network of partners around the world. In its first year, Rolf Riedl GmbH became a founding member of The Heavy Lift Group (THLG). Registered in the Netherlands, THLG has a carefully selected membership that is divided almost equally between those operating vehicles by land, sea or air and those in the service industries of project management and forwarding.
Rolf Riedl GmbH also joined the World Project Group (WPG), a Belgium-based Cargo Forwarding Network whose member companies operate in more than 10 countries worldwide. Both THLG and WPG are exclusive organizations with a few dozen member companies.
To maximise its exposure, Rolf Riedl quickly joined the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, giving the company access to a worldwide network that has grown to more than 1,200 specialized companies.
Having built a thriving group, Rolf Riedl retired a few days after his 65th birthday, relinquishing all of his corporate responsibilities in September 2004. His daughter, Iris Katrin Riedl, teamed up with Joachim Patzner, as managing directors of Rolf Riedl GmbH.
The Riedl Group's other managing directors are Manfred Stöcker, Riedl & Stöcker; Christian Tschierschke, Riedl & Tschierschke; and Hans Kiehntopf, Transgerma Riedl & Kiehntopf.
Before joining her father's company about a year before his departure, Iris Riedl was a business administrator at Germany's University of Münster. “All the basic skills I learned working at the University and another big company – project management, finance, controlling – have transferred over to this company,” she says.
Now in her fourth year with the company, she also continues to rely on her father's expertise. As it turned out, Rolf Riedl, the man, missed being part of Rolf Riedl, the company.
“He still supports the company and I'm happy he has been able to concentrate on doing the things he likes,” she says. “We really work well together.”
The company continues to build on his philosophy of establishing strong partnerships with reliable companies with a high-level of experience in the lifting and transport of oversize objects.
“I can rely on my father's knowledge from the technical side,” she says. “He knows the partners we should go with from SC&RA. He will say, ‘Oh, he is good. He has the experience and the equipment we need. Work with him.'”
Rolf Riedl's formula for success still works. The group has grown to 120 employees, including trained logistics specialists, business traffic managers, engineers, electricians, fitters, riggers, welders and trainees.
To handle the increased workload, the Riedl Group has been adding new equipment. A noteworthy example is a Strand Jacks Lift System, developed and designed by Riedl & Tschierschke. The LHS600 introduced late last year is capable of lifting, lowering and moving up to 600 tonnes safely and within millimetres in all directions.
The computer controlled, hydraulic strand jacks guarantee horizontal mobility through a Teflon pushpull skid system, the dimensions of which can be adjusted to suit the job. The use of modular components enables the total system to be loaded in standard containers and put into operation anywhere in the world with shortened setup times.
A typical recent job involved the movement of 15 diesel engines, each weighing 282 tonnes, and accessories from Trieste in Italy to Manaus, Brazil, plus the land transportation, site handling and placement onto the foundations at three sites.
The Riedl Group also takes pride in the recent shipment of three blocks of Siemens' Combined Cycled Power Plant from Germany and other European countries to Rudeshur, Iran, about 60 km southwest of Tehran. Each block included a gas turbine weighting 306 tonnes, a 300 tonne generator and a 206 tonne transformer.
Iris Riedl points out that lessons learned on almost every job lead the company to new possibilities for innovation, resulting in enhanced safety, reliability and economy in all ranges of specialized transportation and industrial assembly.
An insistence on maintaining high standards has helped the Riedl Group attain ISO certification – DIN EN ISO 9001:2000.