The Kukla Group has announced its new executive structure and expanding the management in the holding company. A total of five new managing directors have been appointed to the holding company as of May 22, 2024. The management has been expanded by two positions in the areas of IT and HR/Legal. The company intends to continue to grow within the new structure.

“With this strategic measure, we have established an operational management level in the holding company that actively manages the entire group with its now eleven affiliated companies at 15 locations,” explains Knut Sander, CEO of the Kukla Group. The expansion of the Group’s management was triggered by the continuous expansion of Robert Kukla’s presence in Europe and the associated growth at all locations. “We now generate almost 60 percent of our earnings outside the parent company in Munich. We achieve this in our subsidiaries, which we have established over the past ten years,” explains Sander and concludes, “We are taking this development into account by focusing on the entire group and creating an operational bracket”.

Kukla Management team

The management of the holding company, which trades as Robert Kukla Besitz GmbH, is made up as follows:

Knut Sander, remains CEO of the Robert Kukla Group | Robert Richter, CFO Kukla Group | Axel Bohnensteffen, Intermodal and Shortsea Transportation | Dennis Mahnecke, Road Transport and Warehouse/Contract Logistics | Tobias Wild, Human Resources and Legal Affairs | Jan Rosenkranz, CIO.

Three of the managing directors (Richter, Bohnensteffen, Mahnecke) who have been appointed to the holding company have already been performing the same tasks for Robert Kukla in Munich for over a year. They will continue to assume these responsibilities. The IT and HR/Legal positions have been included in the management level for the first time with Rosenkranz and Wild. Rosenkranz (38 years old) started his career in 2002 as a trainee at Kukla in Munich and has been head of the IT department there for five years. Wild (46) is a lawyer and has been Head of Human Resources at Kukla Munich since 2019.

(Photo, from left to right): Knut Sander, Axel Bohnensteffen, Tobias Wild, Robert Richter, Dennis Mahnecke and Jan Rosenkranz. Photo credit: Robert Kukla.

With the new orientation of the holding company, the Kukla Group has created a clear structure and thus the conditions for continuous further development. The shortsea specialist is planning to expand its network in Eastern Europe. “We want to establish further holding companies. Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia are geographically interesting,” Sander explains.

In 2023, the Kukla Group was able to increase its EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) by 35%. “The share of results generated by our affiliated companies is growing disproportionately,” says Sander. For him, the concept of the associated companies is thus taking full effect: “We are not only strengthening our geographical presence and our forwarding services, but we are also diversifying our economic success.”

Last year, the Kukla Group opened three new offices in Porto (Portugal), Murcia and Santander (both Spain). In addition, the Shared Service Center in Greece opened its accounting services to external companies. In operational terms, shortsea traffic between England and mainland Europe recorded above-average growth, particularly on the routes between Spain and Portugal. On average, around 5,000 containers were moved each month in this area alone. Sander cites the ongoing trend since Brexit of moving away from trailer and towards container transport as the reason for the continued positive development. In total, the specialist for sustainable shipping transported around 180,000 units in 2023. The short sea share is around 50 percent.