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Logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel announces succession plan for CEO Trefzger

Stefan Paul to to take helm next summer

Kuehne + Nagel, the second-largest third-party logistics provider in the world by gross revenue, announced Tuesday that CEO Detlef Trefzger will step down for personal reasons and be replaced by Stefan Paul, the head of road logistics and sales, effective Aug. 1.

Trefzger, who will be named to the supervisory board, has had a successful 8.5-year run at the Swiss-based freight management and contract logistics company. 

Kuehne + Nagel (CXE: KNIN) is the largest wholesaler of ocean transportation and with the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Apex International earlier this year is also the largest airfreight forwarder in the world. The company’s net sales increased 50% from  a year ago and pretax earnings doubled to $1.96 billion during the third quarter.

Paul, 52, started his career at Kuehne + Nagel in 1990. Between 1997 and 2013, he held management positions at various logistics companies in Germany and the U.K., before returning to Kuehne + Nagel and assuming responsibility for all trucking activities. He was able to expand and globalize the business while increasing profitability. Later, he also took over management of the global sales operation.

“One of Kuehne + Nagel’s principles is long-term company development, which includes, above all, succession planning for management positions. In view of the company’s very successful performance, the focus thereby lies on ensuring continuity. With the appointment of Stefan Paul as CEO, the global strategy and corporate culture will be sustained,” said Chairman Joerg Wolle.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at