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Overview Germany

Insights into the regulations, traditions, and logistics of Germany.

Currency: Euro / € / EUR
Area: 357.375,62 km² / 137.847 sq mi
Population: 81.900.000
Density: 229 Einwohner pro km² / 229 per sq mi

1. Are there typical greeting rituals?

The highest-ranking person is always greeted first, regardless of whether that person is male or female. The greeting is made with eye contact, a friendly smile, and a brief clasp of hands. Hands are not shaken during this. The strength of the grip is important because it exudes happiness, optimism, competence, and self-confidence.

2. What business rules are to be followed?

Punctuality. Germans value punctuality in general and especially in the business world. Clothing is also very important in Germany. Men usually wear a suit. Attention should be paid to quality and restraint for this. The formal form of address "Sie" is used in the business world in Germany, regardless of whether you are speaking with colleagues, customers, or partners. Only those of higher rank can offer you the opportunity to use the familiar form of address "Du" with them. In a meeting the visitor is the first one to present his or her business card. The recipient briefly looks at the card and then carefully places it in his or her own documents.

3. What preconceptions are there and which of these are actually true? #

Punctuality isn't just a broadly-held preconception against Germans – it is actually true as Germans strive to be law-abiding and punctual. German people prefer structure and regulations. However, a misbelief is that Germans wear Lederhose and Dirndl every day. These are traditional garments in Bavaria and are worn at Oktoberfest.

4. What subjects are discussed during small talk?

Small talk is to only be positive and is to include as little private information as possible. Typical subjects include the weather, current events, food/beverages, and sports.

5. What commodities play an important role in the country and to which countries does it export to and from which countries does it import from tze most part?

a. Export:
Motor vehicles and parts, machinery/systems, and chemical products
To: France, the USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and China

b. Import:
Energy, finished goods, semifinished goods, raw materials, and food
From: Russia, the Netherlands, China, France, the USA, and Italy

6. What special logistics obstacles/difficulties are there on location?

According to a survey of the members of the German Logistics Association (BVL), those surveyed considered the complexity to be a serious performance obstacle.

FMS History Giraffe Sea freight
Giraffe Shipment, 70s
7. What goods were the most exciting or unusual that were transported by Fr. Meyer's Sohn or of which you have heard?

At the start of the 1970s we had an order for the transport of two giraffes from England via Hamburg to the current Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen. The animals were transported in an OT container via the gangplanks of the England terminal at that time. At that time we still had a tramway in Hamburg that was supplied with power from an overhead wire so it was necessary for an employee of the Hamburg tram operator Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HHA) to accompany the transport through Hamburg. At every point where the truck transporting the animals crossed under the overhead wire this man had to lift the wire with a stick in order to bring the animals to their new park unharmed. They arrived there unscathed!

8. Are there traditional dishes that are eaten on specific holidays, for instance?

In northern Germany you should try the "Pannfisch" (pan fried fish with potatoes) prepared with rosefish, cod or rock salmon. In western Germany the "Rheinische Sauerbraten" is a favourite German classic, a pot roast with meat marinated in wine and spices. The "Leipziger Allerlei" (mixed vegetables) was considered to be poor people's food. In the 19th century in Leipzig the local government ordered for this dish to be served in order to disguise the wealth of the town. Onion tart is especially popular in Rheinland Pfalz (Rhineland Palatinate), Frankonia (Franken) and Rheinhessen. Lübeck is famous for its marzipan and Black Forest Gâteau is a favourite german dessert. Traditionally at Christmas simple potatoe salad and sausages are served or the more festive alternative: roast goose with dumplings and red cabbage. 

9. What must absolutely be experienced or seen there?

Visiting Germany's capital Berlin you should go and see the Brandenburg Gate as well as the Berlin wall near Checkpoint Charlie. In Hamburg the harbour is well worth a visit with a total transshipment volume of 137,8 ton per year. Dresden in the east of Germany is very picturesque and famous for the Zwinger palace, the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady Mary) and the Semperoper, the opera house. Even the south of Germany has a lot to offer with the castle Neuschwanstein, the English Garden and the traditional Octoberfest in Munich being the most popular attractions.

Nadine Kinscher-Masur

Corporate Head of Marketing de Fr. Meyer's Sohn


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