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Greek specialties just in time

When the Coronavirus pandemic brought the catering industry to a standstill, but demand in the retail sector rose extensively, Apostel, a producer of fresh produce, had to rethink its production and supply chain at one go. But with its logistics partner DACHSER, the Hanover-based company was always able to deliver.

Working hand-in-hand: Oliver-Patrick Müller, Sales Manager DACHSER Food Logistics at DACHSER’s logistics center Hannover (left), and Konstantinos Kourkoutas, Head of IT & Administration at Apostel (right).
Working hand-in-hand: Oliver-Patrick Müller, Sales Manager DACHSER Food Logistics at DACHSER’s logistics center Hannover (left), and Konstantinos Kourkoutas, Head of IT & Administration at Apostel (right).

It all started in 1970 with a Greek restaurant in Hannover. At that time, Greek delicacies were all the rage in Germany. That’s why family-owned company Apostel decided to start producing Greek yogurt specialties—and thus began an extraordinary success story. These days, APOSTELS brand tzatziki is a regular feature in the refrigerated section of various supermarket chains in Germany. Other specialties such as sour cream, aioli, yogurt, potato topping, and yogurt-based cooking products round out the range.

Highest quality standards

Fresh yogurt products that meet the highest quality standards always are a challenge for logistics. “We offer just-in-time production, which means we can respond to changes quickly and flexibly, and together with our logistics providers, we can optimize the value chains of our customers,” explains Konstantinos Kourkoutas, Head of IT & Administration.

"We had to completely rethink production and the supply chain in one fell swoop,” Konstantino Kourkoutas.

“Because of the Covid-19 measures, the industrial consumer segment with its restaurant and catering customers came to a standstill overnight. At the same time, there was a huge increase in retail demand as people started to stock up on supplies, stay at home, and prepare their own food. This meant we had to completely rethink production and the supply chain in one fell swoop,” Kourkoutas recalls.

DACHSER was able to provide just-in-time delivery of packaging material stored for Apostel, while covering peaks that required transporting up to twice the usual volume of refrigerated goods from factories to retail warehouses.
DACHSER was able to provide just-in-time delivery of packaging material stored for Apostel, while covering peaks that required transporting up to twice the usual volume of refrigerated goods from factories to retail warehouses.

Absorbing capacity shifts logistically

Fortunately, in this challenging situation, Apostel had an experienced and flexible partner at their side: DACHSER Food Logistics Hannover. “The DACHSER Food Logistics network is well prepared for seasonal peaks and extraordinary peaks in demand, for example during the Christmas and holiday business, or from weather-related increases in demand during the barbecue season. Even under the changed Corona conditions, we always knew what to do to maintain our ability to deliver in retail,” explains Oliver-Patrick Müller, Sales Manager Food Logistics at the Hannover logistics center. “After many years of working together with Apostel, we were able to make logistical changes that cushioned the impact from the shifts in capacity.” As a result, DACHSER was able to provide just-in-time delivery of packaging material stored for Apostel, while covering peaks that required transporting up to twice the usual volume of refrigerated goods from factories to retail warehouses.

“When it comes to transporting fresh products with a limited shelf life to the refrigerated section, in a sense every minute counts. To achieve this, all players of the Apostel supply chain worked perfectly hand in hand,” Müller says. Müller explains that the prerequisites for this are a well-established exchange of information and data, a resilient and efficient network, and people who are ready and willing to take on even the toughest challenges. He sums up by saying that the crisis brought the employees of Apostel and DACHSER closer together on a personal level as well: “Throughout this period, we talked on the phone and exchanged information much more than usual. The only social distancing we did was physical.”  

Contact Natalia Olawella