Girteka began its history in 1996, with a single MAN truck and three employees in a very small office in Vilnius, Lithuania. Having a single truck with a refrigerated trailer, a chief executive/manager, a driver, and an accountant, the company‘s story began there and then, at a room of in ex-factory.
Steadily growing over the years, Girteka met its 10-year anniversary with over 400 trucks, 1,000 employees, and a much larger office in Vilnius, Lithuania. However, as the needs of the company grew, so did our transport facilities, and in 2010, a ribbon was cut in Šiauliai, Lithuania – Girteka’s ‘ first transport base. While the headquarters have remained in the capital of the country, the new transport base facilitated even higher volumes of growth, as it has remained one of the largest Girteka’s ‘ transport bases to this day. Our Šiauliai facilities were expanded further in 2016, as we moved into our new space due to the ever-growing size of Girteka, and the ever-changing needs of a transport company of our size.
As Girteka expands into more international company, providing services in more than 15 European countries, we purchased in 2021 another facility based in Sady, near Poznań in Poland, with area of about 20,000 sq. m. This new facility is now one of main place for drivers training and providing more and more logistics services to Western Europe, as well as maintenance to our growing fleet of trucks.
Nevertheless, we expanded our facilities elsewhere too. In 2011, we began welcoming our customers’ goods in warehouse spaces, starting with just over 100,000 square meters (m2) of space that had expanded to over 270,000 m2 by the end of 2017 and will reach 513 000 m2 by the end of 2022.
The warehouses are crucial to prepare excise goods, including stamps, labels, and packaging to move and store these goods until these items continue on their route to their final destinations.
In 2013, we continued expanding the scope of our road freight transport network. Throughout the way of acquisition, we added the Norwegian company Thermomax to the Girteka Group, allowing us to strengthen our presence in Scandinavia. To further solidify our position in the Scandinavian and Western European region, we purchased the shares of another Norwegian company – Thermo-Transit.
2017 was a monumental year for the company, as Girteka began to carry our customers’ goods more sustainably by the way of intermodal rail freight transport throughout Europe and Asia. Without the need to re-load the cargo when switching between the road and rail, carrying goods by the way of intermodal rail transport allows the lane to save as much as 90% of CO2 emissions. As we continued to expand our intermodal rail freight network, we completed our first rail shipment from China to Europe in 2021, while also expanding the number of lanes we serve throughout Europe itself for the past five years.
In 2018 was the year that we seriously began to digitalize our operations, as we installed the “Transics” Fleet Management System (FMS) on all of our trucks. The innovative system is coupled with tablets that are found on the trucks, facilitating a real-time exchange of data from the perspective of the driver, the manager, and the customer. The FMS even has a mobile app, allowing the driver to get real-time updates even if he is not in the truck.
The installation of our Transics system resulted in Girteka being nominated as one of the top 100 innovative European companies at the end of November 2018, a list that is curated by the Financial Times.
2019 marked another important step towards our commitment to sustainability, as we purchased our first Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) truck. The decision to purchase the LNG truck was just one of the few ways, including the ever-growing intermodal rail freight network that Girteka is exploring to reduce its emissions right here and right now.
Our digital journey kicked into another gear, as in early-2020, we began to work together with our partner SAP to fully digitalize our operations. While the pandemic was an obvious bump in the road for many businesses, we decided that it was a perfect opportunity to only accelerate our digitalization process. SAP’s solution will allow Girteka to simplify and automate processes, making our sales, transport, and other processes much more efficient and accurate, only improving our customer experience.
Celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2021, we did not look back – instead, we looked forward and realized that we need to grow only stronger and bigger, putting forth a goal: to be amongst the top 10 largest logistics companies in Europe, as purely a road freight transport provider. The goal is no doubt an ambitious one, however, with only the highest level of professionals working throughout all levels of the company, we believe that our colleagues will help us achieve that goal.
And that droves us to 2022, where we Introduced our new positioning – Responsible Logistics. In fact, all key elements of this positioning we have been already implementing on daily basis. From responsibility to our customers, by providing highest quality of reliable logistics services and long-term partnership, through colleagues and communities, making a meaningful impact together on road safety, environment protection and community well-being. Up to shareholders and partners to secure sustainable collaboration and mutual benefit with profitable growth.
Throughout more than 26 years of our history, our ownership has not changed, as both Mindaugas Raila and Edvardas Liachovičius have remained the ultimate beneficiaries of Girteka. Owning 90% and 10% of the company’s shares, respectively, they own the company via family offices and oversee the development and the direction of Girteka.
Our future is Responsible Logistics.