How Maersk Bridge enabled Hartmann International to quickly transport medical masks from China during the first onset of COVID-19.

Transporting PPE Supplies with Hartmann

The customer

Hartmann International is a medium-sized, family-owned fulfillment logistics provider based in Paderborn and Ibbenbüren in Germany. Their areas of responsibility include freight forwarding, logistics, air, sea and rail transport – with its most significant activities in national and international transport, warehousing and moving.

Transporting PPE Supplies with Hartmann

The challenge

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to grow in March, procuring and shipping vital supplies like masks became difficult. Increased restrictions on international transport were having an unprecedented impact on global freight operations. Hartmann International’s customers were pressing the company to procure medical masks quickly. To prioritise their medical mask shipments, the German company was reviewing air freight services and partner organisations, including charter operations.

However, the situation in China made it tricky. The high demand for personal protection equipment (PPE) from China had been driving up air freight. It also led to congestions at Chinese and European airports. Limited capacities and strict new Chinese export controls exacerbated the situation. Industry leaders were desperately trying to find a solution.

Transporting PPE Supplies with Hartmann

The Maersk solution

Working with the right logistics partner was critical at that time. Maersk had been Hartmann’s trusted ocean partner for several years. When the company faced challenges setting up their cargo project, they naturally asked us for support. We rose to the challenge with our Maersk Bridge solution.

Working with our colleagues in China, our teams evaluated a mix of air, sea-air and rail services to provide cost-effective transport solutions and avoid congestions. We came up with a short-term air freight solution through two smaller shipments with commercial carriers and two full pax charters with Nordwind Airlines.

The result

We managed to meet and exceed our customer’s expected import volume without jeopardising any other operations. In total, we shipped over six million masks on time and to the complete satisfaction of our customer.

Protecting healthcare workers was a top priority. They were the heroes on the frontline, who tirelessly provided care and support to children and families aected in this unprecedented global crisis.


Anything you need, we’re here to help