In the presence of the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, CHEP representatives accepted the prestigious award posthumously.
Cologne – We recently announced that several pallet pioneers had been named to the Logistics Hall of Fame. They were inducted on November 29 as part of the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala Reception. Among the recipients, Oliver Richter (1920-2014), an Australian, is considered an early pioneer of the first closed rental pool system for pallets and containers. Thanks to his vision and his zest for action, around 375 million pallets, crates, and containers in 60 countries are now being shared and reused worldwide as part of the CHEP pooling system, CHEP Germany noted in a release.
As a sales manager at CHEP’s parent company, Brambles, Richter discovered the potential of a closed rental pool for load carriers as early as the 1960s. He successfully built one of the most sustainable and efficient logistics models in the world. Kai Derda, Managing Director of CHEP Deutschland GmbH, and Volker Sdunzig, Senior Vice-President, CHEP Central and Eastern Europe, accepted the prestigious award on behalf of Oliver Richter and CHEP at the gala reception.
Logistics Hall of Fame honors milestones in logistics
The non-profit Logistics Hall of Fame was established in 2003 and is currently under the patronage of Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport. The International Hall of Fame honors personalities who have made outstanding contributions to the further development of logistics and supply chain management. It thus offers a platform for outstanding achievements in logistics and emphasizes their importance for social development.
An international jury of 60 members from journalism, science, politics, associations, and the logistics industry decided that this year Oliver Richter from CHEP, together with George Raymond Sr., founder of the Raymond Corporation, as well as the associations UIC and EPAL, as “pallet pioneers” in the Logistics Hall of Fame. This joins the 41 existing members, including Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford, and Gottlieb Daimler.
“It is a great honor for CHEP to be inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame, and Oliver Richter would have been very pleased, too,” said Sdunzig. “Thanks to his vision, CHEP was able to implement its inherently sustainable logistics model for the supply chain. Pallet manufacturers work year after year to make pallets an even smarter and more reliable means of transportation and product display. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are providing the next revolution on our journey not only to net zero, but to a fully regenerative supply chain.”
Born in Sydney on October 23, 1920, Oliver Richter dropped out of school early when the Great Depression was at its peak. He then went to night school to study accounting. After joining Brambles in 1965, he soon developed a vision to further develop Australia’s Commonwealth Handling Pool (CHEP) pallet pooling system – initially introduced by the US military stationed in Australia during World War II.
A joint venture first brought the pallet pooling and rental model to Great Britain in the mid-1970s. In the years that followed Richter’s career, CHEP expanded into continental Europe, South Africa, and North America. When Oliver Richter retired from Brambles in 1992, he had served successfully as CEO, Chairman, and Vice Chairman. He oversaw CHEP’s growth into the largest pallet rental company in the United States – a goal that seemed unattainable in the 1960s.
Richter was a driving force behind making the pallet an optimized, reliable and sustainable logistics solution for the growing number of goods in transit.
Oliver Richter, a personality who has shaped logistics
Oliver Richter played a central role in the standardization of pallets and also crate and container sizes. He laid the foundation for a pallet control system that became the industry standard and led to the more efficient movement of goods. CHEP’s pallet rental model pioneered the sharing of pallets, crates, and totes. Customers no longer had to invest in or manage their own inventory. In addition, solid waste was significantly reduced. Sixty years later, Richter’s vision of a purely circular packaging and logistics model is at the heart of CHEP’s corporate goal of achieving net zero in the transportation industry. This distinguishes Richter not only as a pallet pioneer but also as a pioneer in sustainability, CHEP concluded.