Horst Felbermayr – pioneer of heavy goods logistics deceased Slider

Horst Felbermayr – pioneer of heavy goods logistics deceased

18/03/2020 | After a serious illness, the heavy goods logistics and building industry lost a great entrepreneur in Horst Felbermayr on 13th March 2020. The company boss from Wels (Austria) shaped the business for around 50 years before he moved to the supervisory board as chairman in 2015 and handed over the operative business to his son of the same name.

The company is now one of the largest heavy goods logistics providers in Europe with a total of around 2,700 employees and 67 sites in 19 countries. But, in 1967, when he and his wife Gisela took over his father Franz Felbermayr's company, it was still a quiet time at the company premises in Wels. At that time, the company founded by Franz Felbermayr in 1942 had a fleet of just a handful of vehicles and the number of employees was still quite manageable.

From local transport company to international industrial service provider

At this time their daughter Elisabeth had already been born. But, despite her role as a young mother, wife Gisela understood perfectly how to support her husband Horst Felbermayr in financial matters. This made it possible to quickly develop new business areas in civil engineering. In 1970, son Horst Felbermayr was born. The company then had around 30 employees. The number of employees had already increased tenfold after three years of the takeover. With the foundation of the first branch office in Grieskirchen, his half-brother Franz joined as managing director to support the family business. He was also jointly responsible for developing the business segment of professional disposal of construction waste and other waste by means of skips. Unfortunately, Franz didn’t get to experience the great success of the company as he died in 1979.

The first international heavy transports took place in the middle of the seventies. Specialisation in pipeline construction and earthworks in the construction business segment followed. Local gravel extraction was also intensified. Horst Felbermayr already attached great importance to sustainability at that time and, in 1998, he received the environmental protection prize of the province of Upper Austria for the nature-oriented recultivation of gravel quarries.

The development of a two-way crane for use on rail and road in 1989 marked the company’s entry into lifting technology. This area of business was successfully expanded and, today, includes crane and platform rental with several thousand units.

The course was set for trimodal heavy haulage in the mid-nineties, with the establishment of a division for international low-loader rail transport. With the purchase of a company site of the former VÖEST in Linz, Horst Felbermayr succeeded in acquiring a heavy goods port. The vision of trimodal heavy goods transport became reality with the combination of the rail, road and water transport modes.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the company owner, by now in his mid-fifties, went full steam ahead and pushed massively into the European market. Divisions for civil engineering and specialised civil engineering were founded, the vehicle fleet was massively expanded and a division was formed for heavy installation. For these entrepreneurial achievements, Felbermayr was awarded the great Silver Medal of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria in 2004. The Silver Medal of Honour of the Province of Upper Austria followed in 2006. As early as 1985, Horst Felbermayr received the golden badge of honour of the city of Wels.

Horst Felbermayr – an entrepreneurial personality

Despite great economic challenges and enormous willingness to take risks, the trained car mechanic always had an open ear for his employees. He also knew how to convince them of his visions and let them participate on a par in his entrepreneurial goals. But, despite all his successes, Horst Felbermayr kept his feet on the ground and always valued the performance of his employees. Together with his wife Gisela, the company boss succeeded in passing on this characteristic of ‘business modesty’ to his children. Today, the son of the great entrepreneur of the same name successfully manages the company together with his wife Andrea. In 2015, Gisela and Horst Felbermayr Senior moved onto the supervisory board. Their daughter Elisabeth is responsible for the company's capital assets.

Together with other managing directors and their employees, they are now responsible for the third generation of the Wels family business. With the ground-breaking ceremony for the new company headquarters in September last year, Felbermayr Senior laid the foundation stone for the further development of the company. This marked the end of the successful entrepreneur's life's work. With the passing of Horst Felbermayr, the industry is losing a fair competitor whose word was his bond and the company is losing a leading figure who was there for his employees and their concerns, even in times of enormous personal stress.

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