The rudder blades of a rowing boat submerge into the cool waters of the Alster. The first rays of golden sunshine climb above the roofs of the venerable office buildings, cutting through the mist slowly lifting over the waters. It is probably the most peaceful moment in the otherwise hectic round-the-clock schedule of the Block House steak specialists. But this ends as soon as Michael Walzer steers his new pearl white Actros 1840 L into the cobbled street of the Rathausmarkt square. He makes a stop at the Block House Restaurant on the Jungfernstieg street. The unmistakeable logo with its mighty bull and the bold motto “Best steaks since 1968” is reflected in the windows.
Around six million guests are catered for each year in the 38 German Block House Restaurants. Aside from the German Block House Restaurants, the Block Group also operates nine franchise companies, for example, in Switzerland and on Majorca as well as the Jim Block burger restaurants and the Blockbräu brewery inn in Hamburg. In addition to that, the Block House butcher’s in Hamburg, the Block Menü in Zarrentin and the Block Handels GmbH (Block Trading Company) also belong to the Block Group. The logistics behind this enormous range of products is a little complex. It’s not enough just to transport meat and other foodstuffs between the manufacturing sites and to the restaurants, but also all that is required for smooth restaurant operation, too – whether it be the menus, the cutlery, the salt shaker or the paper towels. And, not to be forgotten: crayons, drawing paper and small gifts for the children.
To remain flexible, Block House maintains its own truck fleet with four vehicles, each with its own refrigeration unit. The newest member of the fleet is an Actros 1840 L, which has been there since summer 2016. The vehicle’s configuration was, like many things at Block House, a job for the boss himself. Eugen Block was involved in the decision to acquire the new Actros from the colour of the vehicle right up to the position of the company logo – and, of course, as you would expect from a Hanseatic citizen, with a close eye on costs. In the course of the decision, the safety of the drivers and their comfort on long journeys was important to him. That’s why they ordered a new Actros 1840 L with full air suspension, something which benefits not just the driver but also the goods being transported. The Safety Package provides the finishing touch to the equipment.
Fuel Duel and RoadEfficiency win the day.
After a successful so-called fuel duel, in which a new Actros completed its journey with a much more fuel-efficient reading than the Block fleet had done until then, a detailed analysis of the overall efficiency was enough to convince the Block management. “The fuel duel was the door opener,” says Peter Wichert from key account truck sales at Mercedes-Benz Vertrieb NFZ GmbH Hamburg (Commercial Vehicle Sales), who was the one who put together the Actros package with Block House. “Following that, we were able to demonstrate that, in line with Mercedes-Benz RoadEfficiency, the low overall costs, the high level of safety and a high level of vehicle usage all combine to produce a convincing level of efficiency,” Wichert recalls.
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