Volunteering at LOXX

Whether attending a major fire or in a complex customer meeting - when Daniel Brunner is on the case, he is very committed. LOXX supports their customer advisor's social commitment for his honorary position at the Technical Relief Organisation (Technischen Hilfswerk - THW).


The dark night sky is coloured with a reddish-yellow light and thick billows of smoke drift across the premises of an abandoned grocery store. Numerous fire engines from the fire brigade stand on the snow-covered ground. Firefighters in thick protective clothing aim fire hoses at the fire. Daniel Brunner and his colleagues from THW are right in the middle of it all. They illuminate the area with almost 40 spotlights and light masts. They clear aisles in the market so that the fire fighters can get to the source of the fire.

At the beginning of February on one particular night, there was a big fire at the port of Mülheim. About 350 firefighters from Mülheim a.d.R. and the surrounding cities were in attendance. “It was a dangerous situation. There was a high-voltage power line over the market, which could have caused a large-scale power outage,” reports Daniel Brunner. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished in time and no one was injured. To enable this customer advisor to step in at short notice, LOXX supports his voluntary work for the THW, the German Federal Civil and Disaster Protection Organization, and releases him from work for these kinds of assignments.

Close and trusted collaboration with our clients

The 47-year-old receives the necessary trust from his employer not only for his voluntary work, but also for his tasks as a customer advisor for Europe when out in field work. He has been working for the company since 2013 and values the freedom of his job: "Of course, I have guidelines to follow, but I can design my own work processes, which means a lot to me." After working for various logistics companies in Mülheim, Essen and, most recently, Burbach, the trained businessman for freight forwarding and logistics services moved back to the Ruhr area. He came across LOXX through a friend who was working with the company at the time. “Back then, my friend told me that, as a customer, you’re a real customer and not just an anonymous number. I found the prospect of working as a customer advisor very tempting,” explains Daniel Brunner. In addition to drawing up tariffs and calculations, his tasks also include special enquiries from time to time. He advises customers, for example, if damage has occurred during transport, how to generate synergies or how goods can be made neutral so their origin is not publically visible. Personal relationships with customers are very important to him, which is why he tries to visit customers on site as often as possible. "A personal conversation, even a casual chat, strengthens the bond and trust," says Daniel Brunner. In these Coronavirus times, much of our contact has moved to phone calls and e-mails and sometimes, video conferences. "Factual questions can be sufficiently dealt with over a distance, but you just can’t see the other person's facial expressions, which is of course, sometimes very important in customer discussions," explains Daniel Brunner.

Process experiences

Personal conversations are also crucial in his function as a peer for the aftercare team at THW. Along with other peers and psychosocial specialists, he stands by the side of the emergency services who need support when processing their experiences after their missions. “When someone has been found dead or many are seriously injured, these are images that remain engraved in a person's memory. Dealing with this isn’t always easy for the emergency services,” reports Daniel Brunner. With his hometown being Mülheim, he knows from his own experience what he is talking about. A few years ago there was an accident at a major music festival where several people were killed and hundreds were seriously injured. At that time, Daniel Brunner was on site as a train driver with the THW and noticed how important psychological support is for the emergency services. Since then, he has undergone further intensive training and is available to help the emergency services with opportunities to talk on site. “My main task as part of these conversations is to listen to understand what stirs the emotions in the people I’m talking to. This is how I can offer further practical help in emergencies,” he reports. He has been extensively trained for this task and can talk to his superiors about what he has experienced in supervision meetings.

A pillar of society

Around 98% of the THW consists of volunteers, which is a good 80,000 helpers nationwide. “Voluntary work is an important pillar of our society. That’s why we also support our employees like Daniel Brunner internally by releasing them for these types of assignments and thanking them for their great commitment,” says Ulrich Schröder, Managing Director of LOXX Logistics GmbH. Daniel Brunner has been committed to the THW for 33 years. When he was around 15 years old, he and his father came across an aid organisation by chance. "I found all the rescue tools very impressive. Who else has ever held a gasoline breaker in their hands?" remembers the resident of Essen.

After a few trial services, he joined the youth group. This was interrupted by a one-year stay in New Zealand, but he has been a volunteer at THW ever since - from helper to train driver to training officer - he has worked in numerous stations. “It's nice to know that you can help people who need help,” says Daniel Brunner, commenting on his commitment.

He also enjoys training the next generation of staff. He teaches them, for example, how helpers can rescue those affected in disaster areas. He also organises joint cooking activities with the THW youth group, for example, deboning 13 kilograms of beef with the children and young people and preparing dishes with them.

Cooking to switch off

In his personal time, he can switch off easily while cooking. Together with his former partner and now a very good friend, he organises cooking evenings where they prepare modern interpretations of classic dishes such as Königsberger Klopse or Chili con Carne with dark chocolate, storing them in jars with a vacuum seal. Daniel Brunner has already set himself a goal for the time after the Coronavirus: “I really want to do something completely new and learn to play a musical instrument. Even when I was at school, reading music wasn't exactly my best area. Learning to do this would be a real challenge for me - and I'm looking forward to it."

You can find this and other articles in the eXXpresso 06/2021.