Company history SSI SCHÄFER

Company history

SSI SCHAEFER - Since 85 years the world's leading provider of intralogistics solutions

When Fritz Schäfer founded a company for the production of sheet metal goods in 1937, he could not foresee that his business would become: the world's most powerful solution provider for logistic systems, products, solutions and logistic software.

History in pictures

The revolution in warehouse logistics - design of material flows

Self-employment was his goal throughout his life, and he worked hard to achieve it: in the tightest of spaces in his own laundry room, Fritz Schäfer (1893 – 1951) began building the first transport boxes after work in 1935. Two years later, the trained plumber and welder realized his dream and founded his company for the "factory production of sheet metal goods". The entry in the official register for Burbach, Siegerland, took place on January 16, 1937.

The history of the company

The founding years


1937: How it all began

On January 16, 1937, the foundation stone was laid for today's globally operating SSI SCHAEFER group of companies - with the entry "Fritz-Schäfer - factory production of all kinds of sheet metal goods" in the Burbach official business register.

1939: The success bears the first fruits

The company is already so successful that the first large production hall has to be built. Twenty people were employed there as early as 1940.

The big breakthrough

Company history SSI SCHÄFER

1953: The milestone

The revolutionary Lager-Fix-Box is developed, a stackable box with a viewing opening at the front.

1961/62: Internationalization begins

The first foreign company is founded in Switzerland, followed shortly afterwards by the second in England.

Diversification and modernization


1965: New markets open up

Fritz Schäfer now also produces shelving and pallet racks.

1972: Always one innovation ahead

The Euro-Fix box for conveyor technology is launched. Further innovations in the following years are:

• Shelves according to the plug-in system

• stack and nest containers

• high-bay warehouses  High bay warehouses

Growth and globalization

Innovations and Trends in material handling and logistics

2000–2001: Family growth

This introduction of SSI SCHAEFER Noell (Germany) and SSI SCHAEFER Peem (Austria) diversify the range of services with automation solutions.

2002: A strong brand is born
The three companies are united under the SSI SCHAEFER umbrella brand.

2008: Systematic operation
The software expert Salomon Automation becomes part of SSI SCHAEFER.

2010: Further expansion

The Danish company Handler A/S, experts in storage lifts, is taken over.

2015: Always on the move

SSI SCHAEFER takes over the Belgian manufacturer of driverless transport systems, Motum.


Consolidation and expansion of IT skills to set the course for the digital future.

2017: Change of name

The competencies of the automation subsidiaries are bundled in SSI SCHAEFER AUTOMATION GMBH - as a general contractor, we offer our customers everything from a single source.

2018: Growth in driverless transport systems

SSI SCHAEFER acquires shares in DS AUTOMOTION, Austria, one of the world's leading manufacturers of highly dynamic driverless transport systems (AGVs)

2020: Support for UN climate goals

SSI SCHAEFER joins the "50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders" initiative.

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2021: Further strengthening in software

SSI SCHAEFER becomes the majority shareholder of SWAN and strengthens SAP competencies.

swan gmbh & ssi schaefer

2022: Innovation and sustainability initiatives

SSI SCHAEFER and Fraunhofer IML found Enterprise Lab together
SSI SCHAEFER opens a new central office for the Benelux market
SSI SCHAEFER publishes its first sustainability report

2023: Strengthening in the field of robotics and continuation of sustainability efforts

DS AUTOMOTION GmbH, a leading provider of mobile robotics (AGV - Automated Guided Vehicle and AMR - Autonomous Mobile Robots) becomes a full member of the SSI SCHAEFER Group.

SSI SCHAEFER publishes climate strategy with concrete targets for CO2 reduction.

Press & News

HR_people and community are the focus


SSI SCHÄFER - Company Values

Values & Strategy

Company history SSI SCHÄFER


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