Wholesale keeps Germany moving

Wholesale is a B2B sector; its customers come from industry, trade, craft, gastronomy and retail. Its turnover of more than  1.300 billion Euro already proves that it is an irreplaceable hinge between these economic actors with its huge flows of goods. Measured by this, it is the second strongest economic sector and has been growing continuously for years. Well-known examples of wholesale from everyday life are pharmaceutical wholesale, which supplies pharmacies with medicines several times a day, or food delivery wholesale, which supplies hotels, restaurants or kiosks.

Logistical hub

Wholesale is the logistical hub of the economy as a whole. It undertakes procurement, drives innovation together with industry and business demands, organises sales, facilitates financing, has market intelligence and the right business partners at hand and is therefore an important service provider for its suppliers and customers. Wholesalers are intermediaries, organisers and transporters.

Wholesale: Forward-looking and innovative

Scarce raw materials, constantly changing technologies and customer requirements: wholesale companies have to think far ahead and plan innovatively. This makes wholesale a leading indicator of economic developments, facing up to economic trends and structural transformation. Predictive strategies and a willingness to move with the times are prerequisites for long-term business success. They allow the sector to secure employment and create economic momentum. In an age of global connectivity, trade from one country to another no longer means simply delivering a product across borders and long distances; the best strategy is required to meet the demands of customers and to deliver systemic solutions. In order to gain competitive advantages, it is necessary to take into account worldwide production and supply chains that are becoming increasingly integrated. The wholesale and foreign trade sectors are indispensable service providers, able to reduce transaction costs, compliance and guarantee the ability to deliver the right quality at the right time.

BGA: What we stand for

A business-friendly environment is essential for growth and employment. 98 % of the companies affiliated with us are SMEs. The fight against excessive red-tape is one of our main concerns. This includes tax legislation that is easy to understand, as well as an administration that can be managed without a legal department of its own. When it comes to the wholesale sector as for example a supplier and financier of the building and construction sector, incentives for housing are also of great importance due to the significant lack of affordable housing.

The number of trade barriers continues to increase, making the work of wholesalers and foreign trade operators more difficult. This development needs to be counteracted and new trade and investment protection agreements are much needed. The EU must continue to work for a comprehensive trade agreement with the UK after Brexit in order to provide predictability. The BGA calls for a more consistent implementation of the European internal market strategy in order to finally complete the EU internal market project. At the same time, it is important to embrace technological change and to create a digital single market with EU-wide standards. Competition law must also be adapted as quickly as possible to meet the demands of digitalisation.

Career in Apprenticeship in Wholesale and Foreign Trade Management and Management assistant for E-Commerce

As specialisation and digitalisation progress, completely new skilled occupations and courses of study are being created. The BGA has been closely involved in the development of the e-commerce apprenticeship, which has been offered in Germany since 2018. The apprenticeship in wholesale and foreign trade management has also been adapted to reflect the new requirements that companies have due to increasing digitalisation and the growing importance of digital business processes.

In addition, the BGA is committed to improving education at all training levels and to create more flexible structures for education. This must also come with a reduction in red tape and complexity.


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