His winning ways
Timon Jöhnke has limited mobility, but he has never let that slow him down. The logistics specialist feels that DACHSER is where he belongs.
Timon Jöhnke really enjoys his job, especially when there is so much happening around him. “Just paperwork, accounting, figures—that’s not for me,” says the 24-year-old logistics specialist in fleet management at DACHSER’s Hannover logistics center. “What I enjoy most is working directly with the drivers.” During his apprenticeship, he rode along in a truck for four weeks and found it “super exciting.”
What might seem fairly “normal” at first glance is an extremely remarkable achievement. Because his mother experienced complications during pregnancy, Jöhnke had to be delivered at 28 weeks. The early damage to his brain led to his developing cerebral palsy.
This meant a complicated school education. After his first four years of elementary school in his hometown of Burgdorf, Germany, Jöhnke had to undergo surgery and subsequently had to relearn many skills. Attending the local high school in a wheelchair was not possible at that time. Undaunted, he switched to an integrated comprehensive school in Hannover, 20 kilometers away. There was a shuttle service, but whenever possible, he preferred to make his own way to school by bus and train. With an extended certificate from that school in his pocket, he went on to attend a business-focused high school back in Burgdorf.
Impressive fighting spirit
“A lot of my classmates submitted one or two applications, but because of my disability, I had to write 40. I was very proud to get a positive answer from DACHSER,” Jöhnke recalls. In four years, he has never regretted joining the global logistics provider. “I’ve never been spoken to in a negative way about my disability. I feel really accepted and comfortable at DACHSER. In addition, logistics is an industry of the future and highly international, which I find very appealing.”
“I always want to push myself further—that’s one of the most important things in life,” Timon Jöhnke says.
During his apprenticeship, he attended blocks of theory at vocational school and practical units at DACHSER’s European Logistics branch in Langenhagen. “I really liked that I had a block of classes for several weeks at a time so I could also focus on my homework.”
Career with a bright future
After successfully completing his three-year apprenticeship in August 2021, Jöhnke joined the fleet management team at Langenhagen. There, together with long-time fleet manager Sascha Steinemann, he looks after the drivers who work the European Logistics routes and thus transport a wide range of industrial goods, and he also maintains contact with the transit terminal. His tasks include coordinating driver training as well as documenting and organizing work uniforms. The young man provides support wherever it is needed. No wonder, then, that he is extremely well-liked by his coworkers.
“I always want to push myself further—that’s one of the most important things in life,” Jöhnke says. He is currently in the process of further expanding his IT knowledge in logistics processes. In addition, he supports the customs department by preparing invoices for customers. The need for this has grown massively due to the UK’s exit from the EU. With a twinkle in his eye, the young man likes to refer to himself as a “Brexit winner.”
In fact, Jöhnke is a winner in many respects. Despite his handicap, the soccer and gym fan, who also works in an auxiliary role for a youth fire brigade, has fought hard to live his life on his own terms. And there is still so much he wants to accomplish. In his personal life, he has obtained his driver’s license and, through continuous training, is now very rarely dependent on his wheelchair. In his professional life, he dreams of working even more independently in fleet management and perhaps training as a transport specialist while continuing to work his regular job. “I want my path at DACHSER to continue just as it has so far.”