Celebrating five decades of Swissterminal

Since 1972, forward-thinking logistics solutions and family values have been the hallmarks of our company. Explore our legacy of innovation!

A history with a future

On 1 February 1972, when Alex Mayer founded Container Depot AG – the forerunner for today’s Swissterminal – no one could have imagined what lay ahead. Starting out with an empty depot, a single container and a caravan that served as an office, Alex may not have had much, but he did have a vision. His idea was to create more efficient trade solutions, driven by a strong commitment to customers.

This vision has characterised our business over the last 50 years, just like the Mayer family, who has remained the majority owner to this very day. Our commitment to both progress and people has made Swissterminal what it is now: ­­­­a leading integrated logistics provider. The first five decades may be behind us, but we’re just as excited about our business as we were at the outset.

We have bold ideas for the years to come that include advancing our terminals, expanding our intermodal network, leveraging new technology, combating climate change and growing our presence to serve more customers across diverse locations. Because at Swissterminal, we carry the future.


Discover more about Swissterminal’s journey and vision in the anniversary issue (November 2023) of the company magazine Good News:

Journey back in time

a decade

Unbox our company’s history.

A lot can change in 50 years! Travel to one of our previous decades of innovation and explore fond memories of times past.


Our first decade in operation was as groovy as the era… We pioneered the container business and started laying the foundation for the Swissterminal you see today.

1972Alex Mayer founds Container Depot AG, the forerunner for today’s Swissterminal.

1978The company moves from Basel to Frenkendorf, where our HQ is still located.

Go forward in time


Bold and empowered: These two words not only describe this era, but also our second decade in business. After getting operations in Frenkendorf off the ground, we began rapidly growing our service portfolio – and even opened a second location!

1984With the opening of a terminal in Niederglatt, the business expands into eastern Switzerland.

Go forward in time


At the turn of the millennium, track suits, fanny packs and rave music were all the rage. At the same time, the digital revolution was changing the whole world – including our business.

1994Swissterminal acquires Conteba container terminal in Basel from Danzas AG (now DHL).

2000Our founder and CEO Alex Mayer retires, passing the torch to his son Roman Mayer.

2001A rail shuttle between our Niederglatt terminal and the Rhine terminal in Basel is introduced.

Go forward in time


In the 2000s, everything happened at lightning speed. Disruptive technologies and trailblazing products drastically changed the way we lived and worked. At the same time, our business took great leaps forward as we continued to professionalise and expand.

2004Business expansion continues with the opening of the Birsfelden terminal.

2008Terminal Liestal Empty Truck Centre is opened.

2009Activities are centralized in Frenkendorf, and a new, contemporary brand design is introduced.

Go forward in time


From social and climate change efforts to technological advancements and the rise of social media, the past decade has been one of our most action packed yet. At Swissterminal, this decade also brought new product innovations, a partnership with a global logistics provider as well as international expansion.

2016Schweizerzug rail service is founded.

2020DP World joins as a strategic partner, and our warehousing services are launched.

2021The business expands into France with the operational takeover of three French inland ports.

Go back in time

Can you dig it?

From flares to sideburns: You can bet the Swissterminal team looked slammin’ during our first years in business!

The Polaroid era

Instant cameras – popular items during this decade – were likely to be frequently shipped inside our containers.

It’s us!

This throwback snap features some of the first members of our team… How about those hairstyles?!

When hairspray reigned supreme

Statement styles, colours and silhouettes – and heaping amounts of permed hair. In the ‘80s, we brought our share of the wow factor.

Jammin’ with an ‘80s icon

Transporting portable cassette players like this Walkman, containers played their part in delivering a whole new era of personal music across the globe.

Taking the next step

The start of operations in Niederglatt marked a new era of growth for our business in Switzerland.

the 411?

Mobile phones and the fax machines transformed the way we stayed connected in the ‘90s.

The days of dial up

The World Wide Web fundamentally changed our everyday lives. At Swissterminal, keeping pace with digitalisation continues to be at the top of our agenda.

Generational change

The second generation of the Mayer family took over Swissterminal’s management in 2000 when Roman Mayer was appointed to CEO.

The golden age of gadgets

When the first iPod hit the market in the early ‘00s, earphones, along with other gadgets, became equated with an accessory.

Generation txt

Cell phones hit the mainstream for the first time, and whole new way to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues was introduced: Texting.

A unified brand

In 2004, we renamed our company to Swissterminal, bringing together the different brands Container Depot AG and Conteba. We introduced our first Swissterminal logo, which subsequently got a facelift in 2009.

The selfie generation

With the growing popularity of social media and digital connectivity, selfies became a global phenomenon.


Climate action entered an era of increased focus for both individuals and corporations. At Swissterminal, our initiatives included using green energy and operating sustainable transport.

International growth

Between our partnership with DP World and our expansion into France, this decade saw our Swiss family business go international.