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From horse and cart to an international forwarding company

In October 1894 Johann Strauß (aged 69) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his career. On this occasion festivities were held in his honor and he was showered with praise, inter alia at the Golden Hall of the Viennese Musikverein. While the king of waltz was not yet at the end of his career, but was certainly at its highpoint, young Zdenko Dworak was just starting his own career. At about that time he had come to Vienna from Marburg an der Drau (then belonging to Lower Styria, today Maribor in Slovenia) and founded - if not as the first one, but certainly as one of the pioneers – a moving business with two horses and one cart.

The conditions for this new trade were favorable as the multi-ethnic state of the Habsburg Monarchy (with eleven nationalities, among them Slovenia) turned into a common economic area over the second half of the 19th century. Customs barriers were abolished and the infrastructure, roads and railways in particular, extensively developed. The metropolis of Vienna was, of course, the monarchy`s center stage of political, economic and social activities. Therefore, the city attracted great numbers of people, which resulted in a high moving activity.

The company`s office and stables were first located on the outskirts of the city, on Gersthofer Straße in Währing, the 18th district of Vienna (incorporated in 1890). Zdenko Dworak`s business was developing slowly, but consistently. So-called patent furniture vehicles (see horse-drawn vehicle above) were acquired.

It was only natural that the First World War brought about a disruption of business. But after the war things were looking up again, which made it possible to open a new city office in the first district of Vienna on the Franz-Josefs-Kai, thus providing better accessibility to customers. The removal acitivities of this period were confined to the so-called “loco”, that is, to the local resp. domestic business. Nevertheless, since business was going well, Zdenko Dworak was able to invest in his first removal van - a Tatra. Despite this early motorisation, business could merely be resumed with horses and carts after the Second World War.

Whereas the ratio of local resp. domestic transports to international furniture transports had been 90 to 10 before the Second World War, these proportions were exactly inversed ever since. For instance, Zdenko Dworak`s removal vans already went to Moscow (Russia) in the early 1960s, which at that time was still a sensation – despite the fact that Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy had met in Vienna in June 1961 –, and attracted great interest with the media. Zdenko Dworak has also been active, as the Austrian agent for the North American Van Lines, one of the largest van lines in the USA, for more than 40 years now.

Today, the company can rely on an international network that acts on a global scale. This trend towards internationalisation also led to the foundation of the international movers organisation called FIDI (based in Brussels / Belgium), which was strongly promoted by the Austrians.

The Herbert Dworak family did not only take care of its own business, but also took great interest in the development and improvement of conditions for the benefit of the removal industry. The former managing director, Anton Molnar, was chairman of the Austrian movers association, founded in 1909, for many years and also presided the international association FIDI in 1965. The subsequent managing director, Ernst Hillebrand, also carried on this tradition by holding an honorary office in the association. He provided his expertise and knowledge to the Austrian movers association for 37 years on the whole, holding the presidency for 9 years (from 1996 till 2005). Zdenko Dworak`s current executive partner (since 2007) Peter Rozsenits was holding the vice-presidency of the Austrian movers association from 2008 to 2014. Hanspeter Rabel is Austrian FIDI-President since 2014 and represents FIDI Austria in Brussels.

This period was also marked by a quality initiative of the association, and Zdenko Dworak was one of the first movers in Austria who were certified according to ISO 9001 and EN 12522/1+2, the European norm for furniture removals for private individuals. Since then the private standard of the international organisation = FAIM (FIDI Accredited International Mover) was also added.

Today, Zdenko Dworak`s 16 staff members - seven commercial and nine industrial, who are specially trained in the branch of moving – organise and realise approximately 300 removals from abroad and to other countries. We deploy 6 state-of-the-art vans and trailers resp. 14 swap bodies. A warehouse with a storage space of 1,350 m2 resp. 150 storage containers completes our product range. Since 2016 we have our own customs warehouse and are AEO certified.

Zdenko Dworak - in the 21st century this name does not only represent an international forwarding company with more than 120 years of tradition, but also a company that has always kept up with the times, has even influenced them and is still influencing them. And the company`s first concern has always been and still is to offer customers top quality removals.

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