We are here for you

Our employees are competent advisers to assist you with your needs – in technical issues as well as all questions about our service offerings. Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you.

Verband der Güterwagenhalter in Deutschland e.V. (VPI) and VPI European Rail Service GmbH (VERS) are located near the warehouse district in the heart of Hamburg.



Malte Lawrenz

Chairperson of VPI

Having spent decades in the railway traffic and wagon industry, this native son of Hamburg is pleased to see the rail sector enjoying a moment of political support. The golf and tennis fan also keeps the ball moving at VPI – Malte has managed the association since 2012. While at home with individual sports, he is also a passionate networker and team player.

+49 40 2265921-0

General secretariat / general management


Heiko Radke

General secretary of VPI / commercial director of VERS

Amateur gourmet, finance expert, (former) competitive rower, world champion organiser – as a proven all-rounder and business administrator, Armin has managed the business office of the association and VERS since 2019. He brings a fresh outlook to the Mattentwiete and IT solutions to the organisation. Moreover, he supports the transportation revolution not only on the rails but also on the family cargo bike.

+49 40 2265921-21


Joachim Wirtgen

Technical managing director of VERS

This beekeeping enthusiast and tree breeder living in the Nordheide (North Heath) has established a healthy and growing beehive at VERS. After all, keeping everything in good order comes naturally to Joachim as a reservist lieutenant colonel and fan of traditional sports and martial arts.

+49 40 2265921-61


Karl-Heinz Fehr

VPI legal advisor / VERS proxy holder

Karl-Heinz has exerted a calming influence on the crew of VPI since he came on board in 2009, and his navigation skills aren’t limited to sailing – he handles all legal matters for the association, has for years trained the industry in GCU matters and keeps a steady hand on the wheel as proxy holder at VERS.

+49 40 2265921-31



Armin Perrey

VPI technical coordinator / director of the VPI-EMG and VERS training

When he isn’t heading to Nordkap on his motorcycle, the association and VERS profit from Armin’s in-depth experience with workshops and keepers, accumulated over many years. He keeps the technical side running smoothly and always has an open ear for interesting questions.

+49 40 2265921-41


Thomas Schulte-Zweckel

Head of assessment and certification at VERS / auditor of VERS

Our good-natured Westphalian employs his broad knowledge of workshops and auditing to manage the technical assessments department at VERS, and Thomas travels throughout Europe to personally carry out workshop audits. Plus, his organisational talents are an asset to the carnival organising committee.

+49 40 2265921-42


Murat Altuntas

Technical specialist at VERS

After completing his mechanical engineering degree, this native of Mölln embraced the rail industry and trained as a welding engineer and hazardous goods officer. Murat’s conscientiousness and quality focus are evident not only while fishing or helping his family with the hazelnut harvest in Turkey – they are also an asset to his work on the VPI-EMG.

+49 40 2265921-44


Thomas Barleben

Technical specialist/auditor of VERS

After 36 years, the industrial foreman and railway enthusiast switched lanes and joined VPI/VERS. As an experienced auditor with non-destructive testing (NDT) qualification and his vast knowledge of the industry, he supports our ‘Technical Assessment (FtB)’ team. The fishing enthusiast and country boy lives with his family and his own ‘small zoo’ in his home town of Eberswalde.

+49 151 61077456


Olaf Hingst

Technical specialist/auditor of VERS

Originally a workshop manager in the automotive sector, VERS is pleased to have won over this motorcyclist from Hamburg to work for the railway industry. With his many years of in-depth experience as a workshop manager and qualifications as a lead auditor and brake mechanic, which he acquired at VERS, Olaf is an outstanding addition to the technical assessments team.

+49 17 19948563

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Ji Jin

Technical specialist at VERS

Just as railway traffic doesn’t stop at the borders of Europe, neither does our team. After the well-rounded, music-loving, world-travelling railway engineer Ji Jin got his career started in China in the area of NDT, he was eventually drawn to Hamburg. As a highly motivated and qualified expert, he is a welcome addition to the VERS team.

+49 16 05 801353

Krause 031

Ben Krause

Technical specialist at VERS

This young engineer with exceptional IT skills hooked up to the VERS train in 2020. Initially as a working student, then for his bachelor’s thesis and now as a fixed member of the VERS team. Ben is an avid ski guide and music producer, but the mountain slopes must now learn to share him with the VERS tool, IT projects and railway technology.

+49 40 2265921-43

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Abdelali Wadeh

Technical specialist at VERS / auditor of VERS

After years in the aviation industry, this young engineer now applies his technical experience with aircraft to technical assessments for VERS. With French as a second native language, Abdelali is practically tailor-made for assignments throughout Western Europe. When the native Moroccan isn’t riding the VERS train, he enjoys sampling French cuisine during his travels.

+49 16 05 973102



Annika Becker

Office management / assessment and certification

Since 2009, this ray of sunshine on the admin team of VPI has been a diligent source of personal support. A conversation with Annika instantly improves anyone’s mood. She keeps our auditors well on track and ensures a smooth process for the technical assessments. The home station of this fan of wellness and health is located in the idyllic region of south Hamburg, right on the bank of the Elbe.

+49 40 2265921-12


Nicola Hilgeland

Office management / VPI European Maintenance Guide

This powerhouse of perseverance has made great contributions to the rail industry: For almost 30 years, Nicola has maintained a positive atmosphere at the office and been the driving force behind many processes. When she’s not running all around town, this versatile endurance athlete keeps up the pace at work as well – VERS, VPI-EMG and our website have all benefitted from her energy.

+49 40 2265921-13


Zorana Kujundzic

Office management

Since 2020, Zorana has been the first point of contact for our members. In matters large or small, this native Serbian will either find a solution or knows someone at VPI who can. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for her family and friends, a skill that her colleagues also benefit from.

+49 40 2265921-11

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Christin Wismar

Office management/training

The cheerful northern light from the Mecklenburg Lake District adds a lot of power and her distinct sense of structure to our admin team. She helps ensure that our VERS training courses and interim audits run smoothly. With a green thumb and passion for cooking and baking, she enjoys her free time with her daughter.

+49 40 2265921-14