Klaus Hellmann was born in Osnabruck, Germany, Germany. Carl Heinrich Hellmann founded the predecessor to Hellmann Worldwide Logistics in 1871 as a one-man business delivering goods by horse-drawn cart, in and around the town of Osnabrueck in northern Germany. Four generations later, it's the world's 16th-largest logistics company, providing air, ocean and road freight via an extensive network spanning 157 countries. With the annual revenue of around $3.2 billion, the company employs more than 12,500 people and maintains 244 offices in 56 countries. In 1968, the company's shares were transferred to Carl's great-grandsons, Klaus and Jost, who are cousins; each owns 50% of the company. In 2016, Klaus stepped down from executive board, joining the supervisory board. According to media reports Klaus and Jost Hellmann have fallen out against the background of a high debt burden the company is facing. Klaus received the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony in 2005 for his longtime commitment towards helping disadvantaged children and young people.