Paris-headquartered ECS Group has widened its reach in Scandinavia and Finland by taking over local GSA Heavyweight Freight (HWF). It’s meanwhile the third acquisition by the French
service provider in the northern edge of Europe.
The Viking region seems to appeal greatly to the ECS Group. Six years back they purchased Swedish sales agent Universal GSA and Nordic GSA at the same time. As a consequence, ECS not only gained
access to all sub markets located between the North Cape and the German border but widened its portfolio of mandate airlines substantially.
Now, after having inked the takeover of HWF, Virgin Atlantic, Saudia Cargo, Eva Air, and Air Canada Cargo are added to ECS’s portfolio of mandate airlines, thus complementing the existing client list in Scandinavia and neighboring Finland.
Broad range of services
HWF which was established in 2006 provides their customers with an extensive array of services, among them the full range of administration work and claims, tracing and tracking of shipments, space allocation and load planning, ULD building, documentation, security controls, statistical analysis and reporting or post-flight information. The Stockholm-based GSA runs offices in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. Heavyweight’s founder and MD, Soeren Bjoerklund commented as follows on their joining forces with the ECS Group: “This is an exceptional opportunity for HWF Group and its staff to develop and benefit from ECS Group’s experience, capabilities, and networks all around the world, and we are all enthusiastic about joining the ECS Group family.”
Impressively managed company
Bertrand Schmoll, ECS Group Chairman and CEO comments: “HWF strengthens our presence in Europe and reinforces our leadership in Scandinavia.” The manager goes on to say: “Heavyweight Freight is an excellent GSSA, managed by experienced people who have come through some of the best ‘schools’ of freight and who know the market well.”
This statement is complemented by COO Adrien Thominet of ECS who admits that his company didn’t have any immediate interest in a takeover of HWF at the executive’s first informal meeting. But after a while “we were very much impressed by the quality of their management, the close relations to their customers and the airlines they are servicing.”
Speculative market share
Asked about the price ECS paid for its new group member Adrien says that HWF doesn’t wish to disclose any financial details, “which we have to respect.”
Speaking about the total market share in cargo his group accounts for in the Nordic countries after completing the latest acquisition he speaks of something between 20 and 25 percent. He adds that it is almost impossible to obtain objective data due to two main reasons: Most shipments air lifted on behalf of electronic giant Ericson can be attributed to charter traffic, thus statistically not monitored by CASS. The same goes for the masses of fresh fish flown out of Scandinavia mostly at Norwegian airports. “Due to the absence of accurate figures we only can assume our market share in the Nordic countries fluctuating between 20 and 25 percent,” Adrien guesses.