DHL Acquires Polar Transportes

Through this transaction, DHL bolsters its service offering for the Life Science and Healthcare sector in Latin America. This includes temperature-controlled warehousing, clinical trials logistics and a variety of value-added services as well as consultation on regulatory and quality assurance issues.

 Brazilian Polar Transportes operates a fleet of 300 trucks, most of them equipped with cooling systems  -  company courtesy
Brazilian Polar Transportes operates a fleet of 300 trucks, most of them equipped with cooling systems - company courtesy

DHL Supply Chain announced last Monday that it has purchased a controlling stake in Campinas, Brazil-based Polar Transportes Rodoviários Ltda. The company specializes in road transport of temperature critical goods. It operates a fleet of 300 trucks, covering a vast network all across Brazil. Financial details of the deal, which is still subject to approval by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), have not been disclosed.

Brazil’s healthcare sector expands despite contracting economy
Polar Transportes, founded in 1996 and located just a stone’s throw away from Viracopos Airport, has been working as a service provider for DHL for over 15 years. In a statement, DHL said the acquisition will support the company's growth ambitions in the country. "Acquiring control of our long-time Polar Transportation service provider is a great opportunity for us to offer an integrated end-to-end solution for the health industry in Brazil,” stated Javier Bilbao, CEO of DHL Supply Chain for Latin America.
Brazil is the largest national economy in Latin America and despite the overall economic decline in recent times its healthcare sector grew substantially in 2016, achieving a 5.1 percent growth in volume and 13.2 percent growth in sales. Increased purchasing power through a larger middle class, the demographic development and expanding investments in healthcare infrastructure have been and are expected to remain the main drivers for this development.

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Double digit growth expected
According to DHL Supply Chain, a survey of its customers showed that temperature controlled shipping has been the industry's top priority for three consecutive years. In addition, the company estimates that the cold chain segment is expected to grow in double digits, as new product launches in the industry, such as biological medicines and vaccines, have temperature control requirements.
“Becoming part of our longtime partner DHL Supply Chain is opening up new frontiers for growth and we are looking forward to merge our expertise in cold chain regulations with the resources and competencies of a global player,” exclaimed CEO Agnaldo Santos of Polar Transportes whilst inking the deal. 

Itatiaia, Brazil produced Jaguar Land Rover standing on top of Rio de Janeiro hill for promotional purposes  -  picture: JLR
Itatiaia, Brazil produced Jaguar Land Rover standing on top of Rio de Janeiro hill for promotional purposes - picture: JLR

DHL wins JLR contract in Brazil
In a similar development, DHL Supply Chain has won a tender to manage the in-house logistics for Jaguar Land Rover’s new manufacturing plant in Itatiaia, an emerging auto hub on the interstate connecting Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Under the new contract DHL is responsible for all aspects of the supply chain, from warehousing through to sequenced track-side delivery. The scope of work also includes the delivery of sub-assembled kits to the production line, streamlining the manufacturing. Goods arriving at the warehouse will be stored in 8,500 pallet locations where DHL will sort, move and sequence parts, as well as sub-assemble kits of up to 25 components, before shipping in sequences to the assembly line.
JLR launched the new Brazilian plant in June of 2016, offering an initial capacity of 12,000 units per year, expandable up to 24,000. Itatiaia manufactured JLR cars will contain about 40 percent locally produced parts, enabling the British automobile maker to qualify for exemptions from some of Brazil’s high taxes on imported cars.

Heiner Siegmund

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