DP World readying up for 100% Imperial stake
Dubai, UAE-based, global port operator, DP World has made an offer to the equivalent of $890 million last week to acquire a 100% stake in Johannesburg, South Africa’s logistics company, Imperial Logistics, driving Imperial’s share price up 34% on the same day. Pending Imperial shareholder approval and the usual regulatory conditions and approvals, the transaction will see DP World expand its footprint both in Africa as well as in Europe. Imperial provides logistical services to the healthcare, consumer, automotive, chemicals, and industrial commodities sectors and has operations spread across 26 countries in Africa and Europe. It saw a turbulent 2020, and had initially announced in FEB21, that it would be exiting its European operations, shifting its focus solely on Africa, yet also forecasting double-digit growth for 2021, compared to 2020.
Mohammed Akoojee, Group CEO of Imperial, outlined: “This transaction will be value-enhancing for Imperial as our business will benefit from DP World's leading technology, global networks, and key trade-lane volumes, while enabling us to build on our 'Gateway to Africa' strategic and growth ambitions. Combining DP World's world-class infrastructure, specifically its investment and expertise in ports on the African and European continents, with Imperial's logistics and market access platforms, will enable us to offer integrated end-to-end solutions along key trade lanes into and out of Africa, and accelerate our position in Europe, driving greater supply chain efficiencies and ultimately enhancing value for all stakeholders.”
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, stated: “We are excited to announce the proposed acquisition of Imperial, which will add significant strategic value to DP World given its attractive footprint and strong logistics solutions capability. Imperial has a significant presence in Africa, a market where trade is expected to grow at more than 2x GDP driven by population growth, accelerated urbanization, and rising middle classes. Imperial's business strongly complements DP World's existing footprint in Africa and Europe, and will allow us to deliver a fully integrated end-to-end solution to cargo owners across a wider market.”
DP World is on an acquisition spree. Just a week prior to the Imperial announcement, it spent $1.2 billion on the U.S.-based logistics firm, Syncreon, adding yet another name to the list of acquisitions it has carried out over the past year. DP World generated $8.5 billion in revenues and $879 million in profit last year.
Gebrüder Weiss expands universal footprint to Mars… almost
While Gebrüder Weiss itself is not yet delivering to Mars, it is involved in the next best thing: delivering equipment for the Innsbruck-based Austrian Space Forum (OeWF). In collaboration with international research partners, the OeWF is preparing to carry out the 13th Mars Analog Mission in the Ramon Crater in Israel’s Negev Desert. Given the name “Amadee-20”, the simulated astronautical Mars mission originally planned to take place in 2020, but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now run from 04OCT21-31OCT21, and will be carried out by six specially trained OeWF analog astronauts. As the OeWF’s official logistics partner, Gebrüder Weiss is contracted to transport the unique mission equipment along with 16 international science experiments (from Austria, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA) to the Israeli test site. And given that the simulation concerns the future, Gebrüder Weiss has also come up with its own future simulation: it has tasked a team of four trainees to cover the entire project (under supervision) from all aspects of logistics planning, through to customs clearance and transport. The team will be reporting their once-in-a-lifetime experiences every Monday via social media, using #marsmonday as their hashtag.
In total, the equipment will fill two sea-freight containers, which will then make their way from Innsbruck, Austria to the mission site in Israel – chosen because its surface is very similar to that which the astronauts would encounter on Mars. The six OeWF analog astronauts will wear OeWF-developed “Aouda” space suit simulators (one of only five organizations in the world to develop such a complex suit), and will be aided by the Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, where several teams will be responsible for supporting the field crew with conducting scientific research, preparing the mission schedule, securing the collected data, and monitoring the health of the field crew.
SAL announces acting Chief Executive Officer
As Omar Hariri who held the post of Chief Executive Officer since JAN20, will be taking up a new CEO position at Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) on 01JUL21, Saudi Arabian Logistics (SAL) has announced that Hesham bin Abdulla Alhussayen will be taking his place, acting as CEO. He has been with SAL since OCT20, having joined as COO. His previous background is mainly in automotives. Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Fawaz, Chairman of SAL, declared: “Eng. Hesham Alhussayen has gained the trust of the Board throughout his time as SAL’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and has over 25 years of experience holding leadership positions at multiple prominent Saudi companies. We see huge possibilities to expand the business and deliver on our strategy. This transitional period SAL will not affect our operations at all and will serve as a new opportunity to enhance SAL’s logistics services at all of the Kingdom’s main airports. We are confident Eng. Hesham and his team will continue to deliver exceptional results and reach new milestones.” He went on to thank Hariri for his service: “I would also like to express our gratitude to Omar Hariri for his achievements during his tenure as CEO of SAL. Under his leadership, SAL became an independent joint stock cargo ground handling company carved out from Saudi Airlines Cargo Company which resulted in higher quality and more efficient services. Moreover, Omar led SAL through the major challenges that arose during the early stages of the pandemic by positioning SAL as the logistics services arm of the Kingdom.”
Omar Hariri, departing Chief Executive Officer of SAL, said: “It has been a privilege leading SAL and strengthening its position as a major player in the Kingdom’s air cargo handling sector. I leave the Company in a great place and in the capable hands of a truly high caliber management team that I had the pleasure of working closely with over the past two years. I am very pleased with our unprecedented financial and operational achievements and meeting the Board’s expectations. I am fully confident in the ability of Eng. Hesham and his team to deliver on the Company’s growth strategy and wish SAL all the best.”
Eng. Hesham bin Abdulla Alhussayen, acting Chief Executive Officer of SAL, stated: “I am grateful to the Board for entrusting me with this great leadership responsibility. SAL is moving ahead with our vision to be the logistics partner of choice in a dynamic and globally connected Saudi Arabia as per Vision 2030.”
The CCA launches a Technical Committee and 5 new members join
Founded in 2003, the Cool Chain Association (CCA) non-profit organization announced at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week that it has launched Technical Committee to support, analyze, study, and manage critical points affecting product quality along the cool chain. It is also tasked with developing standards and initiating projects. The Technical Committee will be made up of non-Board CCA members who have volunteered to become Project Coordinators. They assume responsibility for the facilitation of initiatives, and are tasked with proposing the final solutions to the Board. Nicola Caristo, Secretary General, CCA and Airline Partner Manager, SkyCell AG, explained: “The Committee itself is open only to CCA members, but we welcome any suggestions for projects that will progress the ambition of the Association to reduce waste and loss, and improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the cool supply chain.” He added “It will allow the CCA to concentrate its efforts and resources on specific topics and projects, whilst showcasing the benefits of joining the Association to cool chain companies through white papers and proof of concept.”
Five new CCA members were announced at the AGM. They are Qatar Cargo, 7P Solutions, FreshBizDev, SmartCAE, and AirCargo Consultancy Global. The occasion was also used to declare the former CCA Secretary General, Edwin Kalischnig, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Xtreme Technologies, an Honorary Board Member. The upcoming Cool Chain Association Perishables Conference 2021 in SEP21 will be a virtual event in collaboration with The Perishables Products Export Control Board (PPECB).
A trio of trucks in a single AN-124-100
Just a couple of weeks after it completed a mission to transport Black Hawk helicopters half-way around the world, Antonov Airlines was again contracted to carry unusual cargo. This time in the shape of three Rosenbauer Panther 6x6 fire trucks. Deploying just a single AN-124-100 for the project, Antonov Airlines flew from its home airport in Kyiv, Ukraine, to the Middle East. There, it loaded the three fire trucks, each weighing in at 21 tons and measuring 12 meters in length. The total cargo weight of 63 tons and 36 meters in length then took off from the Middle East, headed for Central Asia. The entire project was completed within a week of the request. Originally intended to travel via a different channel, a change in circumstances meant that Rosenbauer had to opt for air freight in order to keep to the deadline. “When Rosenbauer came back to us and described the developments that affected the movement of its fire trucks, Antonov Airlines was able to connect this cargo with flight schedules already operating in the region to provide a cost-effective and time-sensitive solution that met Rosenbauer's demands,” Ivan Bozhko, Commercial Executive at Antonov Airlines, explained. Philip Karl, Key Account Manager, Rosenbauer International AG, was delighted that the shipment arrived safely and in time: “Once again we had the pleasure of working hand in hand with Antonov Airlines to airlift our fire trucks to an otherwise difficult to reach final destination.”
Upon arrival in Central Asia, the fire trucks were unloaded. Other cargo, not connected with Rosenbauer was then loaded onto the AN-124-100, so that the aircraft was able to be put to good, efficient, and economic use on its return rather than flying back empty.
Qatar Airways Cargo is playing it cool
Almost simultaneously to joining the CCA, Qatar Airways Cargo also became a member of Pharma.Aero on 05JUL21. The two entities will benefit from each other’s expertise in pharma supply chain management. Qatar Airways Cargo, which received its pharma CEIV from IATA in DEC20, has invested considerably in quality handling, infrastructure, digitalization, facilities, training, and processes at each of its 85+ pharma stations, including its Doha hub, and maintains the highest operating standards when transporting temperature-controlled products.
Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways said: “Collaboration is vital to strengthen the pharma supply chain integrity. The full membership with Pharma.Aero will allow us to share and receive market knowledge and also collaborate with different air cargo stakeholders in the supply chain which will ultimately lead to continuous improvement of life science, medtech, and the pharma air cargo supply chain. We look forward to collaborating with Pharma.Aero members and excel in offering a reliable end-to-end air transport and seamless cool chain.”
Nathan De Valck, Chairman of Pharma.Aero, stated: “In the past months, though they were volatile for the entire industry, we expanded our global network and raised awareness of the need for global collaboration within the industry. The onboarding of Qatar Airways Cargo – one of the world's leading cargo carriers – underlines our worldwide impact as a neutral collaboration platform for the global air cargo industry and pharma and life science sector.”
“Both organizations share a common goal of achieving excellence in reliable end-to-end air transportation for pharma shippers. Through the membership, the airline will also participate in Pharma.Aero's board meetings and focus groups to contribute its expertise,” the press release reads.
Kuehne+Nagel reels in Norwegian Salmosped
Oslo-based, Salmosped AS, Norway’s leading perishables freight forwarder, focused – as its name suggests – on seafood, particularly on salmon, generated over USD 129 million last year, handling around 63,000 tons of produce. Norway, boasting a 21,000 km-long coastline, is one of the world’s largest fishery and aquaculture producers, and has seen continuous growth in its fish exports regardless of the difficulties brought on by the pandemic.
No surprise then, that Kuehne+Nagel is set to acquire 100% of the shares in Salmosped AS, pending the usual regulatory conditions and authorizations. With the addition of Salmosped, the company continues its strong focus on a quality-driven, global perishables logistics network encompassing over 70 stations worldwide. Its seafood logistics which are centered around Halifax and Vancouver in Canada, London in the UK, and Santiago de Chile, are now enhanced with the addition of the operation in Oslo, Norway.
Dennis Verkooy, Senior Vice President Global Perishables & Head of Carrier Management Air Logistics at Kuehne+Nagel Management AG, said: “Perishables logistics is a strong growth driver for Kuehne+Nagel. While we have been present in the seafood business in Norway for years, today’s acquisition strengthens our footprint in air freight exports from this important seafood producing country. We are looking forward to enlarging our Norwegian team with Salmosped’s specialists.”
GEODIS acquires Velocity Transport
On 30JUN21, GEODIS acquired the Plano, Texas, USA-based freight brokerage company, Velocity Transport. No details regarding the transaction between GEODIS and assets-holder Berkshire Hathaways subsidiary, McLane Company, Inc. were disclosed. The acquisition of Velocity Transport adds substantial North American clout to GEODIS’ Capacity Solutions offer in the region, as Velocity’s freight brokerage services include much sought-after refrigerated and temperature-controlled freight, flatbed, and less-than-load (LTL) trucking, along with intermodal, van, and specialty options. Mike Honious, President & CEO of GEODIS in Americas, operating out of Brentwood, Tennessee, explained: “With the acquisition of Velocity, we are welcoming an exceptionally talented team of freight brokerage experts who have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of today’s dynamic logistics and supply chain environment. For many reasons, they are an ideal fit for GEODIS. None greater than our common cultures—authentic, passionate teammates who are relentlessly dedicated to exceeding client expectations. This acquisition will expand our current freight brokerage capabilities and enable us to continue to aggressively grow our capacity solutions service for clients at a pivotal moment.” Those U.S. GEODIS capabilities extend to over 150 warehouse facilities totaling more than 14 million square meters of space, and counting over 15,000 staff.
Velocity’s team will continue to operate remain in Plano. Its Vice President, John Lower, had this to say about the acquisition: “Velocity began with the vision of becoming the first choice in freight brokerage with a reputation built on our principled approach and quality of service. This new chapter with GEODIS will allow us to build upon our success and enable further growth opportunities. By combining our resources with GEODIS’ truly expansive reach, we will ultimately be able to provide our clients a broader range of services across the Americas and globe.”
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