Tuesday, September 11, 2012

3PL Groups Acquire European and US Freight Forwarding and Logistics Suppliers

Expansion by Way of other 'Asset Light' Companies
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – US – Logistics company C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., announced last week that it has agreed to acquire Warsaw based freight forwarding group Apreo Logistics SA. Founded in June of 2007, Apreo provides European truckload services including dry van and temperature controlled and liquid and dry bulk capabilities. To complement its road haulage offering, the company also offers additional warehouse, air and ocean services.

Apreo says it has shown significant growth over the past several years, with current gross revenues over $100 million while servicing more than 2,000 customers. The company has over 300 employees in 21 offices in Poland and one office in Germany. The decision to acquire Apreo is the latest in a series of moves for C.H. Robinson in Europe. Previously, the company opened an office in Rotterdam, Netherlands, which focuses on temperature controlled transportation.

At first sight this move appears to be a departure for Robinson which prides itself on being a 3PL but on closer investigation it appears that Apreo, despite its claims to have access to a 500 strong commercial vehicle fleet, is another logistics group which doesn’t own any of its own equipment. Bryan Foe, president of C.H. Robinson Europe, said:

“This acquisition expands C.H. Robinson's presence in Europe and supports our goals to strengthen our capabilities in our core business and further diversify our modal offering, both of which benefit our European and global customer base.”

The closing of the transaction is conditional on clearance from the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. John Wiehoff, CEO and chairman of C.H. Robinson said that the company are taking a long-term approach towards Europe and the company feel now is a good opportunity to increase its commitment to the region. The agreement to acquire Apreo supports C.H. Robinson’s strategy of making continued investments in the business within the continent.

The acquisition of Apreo adds to C.H. Robinson’s employee and management base in a key European market. Current CEO of Apreo, Arkadiusz Glinka, will continue in a similar role going forward. Glinka said:

“We are excited to be able to add our expertise, knowledge and services while becoming part of the talented C.H. Robinson team and their global network. Together, our customers and contract carriers will benefit from the additional opportunities this collaboration presents.”

In more acquisition news, R.R. Donnelley announced this week that it has expanded its logistics services offering with the acquisition of privately held company Express Postal Options International (XPO), which provides international outbound mailing services to various markets to more than 150 countries. The terms of this deal were not announced. Thomas J. Quinlan III, RR Donnelley's President and Chief Executive Officer said:

"Our logistics offering has been experiencing strong organic growth. The addition of XPO's respected capabilities continues to expand the range of capabilities that we can provide to our customers. Part of our offering focuses on third party logistics (3PL) so we are able to serve customers in a wide variety of industries. As a global company, we are very effective in meeting customers' international needs and this represents an important enhancement to our integrated offering."