Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Freight Forwarding and Logistics Group Buys Into Belgian Perishables Market

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SWITZERLAND – BELGIUM – Subject to approvals Swiss freight forwarding and logistics group Panalpina is to acquire two Belgian companies well versed in the specialised trade of perishables transport. Adelantex and AD Handling operate in the Brussels, Liège and Ostend handling imported produce. Terms were agreed this week but no financial details have been revealed.

Adelantex was founded in 1992, originally as a road haulage company, and today is fully-owned by the company’s four directors. The 46 staff of Adelantex serve roughly 200 customers across Europe that import fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish and plants into the region. The vast majority of perishables are imported via Brussels Airport where Adelantex’s sister company, AD Handling operates a warehouse directly on the tarmac with 1,600 m2 of cold storage. A quarter of the overall volumes are imported via Liège Airport and Ostend Airport and the company has a total throughput of around 75,000 tonnes of air freight imports per year.

This latest move by Panalpina follows similar acquisitions in Germany and the Netherlands earlier this year and, once the deal is closed, the Adelantex directors will transfer across. Kris Poels will join Panalpina as country head of Perishables in Belgium and Luxembourg. Jellen Bosmans and Igor Vandyck will also remain in the company with positions in finance and operations, respectively. Jozef Mergan, CEO and majority shareholder of Adelantex and AD Handling will support Panalpina in further developing its global perishables business. He commented:

“As the undisputed market leader in perishables air freight imports in Belgium, Adelantex will benefit from Panalpina’s global footprint and leading position in the perishables market to continue to grow and expand internationally.”

Both Bruno Jacques, Panalpina’s managing director for Belgium and Luxembourg and Stefan Karlen, the company’s CEO said they were pleased at the latest additions to the group, with the latter commenting:

“This latest acquisition in the perishables arena is another example of how we are building our end-to-end capabilities on the destination side in Europe. Adelantex’ ground handling operations in Brussels are best in class and will serve as a blueprint for similar operations in other countries. On top of that, Adelantex has a solid customer base and significant import volumes from important origin markets across the world. This will allow us to seize opportunities in those markets to further grow our perishables business.”