Thursday, November 5, 2015

Global Logistics Group Buys Perishables Freight Forwarding Company

Expansion of Services and Territory Prompts Acquisition
Shipping News Feature
SWITZERLAND – NETHERLANDS – KENYA – Global logistics group Panalpina is to acquire a majority stake in Airflo, a freight forwarding company based in Kenya and the Netherlands specialising in the export handling of flowers and vegetables. Financial details have not been revealed and the deal is subject to conditions. Airflo is part of Dutch Flower Group (DFG), the world’s largest flower and plant trader.

Airflo is Kenya’s second largest air freight forwarder, specialising in the world-wide export of fresh cut flowers, plant cuttings and vegetables, with a focus to the Netherlands and the UK. The company employs a total of 167 staff in Nairobi and Aalsmeer. It organizes up to 1,500 temperature-controlled shipments per week from Kenya, totalling more than 40,000 tonnes of fresh cut flowers, especially roses, each year.

Airflo is the only part of the DFG group which deals in perishable goods and services include working in a temperature-controlled environment, where the use of a vacuum cooler can cool fresh cut flowers down to 4 °C in a matter of minutes and Marco van Zijverden, CEO of DFG commented:

“Our core business is the global trade of fresh cut flowers and plants. We have therefore decided to divest a majority share in Airflo. However, managing the cool chain for fresh cut flowers is a crucial component of our success. By going together with a strong global player such as Panalpina, we can ensure that all customers, growers, importers and retailers, will continue to receive the quality service that they are used to. We will further strengthen the supply chain and benefit from Panalpina’s global expertise.”

As for Panalpina this new acquisition demonstrates the Swiss group’s increasing focus on perishable goods and its continued expansion in Africa. Panalpina set up its own operations in Kenya at the beginning of the year and the country one of the world’s key export markets for food and floral products. Fresh cut flowers accounted for more than 60% of Kenya’s total air freight exports in 2014.