Kuehne+Nagel makes another perishables acquisition

Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) has completed the acquisition of the perishables business of Panatlantic Logistics, Ecuador.

K+N said the acquisition will enable it to strengthen its position in the export market to the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Yngve Ruud, member of the Managing Board of K+N International, responsible for airfreight, said: “Perishables Logistics is a strong growth driver for K+N. After the integration of two market leaders in 2017 the acquisition of the perishables business of Panatlantic Logistics S.A. marks another important step in our global strategy.

“Our KN FreshChain offers scalable solutions and highest standards for transportation of temperature sensitive perishable products.

“With Panatlantics Logistics on board we further strengthen and expand our fresh chain network – the largest in the logistics industry for perishables – connecting key production countries to major markets.”

Panatlantic Logistics S.A. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Ecuador’s capital city, Quito.

Operations are carried out in a temperature controlled warehouse at Quito airport. The combined volume of K+N’s current business portfolio and Panatlantic’s will account for 32,000 tons air export perishables per annum out of Ecuador.

Together with the perishables business managed in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Chile, K+N controls over 120,000 tons per annum of air export perishables in the South and Central America region.

“We are very proud to become part of the K+N Group. By joining forces we will co-create an enormous potential of opportunities for our customers. Our strong and reliable market position in Ecuador will add and generate new and multiple chances for growing perspectives and services,” said Raúl Aragundi, chief executive and shareholder of Panatlantic Logistics.

Ingo Goldhammer, K+N, president South and Central American region, added: “By acquiring this specialised player, K+N consolidates its leading position in one of South America’s key perishables export markets, and, at the same time, considerably strengthens its position in the regional airfreight markets.

“Beyond combined volumes and generation of synergies with our existing operations, we will enhance the service and value add offering to our customers, using the experience of both companies.”

K+N and rival Panalpina have embarked on a perishables buying spree over the last few years. The sector is considered low margin but offers a regular flow of traffic, often on backhaul trades.

In September last year, the company received approval for its takeover of Kenya-based perishables specialist Trillvane.

Meanwhile, in July, the company announced the purchase of Commodity Forwarders Inc in the US. At the time, K+N said that the two acquisitions would add more than 150,000 tons of annual perishables traffic to its network, although it did not specify how much of this would be airfreight.

Meanwhile, Panalpina moved on South African firm Skyservices in July.