German-headquartered forwarder Rhenus is expanding its presence in the Latin America (LATAM) market through acquisition of Colombia-based BLU Logistics and a taking 51%shareholding in Rotterdam-based LBH Group, including its six operations in the region.
BLU Logistics is present in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Headquartered in Bogotá, the company specializes in and air and sea cargo, warehousing, customs, and logistics services. It is the number one maritime transport company in Colombia with an import cargo volume of more than 180,000teu.
Founded in 1984 in Rotterdam, the LBH Group expanded its operations to include the transport of bulk commodities and opened branches in 24 countries as well as alliances in additional seven, with a strong focus on Australia and Africa.
The Rhenus Group itself already operations across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. It says that combining the BLU and LBH teams will increase its LATAM workforce by 2,200 employees.
Rhenus Group chief executive and chairman, Tobias Bartz, said: “Our strategic acquisitions allow us to further strengthen our global network and service portfolio in the LATAM region, where we see increasing demand for logistics services, especially for the e-commerce industry.
“In addition, the region’s proximity to the North American market fosters a robust environment for nearshoring, which aligns perfectly with our growth strategy. Together with BLU and LBH, we (will) create a unique position with the value of a family-business for our customers and people by offering a strong footprint in key markets to secure more robust supply chains globally.”
Rhenus added that the expansion would complement its position in the Asia-LATAM corridor, leveraging BLU’s robust trans-Pacific freight forwarding network while enabling BLU to extend its reach to European and Indian trade lanes. David Kassin, previously associated with BLU Logistics, will assume the role of chief executive for Rhenus Air & Ocean LATAM.
He said: “This is a win-win-win for BLU Logistics, Rhenus, and above all, our customers. The global Rhenus network gives us the possibility to further explore other regions and to expand our client base to new segments and geographies, especially to India and the Middle East, as well as Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.”