Geodis’ US expansion was expected for some time

French logistics firm Geodis’ acquisition of US-based third party logistics operator Ozburn-Hessey Logistics (OHL) for an undisclosed amount had been “on the agenda for some time”, according to one industry analyst.
Transport Intelligence said that a Geodis acquisition in the US had been expected and earlier in the year the company received a boost of capital from its parent company which would allow it to expand into additional markets.
Transport Intelligence chief executive John Manners-Bell said: “We have known for some time that Geodis wanted to expand in the US as part of an ambitious global development plan.
“Although the US dollar has been strong which has made any potential acquisitions more expensive for European companies, Geodis’ management has obviously taken a long term strategic view of the acquisition and the importance of the US market.”
It also pointed out that the move follows on from Kuehne+Nagel’s recent expansion in North America as it purchased freight broker ReTrans for $500m in June.
“The strength of the US economy is proving highly attractive to European-based, global logistics providers,” the analyst added.
Geodis, 100% owned by French railways subsidiary SNCF Logistics, has revenues of €6.8bn which are generated through its supply chain, freight forwarding, contract logistics, distribution & express and road transport arms.
Founded in 1951, OHL operates more than 120 value-added distribution centres in North America with over 3.3m sq m of flexible warehouse space.
It provides integrated global supply chain management solutions including transportation, warehousing, customs brokerage, freight forwarding, and import and export consulting services.
The number four European supply chain operator said that OHL will be rebranded “in time” under the Geodis banner.

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