K+N expands perishables network with US and Kenyan acquisitions

Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) has expanded its global perishables network with the acquisition of sector specialist forwarders Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI) in the US and Trillvane in Kenya.
Switzerland-based K+N said that the two acquisitions would add more than 150,000 tons of annual perishables traffic to its network and “further strengthens its position in providing end-to-end international and domestic fresh chain solutions”.
Yngve Ruud, a member of the of K+N International management board responsible for airfreight logistics, said: “At the same time, we improve our global and national positioning in airfreight. Together with CFI, K+N becomes the number two airfreight forwarder in the US and the acquisition of Trillvane confirms our leading position in Kenya.”
CFI — established in 1974 by Alfred Kuehlewind as one-man office in Los Angeles shipping strawberries to Europe — today operates 14 locations throughout the US, including Alaska and Hawaii, with more than 700 employees.
The company is specialised in airfreight export and import as well as the distribution of seafood, agricultural products, flowers and greens.
CFI chief executive Kuehlewind said: “We are looking forward to become part of the K+N Group. The planned transaction will offer us new growth perspectives and access to a global logistics network. Both companies’ customers will benefit from an extended service scope.”
K+N said that the acquisition of Trillvane will enable the logistics giant to “strengthen its position in perishables operations between Kenya and Europe, in particular to the UK”.
It continued: “With its 130 employees Trillvane is specialised in the export of flowers and vegetables. Its location at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi provides easy and quick access to all major airlines allowing for later cut-offs and shorter transit times leading to both cost savings and optimal handling of temperature sensitive goods.”
All parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Both transactions are subject to customary closing conditions and to clearance by the competent merger control authorities.
Ruud added: “The two acquisitions mark another important step in our global perishable logistics strategy. These two transactions further strengthen and expand our fresh chain network connecting key production countries to major consumer markets.
“The business potential in the steadily growing global perishable sector is huge. Based on our dedicated network – by now the largest in the logistics industry for perishables – and globally integrated IT systems we can scale business opportunities and accelerate our growth in this sector with end-to-end transparency.”
Another European mega-forwarder, Panalpina of Switzerland, in May this year bought family-owned Air Connection, a Kenya-based perishables specialist in the export of flowers and vegetables.
That deal came two years after Panalpina increased its presence in Kenyan flower logistics by acquiring perishables specialist Airflo, Kenya’s second largest airfreight forwarder, and only two weeks after Panalpina formally announced the launch of its global Perishables Network.
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