Rhenus targets nearshoring with LATAM investments
06 / 09 / 2023
Freight forwarder Rhenus Group has expanded its presence in Latin America with the purchase of BLU Logistics and the acquisition of a majority stake in LBH Group.
The German firm said that the acquisition of Colombia-based BLU would expand its presence in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, shipping agent LBH, which Rhenus has bought a 51% stake in, operates in more than 30 countries worldwide, including six in the Latam region, and has additional alliances in several Central American countries.
Rhenus said that the investments would bolster its presence in the Latam region and enhance its Asia-Latam business, nearshoring capabilities, and service options “in light of the industry trend to diversify sourcing and supply chains”.
Rhenus Group chairman and chief executive 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 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.”
Prior to the two deals, Rhenus had a presence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.
Rhenus said that it would also benefit from BLU’s strong forwarding presence on the transpacific trade lane. In turn, BLU would benefit from Rhenus’ access to European and Indian trade lanes.
David Kassin, who previously worked with BLU Logistics, will assume the role of chief executive for Rhenus Air & Ocean LATAM.
“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,” Kassin said.
As part of the investment in LBH Group, Rhenus will enter the global port agency business.
The transaction with BLU Logistics is subject to the approval of the Colombian antitrust authorities.