Goodman and Links new worldwide alliance

THE Australian property investor Goodman and Chinese forwarder LinkGlobal, have penned a new worldwide collaboration.

The idea behind the pact is to create a worksharing model, in which Zhengzhou-based agent LinkGlobal, provides air cargo traffic to selected airports, while Goodman develops the ground infrastructure there.

The airports that both enterprises intend to use for the alliance, are Parchim Airport in Germany, Nanjing, Zhengzhou and Yinchuan in China and Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria.

To begin the process, both partners inked a deal in Hamburg, Germany on 4 April that includes the transfer of 13 million Euros to the county of Parchim in northeast Germany.

It is the first instalment in a total purchase price of 30 million Euros that LinkGlobal negotiated to own Parchim Airport outright, plus the neighbouring industrial area of 850 hectares.

The difference of 17 million Euros has to be paid by 31 December, 2009.

LinkGlobal’s acquisition of Parchim, reported previously in Air Cargo News, had been concluded almost a year ago.

In the months after however, no cash had been transferred to Germany due to the freezing of the allocated funds by the Chinese government, as LinkGlobal chief executive officer Jonathan Pang explained. Therefore, the county was forced to extend the timeframe for payments twice.

What Pang would not reveal is whether the initial 13 million Euros payment comes from Goodman or LinkGlobal.

However, once the transaction is completed, the ownership of the entire airport, together with the adjoining real estate, will be shifted to LinkGlobal, making the agent the first Chinese forwarder to take over and run a European airport.

Goodman also announced its intention to invest close to 100 million Euros for building logistics facilities at the site, plus offices and a new terminal.

According to sources, the first tenants will be MK Airlines, Zhengzhou Airport Logistics and Swiss giant Panalpina.

The prospective warehouse for airfreight throughput will be operational within this year, said Werner Knan, Director of European logistics at Goodman.

Liaising with LinkGlobal could prove to be a wise strategic move by the investor, as the doors of the Chinese domestic logistics market could now swing wide open for the Australian group.

Pang, on the other hand, is confident that the pact will bring a two-fold success. He believes that bringing Parchim Airport under his full control, alongside a partner that is prepared to invest in other hot spots, will allow Global to develop its own air and ocean freight business.

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