DP World, the Dubai-based port operator, is stepping up its vertical integration in the supply chain, with the planned purchase of a 60% stake in South Korea’s Unico Logistics.
The transaction, subject to regulatory clearances, is expected to close in Q4 2020, and represents another strategic step in DP World's vision to build an integrated suite of service offerings in direct connection with beneficial cargo owners.
Established in 2002 by its president and CEO, Park Hyung-ju, Unico is one of the largest independent non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC)’s in South Korea.
The company is active in the fast-growing transcontinental rail freight market between East-Asia, Central-Asia and Russia, moving containers along the Trans-Siberian Railway and Trans China Railway, using its owned containers, said to number around 14,000TEU.
Since its establishment, Unico has built strong relationships with Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, opening offices in Moscow, St Petersburg, Vostochny and Kiev.
In 2007, Unico obtained an NVOCC licence from the South Korean Government and focused on offering door-to-door services for some of the country's largest companies. Unico experienced significant growth as demand increased, resulting in the creation of a shipping arm, Unico Shipping, in 2008.
In 2011, Unico merged with Transsea Line, another South Korean NVOCC offering liner services between South Korea and major northern and southern Chinese ports, as well as intermodal services between China and Russia/CIS.
Park said, "Being part of DP World will allow us to develop further from the Group's deep relationship with end-customers and wide global network."
DP World said that its investment in Unico will provide a platform to drive synergies between the two companies, particularly its expertise in automotive logistics which aligns with DP World's strategic focus.