Freight forwarder DSV Panalpina has chartered a 1,800TEU vessel and containers for a single journey from Asia to Europe in an effort to help its customers beat the congestion bottlenecks on the trade.
Shortages of both capacity and equipment as a result of the ongoing pandemic and the fall out from the six-day blockage of the Suez Canal have seen rates on the trade rise sharply again after spiking earlier this year. The Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) stood at US$7,300/FEU on 12 April, by 6 May that had incresed to US$8,248/FEU.
"The global freight markets are under extraordinary pressure and have been for many months. At DSV, we do everything we can to secure our customers' supply chains, and in a challenged market like we have now, we do what we can to provide much needed capacity," DSV Panalpina's EVP, Investor Relations, Flemming Ole Nielsen, told Container News.
Nielsen added that DSV does not want to enter the vessel operating market and will remain a freight forwarder. Pointing to the "strong and long-standing" relationships the company has with its carrier partners, saying the main objective is to provide door-to-door services, and "Providing access to container capacity is of course a very important part of this. The single charter trip from China to Europe is a rare exception, and will only carry a very small part of our volume.”
Exact dates and port calls for the one-off service have yet to be decided, according to DSV.
Meanwhile, DSV Panalpina has completed the acquisition of South African-based courier service, Globeflight Worldwide Express, after the relevant competition authorities have approved the details in the agreement.
The acquisition, which was initially announced in December 2020, includes all Globeflight’s operations in South Africa and Swaziland and will immediately be able to fortify DSV Panalpina’s presence in the small express parcel courier sector.
The combined business will have approximately 4,000 employees serving approximately 12,000 customers across Southern Africa. After the acquisition, it is expected that more than 11 million courier shipments per year will be moved, which represent an increase of 30% in volumes for DSV Panalpina in South Africa.
This new acquisition comes after the announcement of another DSV Panalpina acquisition of Agility GIL on 27 April.
DSV Panalpina said that all these moves are consistent with its global strategy of growth through acquisitions while at the same time the latest acquisition will help the company to serve customers in the growing express and small parcel market in South Africa.
"The acquisition of Globeflight constitutes a great match for DSV in South Africa while at the same time tapping into our global M&A strategy," commented Keith Pienaar, DSV Africa CEO, and went on to say, "DSV Panalpina’s courier business typically centres on larger clients, while Globeflight’s strength is in the express and small parcel market with a particular emphasis in the critical B2B market."
The transaction reflects DSV Panalpina’s huge confidence in and commitment to South Africa, while it both coincides with the substantial investments in infrastructure and transport management systems which enable increases in productivity and efficiency and the investments the group is making in building large-scale logistics facilities in Gauteng and the Western Cape.
“We enable further growth for the combined entity while we continue to strengthen our services in and commitment to South Africa,” added Keith Pienaar.