Thursday, August 30, 2018

Two Major Freight Forwarding and ecommerce Logistics Providers Combine

Hermes Opts to Take Over Seko Offices on Home Territory
Shipping News Feature
GERMANY – In what represents a major shift in the parcel delivery and ecommerce market, Hamburg headquartered Hermes is to take over the offices of rival Seko Logistics in the country as from September 1. The deal has worldwide ramifications for the industry as the two will cooperate using the Seko global supply chain infrastructure which includes freight forwarding and IT solutions.

Seko, based in the US, has more than 120 branches in over 40 countries. Its network’s focus is on a spectrum of services including omni-channel logistics, white glove solutions, technology, international air and ocean freight, surface transport, combined transport, demand chain solutions, warehousing and logistics services. By 2020, the Hermes Group, which is a part of the Otto Group, plans to make investments to the tune of approximately €500 million across all business units.

Hermes trades mainly in the home delivery field and says in this financial year it is concentrating on internationalisation of the business, particularly the growth of the cross-border parcel service, which is to be promoted by business units such as Hermes International. With BorderGuru and Seko Omni Parcel, both companies will be bringing start-ups into the partnership that are specialised in cross-border e-commerce solutions.

Bosses of the two businesses are talking of this as a ‘partnership’ rather than a takeover and all employees of the two Seko offices in Germany, Bremen and Frankfurt, will be incorporated into the new structure as Hermes facilities. Stephan Schiller, Managing Director Hermes Europe, commented:

“We are delighted to have found in Seko Logistics an internationally well-established partner that offers an ideal enhancement of the service spectrum of Hermes. With this acquisition, we will not only create synergy for the entire Hermes Group, the existing customer bases of both companies will also profit from the changes brought about by a broader product portfolio, e.g. in terms of access to fulfilment solutions in the US, Asia and Europe.”

In Germany certainly it seems the Seko operation will simply be absorbed by Hermes but that may, or may not be the case in terms of any future worldwide cooperation. In 2017, the Hermes Group grew consolidated revenue to €3.13 billion and increased the number of employees to 15,300. In 2016 Seko reported annual sales of $527.5 million, a three-year growth rate of 60%.

Seko have this week appointed a new Chief Financial Officer, Matthew Brown, who will work out of the Chicago, Illinois headquarters reporting to President & CEO, James Gagne. Brown cut his teeth at Ernst & Young and will focus on acquisitions, partnerships and new services. Speaking of the new deal James Gagne said:

“We are extremely pleased to have gained a well-established partner in Hermes, one of the largest players on the European parcel and 2-man-handling market and a highly efficient provider of supply chain solutions. The partnership will blend together the heritage, experience and innovative services of two highly respected logistics companies whilst strengthening our respective global networks and local presence.”