Maersk acquires European customs brokerage firm


Maersk has taken another step in its vertical integration of the container supply chain with the $279m acquisition of Swedish customs brokerage KGH Customs Services.

The world’s largest container line said the sale by Bridgepoint Capital Development would “significantly improve” its overall offer within customs services, and that KGH’s digital focus would complement its own efforts towards digitalisation.

“There are no end-to-end solutions without customs clearance,” said Maersk Ocean and Logistics chief executive Vincent Clerc.

“With KGH, we will not only be able to strengthen our capabilities within customs services and related consultancy, but also reach more of our customers in Europe through a larger geographical footprint and via digital solutions that will enhance our ability to meet our customers’ end-to-end supply chain needs. We will achieve all of this in one go instead of having to build our expertise through multiple acquisitions.”

Gothenburg-based KGH provides consulting and advice, most recently in the connection with Brexit, as advisors to various authorities in the European Union and the UK. Revenues in 2019 were $95.5m.

Maersk said the acquisition of KGH made it an attractive partner for its customers operating in individual countries, as well as for those looking to combine several geographies under one service provider.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to provide earnings synergies of around $5.4m-$8m a year.

Last year, Maersk acquired US-based customs brokerage Vandergrift, saying customs brokerage was a key component in its strategy to become an integrated container logistics company.

It also launched an online customs clearance management platform in seven European countries to help customers reduce the number of intermediaries required and cut paperwork.