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Maersk Acquires Fashion Logistics Startup

A.P. Moller-Maersk has acquired HUUB, a Portuguese cloud-based logistics startup, specialized in technology solutions for B2C warehousing for the fashion industry.

This is Maersk’s third acquisition this year within e-commerce logistics and it comes through its venture capital arm Maersk Growth. The company said the acquisition of HUUB strengthens its technology capabilities.

“HUUB is a great fit for Maersk, a curious team with inspiring founders,” Vincent Clerc, executive vice president of Maersk and CEO of Ocean & Logistics. “With HUUB we are acquiring world class capabilities and talent that will allow us to greatly accelerate the development of our omnichannel offering. This will make it much easier for our customers to focus on their core business of producing and selling goods and swiftly bringing them to the end-consumers.”

The HUUB platform manages all fundamentals of a logistics operation, such as inventory, fulfillment and delivery. At the same time, it connects with the other business parties like warehouses, carriers, online stores, and ERP systems in a plug & play solution.

Once HUUB’s technology is embedded into Maersk’s existing solutions, customers will get fully integrated Maersk E-commerce Logistics products with modern highly user-friendly customer and partner interfaces, the company noted. Maersk customers will also have a single source of truth for stock visibility.

“Since day one, HUUB has had two main purposes–disruption and scale,” HUUB CEO Tiago Paiva said. “Disruption to have the capacity and courage to say that a multibillion-dollar industry needs a digital revolution and to envision and create a revolutionary supply chain platform and ecosystem. In addition, there is the scale that allows disruption to occur, feeding it with the volumes that can make a difference. For HUUB, this joint path that now starts with Maersk represents both. Firstly, the validation of our disruptive vision and product, and secondly, Maersk is the scale enabler that will allow our platform to serve amazing customers and lead the e-commerce logistics market.

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Maersk Growth first engaged with HUUB in May 2019 as it believes collaboration with startups is an important lever for innovation. With this acquisition by Maersk, Maersk Growth, as well as the rest of the investors, are exiting the company.

To strengthen its integrated logistics offering, Maersk set out two-and-a-half years ago on a mergers and acquisitions journey, first acquiring Vandegrift, a custom broker, acquiring Performance Team, a warehousing and distribution specialist and, KGH a customs services firm. Last month, Maersk expanded its e-commerce footprint by announcing the acquisition of Visible SCM and its intention to acquire Europe B2C.

Also this week, Maersk updated its third quarter performance and fiscal year guidance.

The company said for the first two months the third quarter, its financial was performance “significantly ahead of our previous expectations” and now expects for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the period to be $7 billion.

“The strong result is driven by the continuation of the exceptional market situation within Ocean, which has led to further increases in both long- and short-term container freight rates,” Maersk said.

Given the persistent congestions and bottlenecks in the supply chains, the major ocean carrier now expects the second half year 2021 to be stronger than previously anticipated. Consequently, the full year guidance for 2021 has been revised upwards with EBITDA now expected in the range of $22 billion to $23 billion compared to $18 billion to $19.5 billion previously forecast. The company is scheduled to publish its third quarter results on Nov. 2.