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Maersk Buying Pilot Freight Services for $1.68 Billion

A.P. Moller-Maersk said it was acquiring Pilot Freight Services, a U.S.-based first, middle and last mile, as well as border crossing, solutions provider specializing in the big and bulky freight segment in North America for B2C and B2B distribution models, from ATL Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation.

The transaction price is $1.68 billion, equivalent to an enterprise value of $1.8 billion, according to Maersk.

With the acquisition of Pilot, Maersk will extend its integrated logistics offering deeper into the supply chain of its customers and will complement previous acquisitions to provide integrated logistics solutions in North America, especially with Performance Team for B2B warehousing and distribution and Visible SCM in e-commerce warehousing and parcel distribution. Pilot will be adding specific services within the fast growing big and bulky e-commerce segment, increasing cross-selling opportunities.

“In Maersk, we continue our path to develop truly integrated logistics offering for our customers, offering them better visibility, more control and resilience in their supply chains,” Vincent Clerc, CEO of the Ocean & Logistics division of Maersk, said. “Adding the capabilities of Pilot is especially important because it will allow us to create more exciting solutions for our customers and support them through the acceleration of the migration toward e-commerce. Furthermore, it will open significant cost synergy opportunities by leveraging the capabilities we have already developed in the network.”

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Maersk noted that throughout the pandemic, macro trends in the supply chain such as the increased shift towards e-commerce, especially for big and bulky items, have accelerated. The company sees this shift continuing, necessitating the creation of new distribution networks and solutions to support companies adapting their supply chains to these new consumer demands. The transition goes for numerous B2C vertical segments, including retail, home furnishings and consumer electronics.

Pilot operates a North American facilities-based transportation network of 87 stations and hubs through which freight is transported and distributed to end customers. The company uses mainly third-party providers of trucking and has access to controlled capacity that facilitates a high quality first, middle and last mile service offering. The scope encompasses full truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) for B2C and B2B distribution, including heavy and bulky shipments with white glove service with a focus on expedited and time definite services.

The combined Pilot and Maersk scale will offer customers approximately 150 facilities in the U.S., including distribution centers, hubs and stations. This landside logistics network depth combined with Maersk’s international presence will create new, end-to-end supply chain performance capabilities. Pilot’s acquisition of American Linehaul Corporation in July was instrumental in creating this leading market expertise in middle mile, LTL expedited capabilities, Maersk said.

“By investing in first mile, middle mile and last middle and integrating them, we meet a clear customer demand,” Narin Phol, regional managing director at Maersk North America, said. “This acquisition will add even more expertise and supply chain capacity to customers facing capacity constraints and multiple handoffs with providers in the B2C and B2B space. After completion of this transaction, we will be able to help them install stronger, more integrated supply chains with better visibility and better outcomes for consumers.”

The acquisition is subject to regulatory review and approval, which is expected to be obtained by the second quarter. Both companies will operate as independent businesses and run their operations as usual until that time.

Headquartered in Glen Mills, Pa., Pilot also has offices in Spain and The Netherlands, with more than 2,600 full-time employees and a flexible pool of employees to support seasonal volume increases.