AP Moller-Maersk is acquiring German forwarder Senator International as the shipping line boosts its air freight footprint on the back of record Q3 results.

Maersk is acquiring Senator in a transaction with an enterprise value of $644m, and at the same time announced it was buying two B777F freighters and leasing three B767-300 cargo planes.

The move is seen by Maersk as adding flexibility and agility to its operations at a time when the global supply chain is under unprecedented stress. Container shipping has been a winner financially, if not operationally, from the woes of the supply chain and Maersk also reported a record Q3 results with an EBIT up some five times at $5.9bn on the back of revenues $16.5bn for the third quarter.

“In the ongoing exceptional market situation, with high demand in the US and global disruptions to the supply chains, we continued to increase capacity and expand our offerings to keep cargo moving for our customers,” said Søren Skou, CEO of AP Moller – Maersk

Our integrator strategy is key to supporting our customers’ end-to-end logistics needs by designing a more stable Ocean business, strongly growing our logistics offering and relying on automated and efficient terminals.”

Looking to the Senator International acquisition Skou commented: “As a natural next step in expanding our multi-logistics offering, we today announce the acquisition of Senator International and the ordering of additional aircraft, building on our existing air freight capabilities and adding even more flexibility to our customers’ supply chains.”

Senator has its own air freight operation with own controlled capacity using nineteen weekly flights across its network.

“Founded by my father Uwe Kirschbaum in 1984, Senator has grown to a sizable global freight forwarder. Senator’s own controlled air product started in 2016 and has proven to be a success story,” said Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, CEO and shareholder at Senator.

“By joining Maersk, we strongly believe that we will be able to deliver an even broader portfolio with own controlled air capacity as well as also in other modes of transportation.”

The latest moves form part of a plan by Maersk to control one third of its annual air freight network through its own tonnage through a mix of ownership and leasing. The fleet is operated by inhouse aircraft operator Star Air.

Maersk is not alone in targeting air freight, and competitor line CMA CGM set up CMA CGM Air Cargo in February this year. CMA CGM Air Cargo has a fleet of four Airbus A330-200F freighter aircraft and has ordered two Boeing 777 freighters.

The Senator acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News