May 17, 2020

Japanese Kintetsu Express to buy Singaporean APL Logistics

Asian logistics
Admin
2 min
Initial reports suggest the figure will be higher than previously forecast
Japanese freight carrier Kintetsu World Express has announced it is in the final stages of talks to buy Singapore's APL Logistics, becoming the late...

Japanese freight carrier Kintetsu World Express has announced it is in the final stages of talks to buy Singapore's APL Logistics, becoming the latest firm in Japan to pursue ambitious billion-dollar deals overseas amid slow domestic growth.

Tokyo-headquartered Kintetsu Express is set to pay around 140 billion yen ($1.2 billion) in the deal according to sources, confirming a figure reported earlier by the Nikkei financial daily. At the close of Tokyo trading, Kintetsu Express was worth $1.5 billion by market value.

Kintetsu Express joins Japanese companies ranging from beverage maker Suntory Holdings to telecom firm SoftBank Corp in announcing major deals around the world since the start of 2014 to counteract sluggish trading in Japan, often paying hefty premiums.

In the latest high-profile example, camera and office equipment maker Canon made an offer last week worth $2.83 billion for Swedish network video surveillance firm Axis AB, proposing to pay a premium of nearly 50 percent to Axis's previous closing share price.

The expected APL Logistics deal value is far higher than the $750 million to $900 million range that sources said APL's parent, Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), had been looking for. Such a range would have valued the unit at 10 and 12 times its earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortisation for 2013.

The price tag may confound sceptics who had suggested offers for APL Logistics could be closer to $600 million, due to weak global freight rates.

It was not immediately clear whether there was competitive bidding. CJ Korea Express, South Korea's largest logistics firm, had also been interested in a deal according to a regulatory filing in October.

Kintetsu Express said it was attracted by APL Logistics' international reach, and expertise in offering logistics services for the automobile and retail industries.

"By welcoming APL Logistics to our group, we expect to bolster our international air freight services in terms of both geography and products that we handle," it said in a statement.

Trading in NOL shares was suspended, while Kintetsu Express shares closed 4.6 percent lower after the Nikkei report on the deal.

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

DHL
Supplychain
COVID19
Logistics
3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.

 

This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


 

Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 

 

Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 

 

In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.

 

“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


 

How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 

 

Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 


Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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