Maersk CEO focuses on improving African infrastructure
The CEO of Maersk Group has completed a tour of Nigeria, Angola and Ghana last week, in a bid to focus on African infrastructure improvements.
As African economies boom, infrastructure improvements become more important to turning the growth into sustainable development and Maersk is planning to take a role in this transition.
Group CEO Nils S. Andersen set a range of talking points as he met with political leaders, customers and Maersk business heads in the three countries, focusing on specific issues such as the looming overcapacity of the Port of Tema, a critical artery for trade in Ghana, which will reach structural overcapacity in the next two years.
Ghana, Nigeria and Angola are rich with natural resources, yet are looking to build up other vital sectors of their economies like agriculture and manufacturing.
"Maersk has a long history and growing presence across shipping and energy on the African continent and certainly in all three of these countries," says Andersen.
"The Group has a tremendous opportunity to prove that our values, expertise and breadth of services make us an ideal partner for achieving the sustainable growth these countries are pursuing."
Investing for the long-term
In Nigeria, Andersen met with President Goodluck Jonathan and his most senior ministers in addition to presiding over the official groundbreaking for the expansion of Apapa terminal in Lagos, West Africa's largest container terminal. The expansion will ensure sufficient capacity for the port until 2017.
"We are aggressively expanding other sectors of the economy, to reduce dependence on oil and increase exports," President Jonathan said at the meeting, adding that he hopes the expansion of the terminal will help the port improve its efficiency and enable it to clear all goods from the port within 48 hours of arrival, compared to today's seven day average.
Andersen met with Vice President Manuel Vicente in Angola, where Maersk currently have eight active business units, including the four largest (Line, Terminals, Oil and Drilling). Angola is an important country for Maersk, with growth planned for the APM Terminals and for Maersk Oil, which is heading for first production in the Chissonga oil field before the end of 2018.
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.