Panalpina grows its perishables network with South Africa’s Skyservices acquisition
July 17, 2018: Freight forwarding and logistics services provider is to acquire a majority stake in perishables specialist Skyservices, a South African company specialised in air freight perishables exports. Skyservices is headquartered at Johannesburg airport and has a strong presence at Cape Town airport.
The deal signed on July 16 is subject to conditions.
With the latest acquisition, Panalpina sets foot in a strategic market with its own presence in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The move will enable end-to-end solutions for perishables from South Africa to Europe, the Middle East, Far East and the USA.
Skyservices started operations in May 2000 and is fully owned by Bernd Julicher, Frik van Rooyen and Jaco van Zijverden. Julicher will continue to lead the company’s 52 employees in Johannesburg and Cape Town as managing director. Skyservices runs a 2,000 m2 warehouse inside OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, and a purpose-built, new 1,700 m2 warehouse just outside Cape Town International Airport.
“The acquisition of Skyservices allows us to rapidly become a major player in South Africa’s perishables market. The majority of the company’s export volumes go to London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, where we have a strong perishables expertise and can therefore offer end-to-end solutions to customers,” says Stefan Karlen, CEO of Panalpina. “Given the strategic role that South Africa plays for the global trade of perishables today and tomorrow, it is only logical that we establish our own presence there and further strengthen the ever-growing Panalpina Perishables Network. Our non-perishables cargo into South Africa will continue to be handled by our agent Bidvest Panalpina.”
Perishables make up 40 percent of South Africa’s air freight exports. Top commodities are fresh cut flowers, subtropical and deciduous fruit, various specialist vegetables, berries, meat and fish. The most important destination countries served by Skyservices are the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, the UAE and USA.
“Today is a day of celebration, and the beginning of an exciting journey. South Africa is a land of opportunity and we see a significant growth potential for perishables in this country, including in ocean freight,” comments Rafic Mecattaf, Panalpina’s regional CEO for the Middle East, Africa and the CIS.
The companies have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal.
Last month, Panalpina acquired Argentina based perishables specialist.