GeodisWilson_bottomOne of Europe’s largest supply chain operators, Geodis, has entered into an agreement to acquire US third party logistics (3PL) firm Ozburn-Hessey Logistics (OHL) for an undisclosed figure.

Geodis, which is owned by SNCF Logistics and has a $10.6 billion annual turnover, hopes that the deal will enhance its freight forwarding and contract logistics offering in the US, including in the automotive sector, which OHL provides services for, notably for GM.

According to John Manners-Bell, chief executive of Transport Intelligence, Geodis plans for expansion in the US are part of an ambitious global development plan. “Although the US dollar has been strong, which has made any potential acquisitions more expensive for European companies, Geodis’ management has obviously taken a long term strategic view of the acquisition and the importance of the US market.”

The acquisition will indeed give Geodis a large presence in the US. OHL is currently a top ten customs broker there, and a top five air freight broker, so as well as helping Geodis to expand on land and warehousing, it will also help to expand their air freight business.

Moreover, the US company is one of the leading 3PLs, with an annual turnover of more than $1.9 billion and 120 distribution centres across North America, covering 3.3m sq.m of flexible warehouse space. It offers integrated global supply chain management solutions including transport, warehousing, customs brokerage, freight forwarding, and import and export consulting services.

Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO of Geodis said, “We are proud to welcome the customers and employees of OHL to Geodis and to provide our global customers with OHL’s expertise and presence in the North American market. Likewise, Geodis offers a second-to-none global footprint for North American corporations and the clients of OHL seeking to grow internationally.  

Randy Curran, CEO of OHL said, “We are excited to join forces with Geodis and look forward to the extended reach of a worldwide group. Both organisations have a long tradition of finding world class supply chain solutions for customers in pursuit of the superior customer experience.”

OHL will be rebranded as Geodis once the deal is complete.