Panalpina snaps up Adelantex and AD Handling

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International freight forwarder Panalpina is to acquire market-leading Belgian specialist perishable companies Adelantex and AD Handling, subject to conditions. The companies operate at Brussels, Liège and Ostend.

With a presence in Brussels and Liège, Adelantex handles approximately 75,000 tonnes of air freight imports per year and manages ground handling at Brussels Airport, customs clearance and the onward distribution in Europe.

“This latest acquisition in the perishables arena is another example of how we are building our end-to-end capabilities on the destination side in Europe. Adelantex’ ground handling operations in Brussels are best in class and will serve as a blueprint for similar operations in other countries,” explains Stefan Karlen, CEO of Panalpina. “On top of that, Adelantex has a solid customer base and significant import volumes from important origin markets across the world. This will allow us to seize opportunities in those markets to further grow our perishables business.”

The 46 staff of Adelantex serve roughly 200 customers across Europe that import fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish and plants into the region. The majority of perishables are imported via Brussels Airport where Adelantex operates a warehouse directly on the tarmac with 1,600 sq m of cold storage. A quarter of the overall volumes are imported via Liège Airport and Ostend Airport.

“As the undisputed market leader in perishables air freight imports in Belgium, Adelantex will benefit from Panalpina’s global footprint and leading position in the perishables market to continue to grow and expand internationally,” says Jozef Mergan, CEO and majority shareholder of Adelantex and AD Handling.