Second perishables acquisition for Panalpina in 24 hours


Panalpina has made another acquisition in the shape of German perishables firm Cool Chain  Group (CCG) – only 24 hours after it announced it was taking over Dutch perishables handler Interfresh Airfreight Handling.

The move is part of the freight forwarder’s strategy to strengthen its Perishables Network as it puts a focus on the vertical after completing a deal for Kenyan forwarder of fruit and vegetables Air Connection earlier this year, while it acquired Kenyan perishables forwarder Airflo in 2016.

Panalpina has entered into an agreement with CCG, whose parent company is Rungs Express, which will see it taking over the business and a team specialising in international airfreight and the import of perishables. The companies have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal.

CCG has a flourishing perishables business stemming from well over 100 customers and representing around 14,000 tonnes of airfreight per year.

Panalpina has set it sights on becoming the perishables market leader through its Panalpina Perishables Network. The company’s perishables activities originated in Latin America and were then extended to Europe and Africa. The network will span 15 key countries at first, with a clear plan to double the network to cover all regions.

Panalpina chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen says: “Our recent acquisitions in the perishables market have concentrated on the export side, but we also want to increase our footprint in key import markets and build our end-to-end perishables capabilities at major gateways such as Frankfurt and, as demonstrated yesterday, Amsterdam.

“These latest developments are further important steps towards offering complete end-to-end solutions on a global scale as we continue to expand our Perishables Network,”

Rungis Express says it was a strategic move to focus on their core business of overland distribution and the wholesale of gourmet products, and has decided to shift away from international freight forwarding activities.

Managing director, Kai Schneider says: “Over the years, we have built a very knowledgeable team that specializes in international air freight and the import of perishables such as fresh cut flowers, beans, fish, frozen sea food and mangoes, mostly from Africa and Latin America.

“However, we want to refocus on our key capabilities and are convinced that these specialists and the customers they serve will be in better hands with Panalpina,”

The former managing director of CCG, Markus Kampa, will lead the entire team and further develop the business as Panalpina’s new country head of Perishables Germany.

Panalpina will additionally have access to cold storage space within CCG’s temperature-controlled transit warehouse in Kelsterbach, close to Frankfurt Airport and one of Europe’s most important import hubs for perishables.

Panalpina will continue to benefit from CCG’s well-established overland distribution network and cool chain capabilities in Germany and many neighboring countries.

Panalpina’s managing director for Germany, Dominik Wiesler says: “We are very happy to welcome the new perishables experts in Germany. We are bringing an experienced team on board that will greatly help to develop perishables end-to-end services for Germany and the neighboring countries of Switzerland, Austria, Poland and Czechia.”