It has been a busy week over at Kuehne+Nagel, with its acquisition of freight forwarder Apex, its strategic partnership with Jointown, a Chinese pharma specialist, and the handling of the
first Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines shipment.
On 22FEB21, Kuehne+Nagel announced the acquisition of one of Asia’s largest logistics providers, Apex International Corporation – the largest procurement to date in the company’s history, given
that Apex has 1,600 employees, handled around 750,000 tons of air cargo and 190,000 TEU of sea freight last year, and has an annual turnover of more than CHF 2.1 billion (€1.09 bn). Established
in 2001 in China, Apex is now present all over Asia.
Asian logistics expertise strengthens Swiss company’s reach
Dr. Joerg Wolle, Chairman of the Board of Directors Kuehne+Nagel International AG, stated: “In the past years, Kuehne+Nagel strategically and with great efforts expanded and developed its
business in Asia Pacific. Today we are one of the leading players and are further accelerating our growth and impact in this region. Asia Pacific has consistently proven to be one of the most
important drivers of global trade. The acquisition of Apex is a further important cornerstone in our strategy and significant fulfilment of the Group’s Asia Pacific ambition.”
Though the merger clearance by the competent competition authorities is still pending, and the intended closing purchase price is undisclosed, it is clear that “the company will continue to
operate separately within the Kuehne+Nagel Group.”
Positive results on both sides
Commenting on the acquisition, Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said: “The combination of Apex and Kuehne+Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a
compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility. We are looking forward to welcoming the Apex colleagues to the
Kuehne+Nagel family.” Tony Song, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Apex, added: “With Kuehne+Nagel, we have found a strategic shareholder and logistics group with more than 130 years
of heritage. We are sure that with this transaction, we will be able to add value for our customers’ supply chains and expand our global logistics network. We will complement Kuehne+Nagel’s
existing global Air Logistics team while offering our management and key talents unique career opportunities.”
Strategic pharma partnership
Two days later, Kuehne+Nagel announced its strategic partnership with Chinese pharma specialist Jointown, adding to its existing pharma & healthcare portfolio. Gianfranco Sgro, Member of the
Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics, explained: “Pharma & Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors in Contract Logistics.
Kuehne+Nagel and Jointown share a common vision of service excellence for patients and customers in China and abroad.”
The leading Chinese non-state-owned pharmaceutical distribution company is fully GxP-compliant, and the partnership accords Kuehne + Nagel access to its in-country storage and distribution
network. “We are pleased to be partnering with Jointown. Our cooperation perfectly meets the demands of our global clientele by enabling seamless supply chain coverage connecting China. This will
enable us to accelerate our growth in the pharma and healthcare sector in China,” Siewloong Wong, President of Kuehne+Nagel Asia Pacific, declared.
Zhang Qingsong, General Manager of the logistics business unit of Jointown Pharmaceutical Group, added: “Partnering with Kuehne+Nagel will provide Jointown’s customers access to the international
market through their global GxP certified air, sea and overseas contract logistics operations. We will now be able to expand our business in overseas markets at a much faster pace and benefit
from the partnership in a sustainable way.”
All set to send Covid-19 vaccines
One intention behind the partnership is the collaboration in tackling the Covid-19 vaccine logistics challenge, both with regard to its safe and timely transportation, storage and distribution
across China and internationally.
On 23FEB21, Kuehne+Nagel handled its first Sinovac Biotech Ltd. Covid-19 vaccine export shipment consisting of 768,000 vials. It flew from Beijing, China to Santo Domingo in the Dominican
Republic. Kuehne+Nagel has worked with Sinovac in the past, already, having transported around 250,000 flu vaccines to Turkey, for example, or sending Hepatitis A vaccine to Guatemala in Latin
America, or nucleic acid detection kits to Indonesia. Kuehne+Nagel is well set-up to handle all kinds of pharma with its dense, global network of offices, manned by more than 3,000 pharma &
healthcare specialists, following 240 GxP-certified operations. With regard to the Covid-19 vaccine, Sinovac, as one of the lead producers, has orders from over 20 countries, including China,
Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Chile.
Words of praise for the Covid-19 transport
Helen Yang, General Manager of Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong) Limited said: “The Dominican Republic is 14,000 kilometers away from our factory in Beijing. During the ongoing pandemic, there are very
few carriers connecting to this remote destination. However, Kuehne+Nagel responded to us with a feasible solution in just a short span of twelve hours. Even during the Chinese New Year holidays,
the Kuehne+Nagel team was diligently preparing this shipment. We look forward to a collaborative partnership with Kuehne+Nagel.”
Siewloong Wong, President of Kuehne+Nagel Asia Pacific concluded: “We couldn’t be prouder to having started shipments of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. At Kuehne+Nagel, we leverage our global pharma
& healthcare network and expertise to bring the Sinovac vaccine to the market. We truly appreciate the trust that Sinovac has bestowed upon us.”
Things are moving forward in 2021.
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