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Kuehne + Nagel has consolidated its Asia Pacific operations into one regional headquarters, in Singapore.
The Swiss forwarding giant said the restructuring would “accelerate” its growth across the region and allow it to “target an even stronger role in logistics all over Asia”.
It added: “With immediate effect, the new Asia Pacific region, with about 10,000 professionals, will be headquartered in Singapore. The two regional managers, Jens Drewes and Siew Loong Wong, will jointly lead the ambitious development.”
K+N chairman Joerg Wolle said: “We strongly believe that Asia Pacific will be the driver of the global economic development in the years to come.
“The joint leadership of the region by two proven executives will prepare the ground for a new dimension of organic and inorganic growth of our networks to even better serve our customers.”
K+N’s Asia operations were split into two separate business units in 2013: North Asia, based in Shanghai, which covered mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau; and South Asia, based in Singapore, covering South-east Asia, South Korea and Japan.
According to The Loadstar Premium, which first reported market rumours of K+N’s Asia restructuring in August, the 2013 split was intended to ensure South-east Asia “would also grow, and not just China”.
On Monday, K+N said: “Following the successful combination of the former three European regions [Europe, Middle East & Africa] into one and the significant growth and successful integration of three major acquisitions in the North America region, the focus for the years to come is on Asia Pacific.”
The move has been interpreted by some market sources as K+N looking for more operational efficiency amid difficult market conditions in China, partly due to the trade war with the US.
“K+N is cautious and needs to do what its main competitor, Denmark’s DSV, is doing – chasing inorganic growth thanks to the integration of Panalpina,” said Alessandro Pasetti, head of Premium.
He added: “The investors seemed unfazed, with the announcement fitting the narrative of a company that is in restructuring mode in places, looking for a more efficient allocation of capital within the group globally.”