Utoc servicing One Humber
 Utoc servicing the ship ONE Humber (credit Utoc Corp.)

Japan’s MOL is emulating other liner giants in bringing logistics companies under its umbrella, including domestic operator Utoc Corp.

MOL made an offer for Utoc, part of the Mitsui group, on 30 November and completed the acquisition yesterday.

The carrier said its acquisition could increase its revenue, especially as the unprecedented spike in container shipping demand has fuelled requirements for better logistics.

The purchase price was not disclosed ,but Utoc had a market capitalisation of ¥31.27bn ($270.28m) when trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed yesterday.

In 2018, MOL combined its container shipping operations with those of NYK and K Line to form ONE, and the acquisition continues the trend of major liner operators investing in 3PLs to enhance vertical integration.

In December, MSC, Maersk and CMA CGM, the world’s three largest liner operators, acquired Brazilian logistics company Log-in Logistica, Hong Kong-based LF Logistics and US-based Ingram Micro CLS, respectively.

MSC has also made a $6.4bn bid for Bolloré Logistics’ African ports division, reportedly tempted by its access to the continent’s logistics market and container terminal concessions at 16 box facilities, including at Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Togo.

Founded in 1890, Utoc is a provider of port services, warehousing, third-party logistics, plant servicing and cargo-handling for containerships, car carriers and ro-ro vessels in Tokyo and Yokohama ports and other locations. The company also helps shippers to book slots and facilitates import/export customs clearance to delivery to the designated location. Other services include longshoring heavy and long goods that cannot be transported in containers, such as trains and gas turbines.

Utoc also repairs, cleans and stores containers in its two van pools at Ohi and Honmoku terminals in Yokohama port.

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