India's shippers feel frozen out as perishable exports are hit by freight tax
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Germany’s Rhenus Logistics is targeting more acquisitions to expand its global warehousing and freight forwarding operations.
“Plans include opening warehouses across India and in Durban in 2020, and we are considering Dubai as a potential market too,” a spokesperson for Rhenus Asia Pacific told The Loadstar.
“We are also actively looking at he opportunities in the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.”
Recent acquisitions have aided expansion across Asia Pacific, particularly in warehousing services, the spokesperson explained.
“So the M&A efforts effectively drive our APAC expansion too. Recently, we acquired Freight Logistics in the US, WNL in South Africa, and Rodair in Canada.”
Not all the acquisitions have been global, however. In May, Rhenus acquired Singapore’s Triways Logistics and its 10,000sq metre warehouse.
As a result, Rhenus said, it could now offer end-to-end logistics solutions across Asia Pacific, including in mainland China, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, with plans to add a new warehouse on average every three months.
For example, in June, Rhenus Thailand opened the Bangna-Trad KM.19 warehouse near Bangkok, a 10,000sq metre multi-user facility with 11,000 pallet positions, expanding its food cold storage facilities to include alcohol and halal food grade products.
In the Philippines, Rhenus has added four warehouses this year, bringing the countrywide total to 13, while Rhenus Indonesia is finalising plans to start offering warehousing services.
The spokesperson said the region’s warehousing growth was driven by the consumer lifestyle goods, electronics, automotive and e-commerce sectors.
In Thailand, Rhenus focuses on the chemical storage, industrial and hi-tech sectors and in the Philippines, key areas are chemicals, electronics, food and agriculture, construction materials, semi-conductors, textiles and aircraft spare parts.
“In Greater China and India, the focus is on industrial and machinery,” the spokesperson added.
In India, where Rhenus operates 30 warehouses with a combined footprint of 155,000sq metres, the spokesperson said there had been accelerated growth in the manufacturing sector, particularly in textiles, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, automobiles and food and beverages.
Meanwhile, the US-China trade war continues to impact the region’s warehousing market, according to Rhenus.
“We see a trend of businesses shifting, for example in manufacturing, from Greater China to South-east Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia,” the spokesperson said. “There is a drop in demand in sectors such as hi-tech and automotive, but we are seeing signs of US and Chinese companies looking towards South-east Asia to sell and produce their products.
“In Greater China and Asia Pacific in general, we are seeing a greater emphasis on localisation, as companies focus efforts to grow their businesses within their own countries. This results in growth within China’s domestic market, as well as for intra-Asia trade in the near future.”
Rhenus has an annual group turnover of €5.1bn (US$5.6bn) and employs 31,000 people.