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Forwarder network WCA has acquired a majority stake in rival EGLN, to “boost opportunities for both sets of members”.
EGLN, which formed in 2015 and has 332 members in 131 countries, will maintain its brand and independence.
“We don’t want to mess with it,” said WCA chief Dan March. “It has its own character, and its members are happy. We will just add back office support and a member-to-member payment system to help EGLN keep on growing.”
Roy Stapleton, founder of EGLN, will remain as president and continue to oversee day-to-day operations.
Mr March added that the acquisition would help both sets of members access more partners.
“For WCA it brings more potential partners, as EGLN doesn’t have coverage everywhere. EGLN members will also have limited cross-network protection.
“It allows everyone to get more work and agents to make more money.”
He said the networks were not directly competitive.
“EGLN’s members decided that network was a better fit. It also gives us a tool to help forwarders who wanted to join WCA, but can’t in some countries as we are full. “
While he would not be drawn on the cost of the acquisition, he said it was “a competitive price that includes a payment protection scheme”.
EGLN members were also welcome to join the WCA’s specialty networks, “especially e-commerce, which is a real focus for us at the moment”.
Mr Stapleton said: “This new agreement is unprecedented in the history of freight networks. EGLN is proud to become a part what we believe is a win-win solution for our members and the network.
“The suite of benefits evolved by WCA has allowed it to stand out as a networking leader, and EGLN members will benefit from the obvious synergies offered by this unique partnership.”
Mr March added: “With Roy’s strong standing in the industry, and as one of the pioneers, probably unique knowledge of independent freight forwarding networks, we will be able to grow and add services for our members.”
WCA, which has around 6,600 members, opened its ninth office, in Dubai, this month to cover the Middle East region. It is recruiting a regional manager and support staff.