Rhenus, a leading global logistics specialist, is further expanding its existing presence in the Latin America (LATAM) market through strategic initiatives designed to enhance its service portfolio and capitalize on the region’s growing potential for globally connected supply chains.
The company has announced its acquisition of Colombia-based BLU Logistics and a majority shareholding of LBH Group, bolstering its capabilities in the region and reinforcing its commitment to global supply chain connectivity.
The Rhenus Group is acquiring BLU Logistics, a leading LATAM freight forwarder present in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as in Mainland China and Hong Kong with more than 180,000 TEUs of ocean freight volume.
Additionally, Rhenus is securing a majority share of 51 percent in LBH Group, which operates in more than 30 countries worldwide, including six in the LATAM region, and has additional alliances in several Central American countries.
Combining the BLU and LBH teams will result in the Rhenus Group growing its LATAM workforce by 2,200 employees, reinforcing Rhenus dedication to the region by enhancing its local capabilities and contributing to its global expansion efforts.
These strategic actions aim to bolster Rhenus presence in LATAM to accelerate further growth in global trade and enhance its Asia-LATAM trade lane, nearshoring capabilities, and service options in light of the industry trend to diversify sourcing and supply chains.
“Our strategic acquisitions allow us to further strengthen our global network and service portfolio in the LATAM region, where we see increasing demand for logistics services, especially for the e-commerce industry. In addition, the region’s proximity to the North American market fosters a robust environment for nearshoring, which aligns perfectly with our growth strategy. Together with BLU and LBH, we create a unique position with the value of a family-business for our customers and people by offering a strong footprint in key markets to secure more robust supply chains globally,” says Tobias Bartz, CEO and Chairman of the Rhenus Group.
The Rhenus Group has a strong foundation in LATAM, with established operations across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Their recent acquisitions have paved the way for even broader geographical coverage including BLU Logistics’ additional presence in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Ecuador, as well as port agency services in Latin America, among others in Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Curacao and in several Central American countries from LBH. This expansion complements Rhenus leading position in the Asia-LATAM corridor, leveraging BLU’s robust trans-Pacific freight forwarding network. This strategic move not only allows Rhenus to expand its activities in the region seamlessly but enables BLU to extend its reach to European and Indian trade lanes, leading to significant growth in its existing customer offerings and cross-selling opportunities. David Kassin, previously associated with BLU Logistics, will assume the role of CEO for Rhenus Air & Ocean LATAM.
“This is a win-win-win for BLU Logistics, Rhenus, and above all, our customers. The global Rhenus network gives us the possibility to further explore other regions and to expand our client base to new segments and geographies, especially to India and the Middle East, as well as Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America,” says David Kassin, CEO of Rhenus Air & Ocean LATAM. “The synergy between BLU and Rhenus, driven by our shared commitment to customer-centricity, team cohesion, and entrepreneurial spirit, will propel us to even greater heights.”
The acquisition of a majority share in the LBH Group enables Rhenus to enter and cover the Latin American, Asian, Australian, and African markets as a globally oriented port agency with business sites in 24 countries worldwide as well as alliances in 7 additional countries. As part of the acquisition, the logistics specialist is taking over all the employees at the globally active maritime shipping agency, which includes processing incoming and outgoing vessels – regardless of whether they carry bulk goods, liquid cargo, containers, or general cargo. Rhenus is aiming to extend the takeover to include 100 percent of the shares during the next few years. Both parties have been cooperating in a relationship of trust for many years. “We’re looking forward to successfully pressing ahead to grow our business together, with our trusted partner Rhenus becoming a permanent feature in our future orientation,” says Bert Lagendijk, Managing Partner of the LBH Group. Together with his brother Jan Lagendijk, both co-founders of LBH will initially remain active on board to tap into future growth opportunities.
The transaction with BLU Logistics is subject to approval of the Colombian antitrust authorities.