Ahlers acquires Antwerp Breakbulk – Adds More Lines and Destinations to Agency Portfolio
Ahlers Belgium has acquired Antwerp Breakbulk Agencies (ABA). ABA’s contracts with shipping and chartering lines are now fully operational through Ahlers.
The takeover extends Ahlers’ customer offering by adding more lines and destinations to Ahlers’ agency portfolio.
Hans van der Woude, former owner of ABA, has joined the Ahlers crew as business development manager. “Ahlers is a much bigger enterprise than ABA and I’m excited by the opportunities this offers for former ABA customers,” he said. “I have found an efficient, dedicated team that shares the values I nurtured at ABA for many years. I’m particularly impressed by the personal commitment of the staff to customer service.”
Ahlers has a track record of more than one-hundred years, but this recent acquisition demonstrates its focus on fulfilling meeting client demand. The company is also investing heavily in IT to speed up administration, help staff follow projects more closely and free up time to meet the demands of customers, shippers and shipping companies.
Former ABA customers will benefit from Ahlers’ experience, expertise and financial strength which allow them to handle large and complex projects. They will also benefit from the company’s high level agency activities that integrate seamlessly with other logistics services. Ahlers not only provides commercial agency services in multiple ports but also – if needed – transportation to and from ports, local port services, customs handling, warehousing and value-added logistics that support clients’ international supply chain operations.
Ahlers’ existing customers benefit from the significant expansion with a wider choice of lines, destinations and the specialist expertise available through the ABA contracts.
“In the competitive environment of shipping, we have processes that are fully transparent from A to Z,” said Roel Vanmaele, the company’s managing director for Europe. “If anything should occur that was not planned, we will inform clients, look for alternatives, and keep all communication lines open. With the acquisition of ABA we confirm our specific focus towards break-bulk shipping lines and operators”
Ahlers is a family controlled and managed international logistics and maritime service provider with headquarters in Antwerp. The company comprises four divisions: agencies (liner and port agent), forwarding (multimodal transport, specialization: project and break bulk cargo), logistics (warehousing), and maritime (crewing, ship management and training). Worldwide Ahlers employs 800 staff members in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the CIS and 300 seagoing crew members.