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  December 5th, 2023 | Written by

AIT Worldwide Logistics Strengthens Global Presence with Mach II Shipping Ltd Acquisition

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AIT Worldwide Logistics Expands Global Reach with Acquisition of Mach II Shipping Ltd

In a strategic move to strengthen its position in the global supply chain solutions market, AIT Worldwide Logistics has successfully acquired Mach II Shipping Ltd, a prominent U.K.-based freight forwarder specializing in the worldwide distribution of pharmaceuticals and related products. The deal encompasses Mach II’s subsidiary in the Netherlands and includes access to a comprehensive global network of life sciences partners.

Renowned as Mach II  or Pharmafreight, the acquired company, under the leadership of Chris Amberg, Executive Vice President of Life Sciences at AIT, has built a stellar reputation for delivering high-quality shipping solutions in the demanding life sciences industry. This includes tailored transportation programs for critical components such as clinical trials, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), pharmaceutical machinery, and finished products.

Amberg highlighted Mach II’s expertise in temperature-controlled air freight and dedicated road services for high-value life sciences movements throughout Europe. The company operates a managed fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles, ensuring the integrity of pharmaceutical shipments. Additional services provided by Mach II include in-house customs clearance and a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled warehouse located in Ashford, Middlesex, near London Heathrow Airport.

The acquisition includes Mach II’s second office in the Netherlands, strategically opened in 2019 in response to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. This facility serves as a post-Brexit alternative for customers, offering the same high-quality services as the U.K. location, while avoiding Brexit-related customs or regulatory challenges. The Netherlands office features an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer farm, enabling the secure storage of oncology products at temperatures below -60°C.

Mach II’s global Pharmafreight partner network, formed in 2000 under the guidance of Commercial Director Andy Hughes, is a significant aspect of the acquisition. With carefully selected and audited independent freight forwarders operating under Good Distribution Practices in 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, Pharmafreight has become a first-rate collective. The network promotes best practices for total quality, ensures consistency through international partner training, including GDP training, and facilitates cooperation through a global sales call program.

Andy Hughes expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, emphasizing the opportunity it provides to enhance solutions for customers by tapping into AIT’s vast worldwide network. Keith Tholan, President, and Chief Operating Officer of AIT, welcomed Mach II and Pharmafreight teammates to the company, highlighting their well-established expertise as an instant asset to the Life Sciences Division.

In addition to being Authorized Economic Operator and Good Distribution Practices certified, Mach II’s U.K. office holds Wholesale Distribution Authorization (WDA) from the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a recognition shared by only 20 forwarders. The Netherlands location, one of 15 forwarders with API storage registration, also holds Japanese Foreign Manufacturer Accreditation. The facility is on track to secure Dutch WDA and Manufacturers Import Authorization (MIA) licenses.

The terms of AIT’s acquisition of Mach II Shipping Ltd have not been disclosed, marking a significant milestone for both companies as they prepare to integrate fully in 2024. The acquisition positions AIT Worldwide Logistics for an elevated cold chain service, particularly in Europe.