Kuehne + Nagel acquires Quick Logistics to gain foothold in high-margin specialized supply chain segment

Auto parts in a Kuehne + Nagel facility (Photo: Company)

Third-party logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel (OTCUS: KHNGF) said today it has acquired Quick International Courier, which specializes in time-critical shipping and logistics focusing on the aviation parts, life sciences and health care sectors, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition thrusts Swiss-based Kuehne into the fast-growing and demanding realm of global, time-definite transport and logistics for products with exacting processes and little margin for error. Founded in 1981 as a courier company, Jamaica, N.Y.-based Quick expanded through the years into logistics services supporting high-value goods with can’t-miss delivery deadlines.

Quick generates about US$200 million in annual net revenue, revenue after the cost of purchased transportation. Quick’s four units, Sterling Aviation, QuickSTAT, Quick Healthcare and Quick Logistics, will continue to operate as independent brands, Kuehne said.

The acquisition, which is subject to government antitrust approval, broadens Kuehne’s product portfolio and expands its presence in airfreight. Air, the fastest-growing component of Kuehne’s three modal operations, accounted for a bit less than 25 percent of its total revenue between January and September of this year, according to company data. Seafreight remains the company’s largest revenue-producer.

With about US$22 billion in revenue, Kuehne is the world’s second-largest 3PL behind the combination of DHL Supply Chain and DHL Global Forwarding, based on data from Armstrong & Associates, a consultancy. Kuehne operates in more than 100 countries.

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.