FedEx looks to add specialty logistics expertise with deal for Manton Air-Sea

( Photo: Manton Air-Sea )

Deal for Australian freight forwarder and customs broker to increase exposure to growing regional economy.

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) is looking to bolster its commercial logistics offerings in the fast growing Asia-Pacific market with the acquisition of Australian freight forwarder and customs brokerage Manton Air-Sea Pty Ltd.

Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Manton will operate as a subsidiary of the FedEx Trade Networks operating company. The Memphis-based company says Manton has specific expertise in the healthcare and automotive markets, connecting those customers with air and ocean freight carriers.

“Adding Manton’s capabilities to FedEx Trade Networks and the broader FedEx portfolio will open up opportunities for us to continue to expand in Australia, a country with a strong GDP and a significant market in the Asia Pacific region,” said FedEx chief executive Richard Smith.

Thanks to high prices for raw materials such as iron ore and coal, Australia’s economy has been accelerating as it notched 3.4% annualized GDP growth in the second quarter, up from 2.8% annualized growth in the first quarter.

Australia’s year-to-date auto sales are running at 881,005, down about 1% from the year earlier period. But the country’s auto sales have hit new records in five of the last six years.

“We have long admired the FedEx Trade Networks team, recognizing their growth and expansion over the past several years,” said Michael Rolls, managing director, Manton.

FedEx Trade Networks was established this year to house the specialty logistics and e-commerce services of the company. The unit includes customs brokerage, global ocean and air freight forwarding, e-commerce transportation solutions, supply chain management, and cross border trade advisory.

FedEx Trade Networks has 19,000 of the 227,000 employees in total FedEx. The unit reported revenue of $861 million in fiscal 2018, up 15.8% from a year earlier.


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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.