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Menzies acquisition secures foothold in Canadian air freight market

Vancouver-based GTO Global Logistics acquired by Air Menzies International, providing “an important advantage a major global trading route.”

Photo: Aleksander Markin/Flickr

Menzies Aviation acquired GTO Global Logistics, a Vancouver-based logistics provider and customs brokerage, establishing a presence in the Canadian air freight market. 

Scotland-based Menzies, which announced the acquisition on August 12, will integrate GTO into its cargo forwarding arm, Air Menzies International (AMI). 

“This acquisition represents our first steps into the Canadian market and secures an important advantage on a major global trading route,” John Menzies plc (LON: MNZS), Menzies Aviation’s parent company, wrote in its interim 2019 finacial results, released on August 13. 

GTO provides air, ocean and road freight and customs brokerage services. It also has a 10,000 square-foot warehouse.

The acquisition positions Menzies to take advantage of the fast-growing cargo volumes at  Vancouver International Airport, which have increased by nearly 50 percent since 2014, according to Statistics Canada. It handled just more than 321,000 metric tons of cargo in 2018, the second-highest volume among Canadian airports, after Toronto. 

Menzies did not disclose the price of the acquisition. But its financial results suggested that deal cost £1.9 million or less. (A British pound equals US$1.21.)

Menzies provides a variety of aviation services for Canadian airlines Air Canada and Sunwing.

GTO owner Darrell Keen will remain as the head of Air Menzies International’s Canadian operations. 

“They have been a partner of ours for several years and already have strong relationships with airlines and shipping lines, which will help grow the AMI business in Canada,” Air Menzies International CEO Jonathan Clark said in a statement.

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].