OTS Logistics Group acquires U.K.-based Ocean Express
OTS Logistics Group has acquired U.K.-based non-vessel-operating common carrier Ocean Express Ltd., along with the company’s interests in overseas operations.
OTS Logistics Group said the acquisition will “substantially increase volumes” in the United Kingdom, Europe, and in the United States to Caribbean and Central and South America trades where Ocean Express is strongest. Ocean Express moves about 25,000 TEUs annually in those shipping lanes.
“Clearly we continue to deliver on our plans to rapidly expand our organization through both acquisition and organic growth,” said Owen Glenn, OTS Logistics Group founder and chairman, in a statement. “This is our third major U.K./Europe-based acquisition in as many years and should demonstrate our commitment to this market.”
Other significant NVO brands owned and operated by OTS Logistics Group in the U.K.-Europe market are Box Consolidators and Vanguard. OTS Logistics acquired Antwerp, Belgium-based Confreight in March 2007. Glenn said the acquisitions allow the group to “service different market segments with remarkably varied offerings.”
Ocean Express was started in 1987 by Roger Clarke and Steven Clayton. The company has about 150 employees.
In addition to containers, Ocean Express is active in breakbulk and liner agency work. Clarke said the company moves about 50,000 tons of breakbulk cargo a year.
Clarke, who will remain managing director of Ocean Express, said the timing was right for the acquisition of his company by OTS Logistics Group. “It’s part of a rationalization trend that will make the big players bigger,” he said.
Clarke added that Ocean Express looks forward to the operational benefits of connecting with OTS Logistics Group’s extensive information system.
“Ocean Express will continue to operate as an independent company for the foreseeable future,” said Hans Mikkelson, regional managing director for OTS Logistics Group. “Our primary focus is to make available to them some of the back office and IT synergies that they have identified and to let them continue doing what they have done so well in the past — service customers in a very focused market segment.”