Hapag-Lloyd Targets West African Market with Acquisition

Hapag-Lloyd acquires African container company NileDutch in an effort to corner the market in West Africa, during a global shortage in containers.

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Hapag-Lloyd and NileDutch signed an agreement where the former will acquire all of the latter's shares. Hapag-Lloyd currently has a global fleet of 234 container ships, and adds NileDutch's inventory to its list in the hopes of cornering the African market. The acquisition news comes while the shipping industry deals with a shortage of new shipping containers, in another side effect from the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to Bloomberg, China is where the bulk of containers are made and last year the region saw an abrupt halt in orders in early 2020 but as the world started to open back up again, demand spiked too fast to keep up. This acquisition is one among a variety of new strategies throughout the shipping industry. 

Per Hapag-Lloyd:

  • Hapag-Lloyd and NileDutch have signed a sale and purchase agreement where Hapag-Lloyd acquires all shares of the Dutch container shipping company Nile Dutch Investments B.V. (NileDutch).
  • With over 40 years of expertise, NileDutch is one the leading providers of container services from and to West Africa. The company is present in 85 locations across the world and has 16 own offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Singapore, China, Angola, Congo and Cameroon. With 10 liner services, around 35,000 TEU of transport capacity and a container fleet of around 80,000 TEU, the company connects Europe, Asia and Latin America with West and South Africa. Headquartered in Rotterdam, NileDutch has some 350 employees worldwide with particular expertise in the African market.
  • The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the responsible antitrust authorities.

“Africa is an important strategic growth market for Hapag-Lloyd. The acquisition of NileDutch strengthens our position in West Africa and will be an excellent addition to our existing activities on the continent. Our combined customer base will benefit from a denser network from and to Africa as well as from a much higher frequency of sailings. We welcome the new colleagues from NileDutch and hope that together we can further develop our business in Africa in the years to come,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.