Major logistics buy-out agreed as DFDS adds specialist loads business

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 14 Nov 2017

SHIPPING and logistics giant DFDS has acquired Dutch business Alphatrans.

The company, which has a large UK base off the A160 at South Killingholme, specialises in abnormal load transportation.

An undisclosed deal was signed with owner Martin Bos today, for DFDS to acquire all the shares in what is one of the largest flat-bed trailer operators in Europe.

As well as bringing a specialist service to the long-standing South Bank operator which runs its largest operations from Immingham, it also opens up new territories, with Alphatrans active in Hungary, Romania and Portugal, where DFDS is not represented.

Eddie Green, executive vice president and head of DFDS’ Logistics Division, said the deal was in line with the Danish giant's acquisitive growth strategy. 

“Alphatrans is a perfect match for DFDS,” he said. “It is a very well operated company with a good customer base and a strong and good reputation. It will reinforce our special transport business and enable us to offer our customers transport to and from new countries. 

“In addition to this, it will provide us with further exciting opportunities for growing our customer services and offering through market synergies in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. And with Alphatrans’ transport operations to and from the UK, we will be able to further develop our network in the UK-Continent trade to the benefit of our customers.”

He said Alphatrans will continue to operate from the prominent location on the recently redeveloped route from the A180 to Port of Immingham.

Mr Bos will continue to manage the business, which has 197 employees and a fleet of 720 trailers and 125 trucks. Launched in 1994 with "just a few trucks and flatbed trailers", like DFDS, as well as the UK, it also operates in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

Mr Green added: “I am very pleased that Martin Bos has agreed to continue managing the business and I am looking forward to getting to know and welcoming our many new colleagues to DFDS and to develop Alphatrans’ and DFDS’ offers and services into an even more customer-focused efficient network covering nearly all of Europe. I am confident that we will get the most out of the combined skills and experiences which the two companies can offer for the benefit of DFDS and our customers.”

The deal is subject to approval by competition authorities in Germany, and comes three years after DFDS acquired Grimsby seafood logistics specialist Quayside Distribution, further enhancing its presence in North East Lincolnshire, which has been a constant throughout its 151 years of trading. 

The group employs 7,000 people, turning over nearly £1.8 billion, and has recently invested in new generation vessels to serve North Sea routes.  

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