SEKO Logistics buys Chicago-based forwarder GoodShip International

posted on 4th January 2019 by Justin Burns

SEKO Logistics is starting a ‘transformative year’ for its global supply chain solutions business in 2019 by making the first full acquisition of another independent freight forwarding specialist in its 42-year history with the purchase of GoodShip International – the Chicago-headquartered customs brokerage and compliance consultancy.

The investment represents the latest phase of SEKO’s program to accelerate its strategic vision by expanding its global footprint, establishing more strategic partnerships, and making strategic acquisitions in the forwarding and technology sectors.

In less than 12 months, this drive has already seen SEKO’s watershed expansion into Mexico and the initial opening of locations in Laredo/Nuevo Laredo, McAllen/Reynosa, Mexico City, Monterrey, Toluca and Queretaro.

Last August, SEKO also announced a new strategic partnership with Hermes Germany, one of the largest players on the European parcel and 2-man-handling market and a highly efficient provider of supply chain solutions.

This was followed in September by the acquisition of a majority shareholding in SEKO’s longstanding strategic partner Omni-Channel Logistics to grow its eCommerce and technology solutions for retailers, pure-play etailers, marketplaces and platforms.

Founded 24 years ago, GoodShip International provides customs brokerage, compliance, air and ocean freight solutions to a broad diversity of clients with emphasis on the Trans-Pacific Eastbound cargo movements – from some of the world’s most recognizable brands to technologically-savvy start-ups spanning industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, FMCG, Healthcare Products, Pharma and Retail.

“GoodShip is a perfect example of the type of company we had in mind when we announced our expansion strategy earlier this year,” said SEKO’s president and CEO James T. Gagne. “2018 has been another strong year for SEKO but after 42 years of organic growth, it is time to enhance our strategy to step up to the next level by working with the right types of strategic partners and undertaking acquisitions to enhance our technology, network and capabilities.

“GoodShip’s customs brokerage and compliance expertise has earned the respect and trust of the company’s customers in Chicago and the Midwest and this will add more depth to what we offer today.”

The addition of GoodShip International will also build the capabilities of SEKO’s Chicago Gateway, which offers support to international shippers, by adding a new level of customs brokerage and compliance services. Further expansion of SEKO’s Midwest operations will be announced in Q2 2019.

GoodShip president, Ryan Villiard said: “We are genuinely excited by SEKO’s ambition and the pace with which it intends to grow. We can clearly see how we fit into SEKO’s business to support its growing portfolio of value-added forwarding solutions.

Most significantly, GoodShip’s clients will now have access to the resources and expertise of a single logistics company that possesses a worldwide footprint, key technology differentiators, and award-winning forwarding, omni-channel, cross-border eCommerce, and White Glove services. This is a great move for our company, our employees and customers.”

In 2018, independent polls of 17,500 international logistics and supply chain decision-makers reinforced SEKO’s value-added forwarding credentials with awards for its technology, omni-channel logistics, White Glove, 3PL and value-added warehousing solutions. James T. Gagne believes SEKO’s software and services are a compelling combination that will attract more new partners.

He added: “The best ways we can add value for our customers will be through service, technology and compliance. We are confident in our business model and know we offer demand chain solutions that give our customers international growth opportunities and managed business efficiencies.

“That’s why we’re ready to talk to potential strategic partners or companies seeking investment or acquisition who believe they can accelerate our growth trajectory.”

The transaction was initiated by Republic Partners, who also served as advisor to SEKO on the transaction.