Maersk Acquires Leading American Customs Brokerage

File image courtesy Maersk

By The Maritime Executive 02-12-2019 01:11:33

As part of its new strategy to provide customers with end-to-end solutions, not just ocean freight, Maersk has acquired the well-regarded American customs brokerage firm Vandegrift. 

“Customers have been asking us to simplify the complexity of their global supply chains and reduce their risk, so we analyzed the North America market to see who had the best reputation in the brokerage/trade compliance industry," said Klaus Rud Sejling, head of global logistics and services at Maersk. 

New Jersey-based Vandegrift has a network of 12 offices and 170 employees around the nation. It specializes in trade compliance - ensuring that imports and exports meet all regulatory requirements - and has a team of former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials on staff, as well as experts with backgrounds in customs brokerage, retail and law. With the addition of this expertise, Maersk augments the capabiliities of its door-to-door services. 

“Transportation costs and trade compliance risk management are a strategic issue for our customers. We believe we have an opportunity to better design a more holistic customs brokerage and trade compliance plan and overarching strategy for customers," said Sejling. 

The move comes as Maersk competitor CMA CGM launches a $1 billion takeover bid for freight forwarder CEVA Logistics. CMA CGM has been moving towards an acquisition of CEVA for months as part of a strategy comparable to Maersk's: both lines seek to offer a full logistics solution with multiple value-added services, expanding their revenue streams beyond the volatile and highly commoditized business of ocean freight.