A.P. Moller – Maersk to acquire Pilot Freight Services

Source: press release, 9 February 2022

Maersk strengthens its presence in the North American freight industry
Maersk strengthens its presence in the North American freight industry (illustration: A.P. Moller – Maersk)

A.P. Moller – Maersk has announced its intended acquisition of Pilot Freight Services, a US-based first, middle and last mile as well as border crossing solutions provider, specialising in the big and bulky freight segment in North America for B2C and B2B distribution models, from ATL Partners, a sector-focused Private Equity firm in New York and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), one of the largest institutional investors in Canada.

With the intended acquisition of Pilot, Maersk will extend its integrated logistics offering deeper into the supply chain of its customers. It will complement the earlier acquisitions already made to provide integrated logistics solutions in North America, especially with Performance Team (PT) (B2B warehousing and distribution) and Visible SCM (e-commerce warehousing and parcel distribution). Pilot will be adding specific new services within the fast growing big and bulky e-commerce segment, thus increasing cross-selling opportunities. It will also create significant cost synergies by leveraging capabilities across the different parts of service solutions.

“In Maersk we continue our path to develop truly integrated logistics offering for our customers, offering them better visibility, more control and resilience in their supply chains. Adding the capabilities of Pilot is especially important because it will allow us to create more exciting solutions for our customers and support them through the acceleration of the migration towards e-commerce. Furthermore, it will open significant cost synergy opportunities by leveraging the capabilities we have already developed in the network,” says Vincent Clerc, CEO of Ocean & Logistics, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Throughout the unfolding of the pandemic, macro trends in the supply chain have accelerated, such as the increased shift towards e-commerce, especially for big and bulky items. This important shift will continue and necessitate the creation of new distribution networks and solutions to support companies adapting their supply chains to these new consumer demands. The transition goes for numerous B2C vertical segments such as retail, home furnishings and consumer electronics as well as B2B segments such as aerospace, automotive and healthcare.

Pilot operates a North American facilities-based transportation network of 87 stations and hubs through which freight is transported and distributed to end customers. The company uses mainly 3rd party providers of trucking and has access to controlled capacity which facilitates a high quality first, middle and last mile service offering. The scope encompasses full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) for both B2C and B2B distribution including heavy and bulky shipments with white glove service with a focus on expedited and time definite services.

The combined Pilot and Maersk scale will offer customers approximately 150 facilities in the US, including distribution centres, hubs and stations. This landside logistics network depth combined with Maersk’s international presence will create tremendous new, end-to-end supply chain performance capabilities. Pilot’s acquisition of American Linehaul Corporation in July 2021 was instrumental in creating this leading market expertise in middle mile, LTL expedited capabilities.

“By investing in first mile, middle mile and last middle and integrating them we meet a clear customer demand. This acquisition will add even more expertise and supply chain capacity to customers facing capacity constraints and multiple handoffs with providers in the B2C and B2B space. After completion of this transaction, we will be able to help them install stronger, more integrated supply chains with better visibility and better outcomes for consumers. We look forward to welcoming the Pilot team aboard the A. P. Moller – Maersk family,” says Narin Phol, Regional Managing Director at Maersk North America.

Pilot Freight Services CEO, Zach Pollock, adds, “We are looking forward to joining Maersk. This is the ideal outcome for our customers, company and employees who will be able to tap into the ambitious transformation of simplifying and integrating global supply chains which will enable us to perform on a larger stage.”