- A.P. Moller - Maersk acquired New Jersey-based customs broker Vandegrift for an undisclosed sum on Feb. 8, according to a release from the ocean carrier.
- The acquisition will roughly triple the staff, transactions and revenue of Maersk's existing brokerage business in North America, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The 68-year-old brokerage firm specializes in trade compliance and comes with a team of former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, and staff with backgrounds in customs brokerage, retail and law, Maersk said. The brokerage will now be called Vandegrift — a Maersk Company.
The Danish ocean carrier, along with several of its competitors, has been working in recent years to offer more inclusive supply chains services to bolster margins and brand loyalty.
In 2016, when CEO Søren Skou took the helm, he quickly set a course to dial down Maersk's reliance on the energy industry and build up its logistics services, which offer more consistent profits. The carrier merged Maersk Line with its logistics arm Damco last year, calling the move "the next step in the Maersk journey to become a global, integrated container transport and logistics company."
With this new acquisition, Maersk is betting shippers will respond to an even more streamlined supply chain offering, potentially with fewer touch points, better visibility and aligned interests among the players.
“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 and deliver immediate results to all vertical segments of our account base,” Klaus Rud Sejling, head of global logistics and services, said in a statement.
This move comes just as CMA CGM begins a takeover of Ceva Logistics, after acquiring 30% of the company in October.
Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated Maersk's country of origin.