- Lineage Logistics strengthened its presence in Europe on Oct. 7 by completing the acquisition of a Netherlands-based cold storage company, Kloosterboer, according to a press release.
- The acquisition adds 6.4 million cubic meters of capacity and 790,000 pallet positions. Kloosterboer also provides freight forwarding, customs brokerage, container handling and intermodal transport, according to the announcement.
- The completion of Lineage Logistics' latest purchase adds to its portfolio of services and cold storage footprint. Lineage has been expanding through M&A, including a dozen transactions in Europe last year.
Demand for cold storage was heightened during the pandemic, whether it was for COVID-19 vaccines or fresh and frozen food. Lineage Logistics' latest acquision expands its services, adds geographical capacity and places the company in a position to provide more cold storage capacity for shippers at a time the industry is experiencing high demand.
With the acquisition of Kloosterboer, Lineage further expands its global presence, adding locations in France, Germany and South Africa. Lineage already has European operations headquartered in the Netherlands and a network that includes Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Spain and the U.K. It's the largest refrigerated logistics provider in North America.
Lineage has been on a months-long acquisition spree. Many of its acquisitions are heavily involved in cold storage, but the company has also acquired a freight forwarder, a food services distribution center and private fleet of refrigerated and insulated railcars.
It's one of many logistics companies expanding beyond its initial roots, as shippers demonstrate a desire to outsource services that aren't core to their business.
In September, Maersk announced it acquired Huub, a cloud-based logisitcs startup, which focuses on e-commerce. Zim announced Ship4wd, a digital freight forwarding platform, last week, growing its end-to-end shipping services. XPO Logistics gained business as e-commerce grew and demand for outsourcing increased, according to its Q2 earnings call.
In the announcement about Kloosterboer, Lineage emphasized a focus on automated warehouses. Extreme cold temperatues limit what can be automated due to moisture freezing. At the same time, automation can help workers be less exposed to the level of cold and allow for better working conditions.
Lineage's expansion also comes during a time of elevated demand for cold storage. As the pandemic motivated consumers to turn to online grocery, industry demand for refrigerated warehousing increased as well, according to JLL. The global food cold chain market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% from $206.8 billion in 2019 to $526 billion in 2027, according to the Food Cold Chain Market report from Emergen Research.
The advance in refrigerated storage and transport are contributing factors driving the market, says the report.
"It is estimated that Europe holds the largest share of the world economy in terms of volume. The demand for the food cold chain in particular is steadily growing as household consumption of high-quality perishable continues to rise," according to Emergen Research.