Grindrod Intermodal and Ocean Africa Container Lines to merge with Maersk

15th November 2021 By: Donna Slater - Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

JSE-listed freight logistics group Grindrod has agreed to merge the South African container logistics businesses of Grindrod Intermodal (GIM) and Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL) with AP Moller Maersk’s (Maersk) inland container terminals.

Grindrod’s intermodal facilities are located nationally, providing the landside logistics to support the container feeder service operated by OACL, whose container vessels ship regional and domestic cargo for international carriers such as Maersk.

Maersk has been a Grindrod customer for many years and, over time, the GIM business has become an extension of Maersk’s service offering to its customers.

Going forward under the merger, new and existing customers of both companies will have access to a broader range of logistics and service offerings – from the point of origin to the final destination – incorporating transportation by road, rail or sea; and warehousing, container depots and traditional logistics.

The proposed joint venture (JV) will bring together operational expertise, skills and capabilities, as well as serve to increase the infrastructural capacity and geographical footprint.

Both companies anticipate investing in assets and infrastructure in the future, which will promote further development of the South African economy.

Maersk Southern Africa and islands area MD Jonathan Horn says the proposed JV will bring customers better value and “true end-to-end integrated logistics solutions in South Africa”.

“We will have a far greater ability to seamlessly integrate solutions between ocean and the landside while weaving into our organisation an increased capability and experience through colleagues from Grindrod, who has long held a strong reputation in the landside logistics space,” he adds.

Grindrod Freight Services CEO Xolani Mbambo says both organisations are passionate about understanding their customers’ requirements and then finding the most cost-effective and efficient routes to market. “Our combined service offering will provide further flexibility and will ultimately contribute to making a positive difference in South Africa’s trade with the world.”

The transaction is subject to obtaining regulatory approvals, including required competition law approvals.