Oct 7, 2013

ECU Line acquires Econocaribe, beefs up presence in North American market

India's major logistics provider Allcargo Logistics announced on October 1 that it has acquired the U.S.-based marine consolidation firm Econocaribe Consolidators through its subsidiary ECU Line for about $50 million. Econocaribe has been the representative of ECU in the U.S. for a long period of time now. ECU already has a strong presence in the European and Asian markets, but by welcoming Econocaribe into its Group, it will foster closer partnership and reinforce its activities in the North American market.

Established in 1968, Econocaribe is headquartered in Miami, Florida and has nine offices in the U.S. and 22 container freight stations (CFS) in the U.S. and Canada. As an American non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), it ranks third in the world in terms of less container load (LCL) throughput. On top of LCL services that link the U.S. with Latin America/Caribbean, Europe/Mediterranean, Asia, Middle East and Africa, the company also handles full container load (FCL) cargoes in the U.S./Puerto Rico-bound import services.

Meanwhile, Allcargo is the largest NVOCC in India, investing in the Antwerp-headquartered ECU Line in 2005. The latter was transformed into a wholly owned subsidiary of Allcargo in mid-2006.

Occupying one pillar of the world's Top Three independent consolidators, ECU has thus far not owned its own base in the major market of the U.S. With the acquisition of Econocaribe by its parent company Allcargo, ECU will be able to further boost its standing in the global marine consolidation market.

Shashi Kiran Shetty, chairman of ECU's parent company Allcargo commented that, "Econocaribe has been our partner for many years and we have built an extremely close relationship with them. It has established its position as one of the leading NVOCCs in the world with its efficient and excellent management team, and with its addition into our Group, we will be able to build a truly multinational company."

ECU's Japanese subsidiary ECU Line Japan currently offers marine cargo consolidation services to the U.S. West Coast on a weekly basis, but it is also slated to kick off this month a consolidation service to the U.S. East Coast (New York). While the Japanese unit is one of the five top marine consolidators in the market for cargoes to/from Japan, majority of the shipments that it handles are hauled in the Europe-Asia and intra-Asia trade routes. Now with the acquisition of Econocaribe, it hopes to expand its handlings of North American cargoes, too.

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