CEVA Logistics widens stance in Africa

CEVA Logistics on Monday, June 15, announced that it has acquired a majority stake in African freight logistics specialist AMI Worldwide to significantly expand its footprint on the continent.

AMI, which also operates under the name Manica, has about 1,000 employees among a network of offices in 12 east and southern African countries. The employees and offices will become part of CEVA, starting July 1, with full integration expected to be completed by December.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the two companies.

CEVA said, with the addition of the AMI employees and offices, its presence in Africa will increase to 1,300 employees across 79 offices in 41 countries. The company will also have 19 warehouses with nearly 1.5 million square feet of storage capacity and a fleet of 1,500 trucks on the continent.

CEVA, which is owned by French container carrier CMA CGM, said three CMA CGM Inland Services facilities – located in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast – will come under the management of the new African logistics service. The carrier estimated that its inland and intermodal services in Africa handled about 70,000 TEUs in 2019.

The third-party logistics services provider has also established a presence in Mauritania and will expand in Ethiopia through a new joint venture with MACFAA once regulatory approvals are secured.

The World Bank recently warned that the African continent, especially the Sub-Saharan region, is heading toward an economic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

“Economic and social impacts are immense, costing the region between $37 and $79 billion in estimated output losses in 2020, reducing agricultural productivity, weakening supply chains, increasing trade tensions, limiting job prospects and exacerbating political and regulatory uncertainty,” the World Bank said in late April.

CEVA CEO Mathieu Freidberg, however, expressed optimism in the future of Africa’s freight logistics opportunities for his company and Africa’s international shippers.

“Businesses across the African continent enjoy significant growth prospects and logistics solutions are crucial to materializing these opportunities, by ensuring supply chains work well and trade flows smoothly,” he said in a statement. “With our strategic, continental expansion plan, CEVA will plan an integral part in supporting the continent’s socio-economic emergence.”