News - WCL

Market insight: Kuehne + DHL + Schenker: call it a Super-NVOCC triumvirate

Thanks to the courtesy of Loadstar, WCL has been authorized to publish
the full article even though it is paid content.


Take three chief executives who know each other well, all carrying the old-school Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) badge thanks to over 40 years of combined experience at the world ocean freight leader out of Switzerland. Detlef Trefzger, seven years at K+N, after 14 at DB Schenker; Tim Scharwath, with his stunning 24 years at K+N, now at DHL Global Forwarding for over three years; and Jochen Thewes with over 12 years at K+N, now at DB Schenker for five.

Anything can happen when three gorillas in freight forwarding meet up. Even more so if the gathering were ever masterminded by the king of the forest.


Their ocean volumes sagging, and freight rate hikes forced upon them by the carriers – which have eventually learnt how to control capacity and make money – and then the companies they lead, unable to pass on the price increases straightaway to the shippers, with whom they hold the relationship.

Obviously constrained on the air freight front as belly capacity has never been tighter, these forwarders are under perennial scrutiny given the very nature of their businesses, but also they are the smartest bunch in the supply chain, albeit by self proclamation.

Wary of anti-trust risk here, setting the scene for (vertical consolidation) murder may be easier on paper than in reality, but we went for it with a bit of extra help for what is in essence a thought-provoking exercise, substantiated by valuable external feedback. […]

The earn-out agreement in M&A deals

The earn-out agreement in M&A deals

Is it a curse or a blessing – and for whom?

The earn-out is increasingly used aspart of the closing deal in M&A transactions in the logistics industry – a blessing for sellers? After all, they retain an option right to future success factors. But is an earn-out really the better alternative to classic one-off sales of companies? What risks and problems arise from the obvious advantages – and how can they be successfully avoided? […]

The Local Hero Forwarder – a dying species?

The Local Hero Forwarder – a dying species?

Regional know-how and individual service as survival strategies
What benefits local freight forwarders need to take advantage of – and how they can survive.

The logistics market is increasingly determined by global logistics service providers, and the German industry giants have long since become international network forwarders as a result of acquisitions. Their service can be assembled easily through automation and standardization, is transparent, comprehensible and attractively priced for global customers. Can the local freight forwarder survive this development – and continue to counter it with genuine added customer value in the future? Absolutely. […]

Analysis: WCL’s Hans Willam on gender gaps, entrepreneurs and opportunities

By Alessandro Pasetti

Ahead of second-quarter results for all the major 3PLs – the earnings season opens next week with Panalpina (18 July) – I have spent a bit of time talking on the record to market veterans who have lived and breathed logistics since they were born, professionally speaking.

So, we’ll soon get to the numbers side of the logistics story, but here is the outlook and soft skills requirements and M&A considerations, through the words of a true market veteran, Hans Willam, chairman of WCL Worldwide Consultants in Logistics, who understands the changing mechanics that characterise our fast-evolving industry landscape.

Mr Willam – whom I first interviewed before the M&A news boom in January – discussed with me some key topics, most of which were also previously nailed down by another senior logistics expert, who received lots of traction in the marketplace via our last week’s article, Time to return to good ‘old-fashioned loyalty’ in logistics. […]

How medium-sized logistics companies can benefit from the advance of Flexport & Co.

How medium-sized logistics companies can benefit from the advance of Flexport & Co.

Copying solutions while keeping an eye on your own lead

The new digital high-flyers Flexport & Co. continue to penetrate the logistics market with billions of capital. While in traditional forwarding companies real dispatchers often calculate resources, routes and prices for days by telephone, fax and tables, the business 4.0 experts have long since been offering fully digitalized services and offers: for compiling your own transports and access to real-time tracking. Can the classical logistic middle class still keep up in terms of added value for the customer, or even benefit from the new developments? Yes, it can! […]