Entrepreneur

Maersk buys omnichannel tech startup, furthering end-to-end ambitions


Dive Brief:

  • A.P. Moller – Maersk announced Wednesday it acquired Huub, a cloud-based logistics startup based in Portugal, for an undisclosed amount. Maersk previously invested in the company in 2019.
  • Huub built a tech platform, Spoke, to manage the physical collections and data flows for more than 100 fashion brands, according to its website. Spoke is a “plug & play solution” that “manages the fundamentals of a logistics operation” and connects to ERP systems and online stores like Shopify.
  • The deal marks Maersk’s sixth acquisition in two and a half years, according to the press release. It is also the third acquisition focused on e-commerce logistics since August 2021, “underlining that this is a new and important strategic focus area towards delivering integrated logistics to customers.”

Dive Insight:

Maersk has been on an acquisition spree in the past two and a half years as it transitions from a pure-play ocean carrier to an end-to-end supply chain service provider.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of ocean and logistics at Maersk, laid out the company’s acquisition strategy during the company’s Capital Markets Day in May 2021.

“Our winning aspiration is about leveraging our unique set of capabilities to bring about a disruptive offering that can change this paradigm,” Clerc said at the time. “We call it truly integrated logistics.”

One key way the company’s latest acquisition is different is the focus on tech, rather than operationl assets.

“What we are acquiring here is actually top tech capabilities,” said Concepción Boo Arias, a senior press manager at A.P. Moller – Maersk. “They [at Huub] have come up with a platform that actually is able to connect and simplify the logistics of the warehouses, of the fashion industry in Europe in a very very seamless way.”

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Boo Arias said Maersk plans to potentially triple the size of the Huub team within the year. The company also plans to scale the Spoke platform to other industries and beyond Europe.

“We actually have great plans to use that platform to make sure that we can finally put in place an omnichannel logistics product to our customers,” Boo Arias said.

Prior to the Huub deal, the company’s acquisitions had focused on facilities and talent, as the company scaled its warehouse presence and customs brokerage expertise.

How Maersk is buying its way to an end-to-end ambition

  • Maersk acquires customs broker Vandegrift to broaden services

  • Maersk expands U.S. warehouse network with $545M acquisition of Performance Team

  • Maersk acquires KGH Customs Services for $281M

  • Maersk announces acquisitions of Visible SCM and B2C Europe

  • September 15

    Maersk acquires Huub, a cloud-based logistics startup



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