News | January 8, 2001

APL Logistics swallows GATX Logistics

By Alan S. Brown
Managing Editor, Chemical Online

APL Logistics (APLL) will buy GATX Logistics (Jacksonville, FL), the second largest warehouse-based contract logistics company in the United States and one of the top logistics players throughout North and South America.

The $210 million acquisition boosts APLL's revenues by 70%, or over $300 million. It is "just the beginning" of rapid expansion, says company CEO Dick Metzler. The company is the supply-chain-management arm of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) Group, a global transportation and logistics company.

GATX Logistics is majority owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners LP and Stephens Group, USA.

GATX Logistics operates 93 facilities with approximately 21 million sq ft of warehousing space throughout 35 markets in the Americas. It fleet of more than 700 tractors and trailers log more than 20 million miles annually.

In addition, GATX has made a substantial investment in information technology, including IBM AS/400s and specialized systems and programs. Its has developed its own proprietary logistics management software, Total Logistics Solution (TLS), and provides integrated supply chain management for major corporations.

APL Logistics operates warehouses in 52 countries. It focuses on improving customer supply chain performance through inventory awareness, distribution networking, decision support, process management, and information technology.

From factory floor barcode scanners to online inventory management software, APLL seeks to deliver time-definite, end-to-end, global supply-chain management to customers in retail, automotive, chemical, and other industries.

It can receive merchandise, consolidate it into containers for distribution centers or retail stores, and manage product movement from the beginning of their supply chain to the end, including documentation and information management.

APLL will transition GATX Logistics to its own APL Logistics brand name over the next six months.

"This is an excellent example of the type of acquisition that fits our aggressive growth plans," says Metzler. "The GATX Logistics team, under the leadership of Joe Nicosia, has built a technologically advanced and highly focused organization, which is what we have been looking for to support our growth goals.

"GATX Logistics manages distribution from their warehouses to the final outlet for clients, which completes the global supply chain for APLL and adds to our 'menu' of services," he explains.

"The close fit means savings for APLL as we expand further, because what we are purchasing is not just a warehousing company but a system of warehousing logistics and integration, and a business model, that can be replicated globally. This will save us investment in our own warehouse management and transportation management systems.

GATX has had a very active year. To see articles about the company, click here.

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