AP Moller-Maersk’s bid to expand its logistics operation has continued with the takeover of Denmark’s Martin Bencher Group.

The deal strengthen the Copenhagen-based liner giants ability to handle non-containerised project cargoes, the company said.

Maersk did not disclose financial terms, but referred to competitive strengths of the asset-light company that specialises in project logistics.

These included "a deep industry expertise, a solid track record, long-term stakeholder relationships as well as a highly skilled organisation", Maersk said.

Logistics opportunity

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is the latest in a line of logistics acquisitions by Maersk.

The details emerged after chief executive Soren Skou reiterated that Maersk’s growth would come in the logistics sector.

“Growth in logistics is the single biggest opportunity for Maersk in this decade,” Skou told an earnings call on Wednesday.

“This means that at some point in this decade, we will have a bigger business in logistics than we have in Ocean today,” he said.

Maersk has already this year completed the acquisition of logistics specialist Pilot Freight Services and the global air freight expert Senator International.

These helped Maersk to grow revenue in Logistics by 61% in the second quarter to $3.5bn on a profit before financial items (Ebit) of $234m.

Global offering

Project logistics is not new to Maersk, as the company already has niche competencies based mainly in Europe and North America.

But the company is keen to expand and mature its service offering into global non-containerised offering.

Martin Bencher will be used as a platform to launch a new product, Maersk Project Logistics.

That will comprise a specialised service offering the combination of solution design, special cargo transportation, and project management services, Maersk said in a customer advisory.

Martin Bencher was founded in 1997 has 31 offices in 23 countries, with almost 170 employees.

“Martin Bencher will be an excellent fit to Maersk and our integrator strategy, strengthening our ability to provide project logistics services to our global clients, said Karsten Kildahl, Maerks’ regional managing director in Europe.