Geodis Wilson eyes Americas expansion
When Geodis Wilson acquired One Source Logistics in June, the global freight forwarder had one overarching goal: to expand significantly in the U.S. Although Geodis had already made a strong name for itself abroad, it wanted to have a similar effect in the states. Now Geodis is fixing its attention on even more expansion.
"We intend to become a global freight forwarder service to global customers, so we need to grow our services in the United States," said John Gallahan, regional vice president of Geodis Wilson Americas.
To achieve this, Geodis has also been looking at companies that will help it expand its product portfolio in this region. The company has also been searching internally.
"When we looked at our strategic plan, we recognized that we needed to grow in all of our products, including contract logistics, where we have a small base," Gallahan explained. Geodis also recognized that it needed to beef up its service offerings and geographical representation in the U.S.
Although members of the Geodis executive team have publicly declared it their goal to double U.S. business in five years, privately they’re even more ambitious. "Our internal goal is to do it in three years, not five," Gallahan told Air Cargo World.
Geodis also sees South America as an area of potential expansion. "We’ve been looking at companies that can help us build our product portfolio in that part of the world as well," Gallahan explained. Nevertheless, he believes Geodis' greater reach in the U.S. will enable it to better serve this continent.
Outside of the Americas, Geodis has interest in Asia. "We are active in the mergers and acquisitions area, and one of the areas we would like to grow is in our transpacific business," Gallahan said. "We’ve been talking with several companies to help us grow our infrastructure there."
Geodis sees numerous opportunities with its most recent U.S. acquisition: One Source. "They were attractive to us because their services — with their primary focus being on the domestic supply chain — provided us with a great opportunity to enhance our competitiveness in all of our variants," Gallahan said.
The prospect of developing a broader distribution network was particularly appealing, Gallahan said. "One Source Logistics significantly strengthens our capabilities, not only accelerating the growth of our U.S. domestic product offerings, but also with cross-border trucking throughout North America," he explained.
Like Gallahan, Geodis Wilson Executive Vice President Philippe Gilbert acknowledges these key benefits, but he also points to another advantage: better connectivity. Explaining that Geodis can now offer its airfreight and sea freight clients "a better single-source solution for end-to-end supply chain management into and from the U.S," Gilbert believes the logical implications of the acquisition are numerous. What’s more, Gilbert says, "We [also] connect the domestic customer base of One Source Logistics to Geodis Wilson’s global freight services."
Nevertheless, Gallahan is quick to point out that the acquisition of One Source is only the first step in Geodis' U.S. expansion strategy. More mergers are certainly on the horizon.
Whatever happens next, Gallahan has high hopes for Geodis' future. After all, the company grew 50 percent last year and is on track to expand by an additional 35 percent this year. And Gallahan sees no signs of this slowing down.
"The next two years are going to be ones of very strong growth," he said, "and we’re planning accordingly."