Shipping article(s)
June 30, 2024

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced that it has agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Tanzania-based Alistair Group, a cross-border logistics company serving Sub-Saharan Africa.


Alistair Group has offices in eight countries in Southeast Africa. Its business centers on cross-border logistics services for truck transport of copper, cobalt, and other critical mineral resources produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in inland Africa to coastal export ports.


It is also engaged in customs clearance, warehouse operations, cargo handling at ports, and logistics DX (digital transformation) services and has a fleet of about 450 trucks and about 1,000 employees.


In the announcement, MOL noted that it was the first Japanese shipping company to establish a shipping route between Japan and the east coast of Africa in 1926 and has been offering marine transport service to and from Africa for nearly 100 years.


With offices in South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, and Mauritius, MOL is also proactively developing various businesses on a group-wide scale, including not only ocean freight forwarding but also air freight forwarding, land transport, warehousing, and the export of used Japanese agricultural machinery.


"MOL has positioned portfolio and regional strategies as core strategies of the MOL Group's "BLUE ACTION 2035" management plan and is pursuing the development and expansion of new non-shipping businesses as well, such as logistics, in emerging regions," it said in a statement.


"Through this capital participation, MOL and Alistair will merge the MOL Group's global network and expertise in shipping and logistics with Alistair's expertise in cross-border logistics in Southeast Africa," it added, noting that this will enable both groups to offer a wider range of high-quality logistics services to customers in Africa, a region where MOL anticipates significant growth and new business opportunities due to increasing population and abundant resources, including renewal energy potential.


Africa expansion


"Since its founding in 2008, Alistair has repeatedly made creative efforts to thoroughly meet customer needs through streamlined operation routes, highly IT-enabled information and payment systems, equipment and machinery quality management, and business operations run by an outstanding management staff. As a result, Alistair has grown into a leading regional mining and infrastructure logistics company," said Toshinobu Shinoda, senior managing executive officer at MOL who is responsible for Europe and Africa. 


"We at MOL look forward to increasing our presence in Africa, which offers tremendous potential, and we are extremely proud to have Alistair as a robust partner with whom we can share values," he added.


Alistair James, chief executive officer of the Alistair Group, said the company has set an "ambitious vision" and is taking decisive steps to solidify our position as the leading logistics provider across the African continent.


"We look forward to continuing to fund the growth of our core business while also investing further in our cutting-edge technology and regional infrastructure developments," he said.


James noted that Alistair Group is also thrilled to be partnering with MOL for the benefit of both businesses.


"The investment offers us a significant competitive edge and presents an opportunity to seamlessly integrate ocean and cross-border shipping, meeting the exacting demands of our customers. In essence, this partnership is set to propel our growth to new heights," he added.

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