Deutsche Post DHL acquires ocean freight forwarder Hillebrand

Deutsche Post DHL Group has signed an agreement to acquire J.F. Hillebrand Group for around €1.5bn ($1.76bn).

Hillebrand is a global service provider specialised in ocean freight forwarding, transport and logistics of beverages and non-hazardous bulk liquids using flexitanks and ISO tank containers. It generated revenue of around €1.4bn in the last 12 months, and will ship around 500,000 teu in 2021, and has more than 2,700 employees worldwide.

“With the growing maturity of our freight forwarding business, this bolt-on acquisition of Hillebrand is highly complementary to our existing portfolio. In line with our group strategy, we strengthen our core logistics business and deliver profitable long-term growth”, said Frank Appel, CEO Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Using our financial strength, we are able to pursue quality investments while reinforcing our unchanged commitment to deliver on investor return expectations.”

The transaction is subject to merger control clearance in certain jurisdictions.

“The acquisition of Hillebrand is a unique opportunity for Deutsche Post DHL Group to add high quality ocean freight services with strong margin characteristics and high cash flow generation,” said Melanie Kreis, CFO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

The additional 500,000 teu would put DHL on a par with Sinotrans near the top of the leaderboard among freight forwarders in terms of ocean volumes, according to data carried below from Alphaliner.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I hope with this acquisition DHL might look at its respect for customer property and service. Currently I have been offered £44 for their negligence and mishandling of my package worth £1400

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