Global shipping, logistics and marine services group GAC has announced the merger of its UK operations to better meet clients’ needs, effective 1 January 2010. Shipping services company GAC-OBC, with more than 20 offices throughout the UK, becomes GAC Shipping (UK) Ltd, alongside GAC Logistics (UK) Ltd, GAC’s UK freight forwarding arm. In-house travel agency, GAC-OBC Business Travel, is rebranded as GAC Travel Ltd.
Former Managing Director of GAC-OBC, Peter Cole, has been appointed MD of the three companies, and sees the new structure as a major benefit for both national and international clients: “We operate in a world where customers want more integrated service packages and the cost benefits that come with them,” he says. “I expect the new GAC organisation in the UK to be able to provide unique service options for our clients, from the Shetland Isles to Bournemouth and all stops in between.”
Cole says the linkage to GAC’s global shipping and logistic networks gives the company added strength and financial resources to develop local operations for international clients. “Previously in the UK we spoke with several voices to our international clients,” he says. “Now we speak to them with one voice and I expect this to bring both immediate and long term benefits in how we respond to specific client needs.”
GAC UK combines an extensive suite of shipping services at all UK ports with an equally broad portfolio of clearing, forwarding, airfreight and seafreight services provided by ten logistics offices – double the previous number.
With two-way trade between the Middle East and the UK estimated to be worth at least US$40 billion per year, shippers moving commodities to and from UK now benefit from even better services from GAC’s comprehensive network in both regions, says Dan Hjalmarsson, GAC Group Vice President for Middle East.
GAC’s Group Vice President for Europe, Mediterranean & Africa, Erland Ebbersten, says the integration of its UK operations further strengthens GAC’s global strategy to support the offshore energy sector:
“Our shipping services to the energy sector in the UK have always been comprehensive and have expanded in 2009 with the opening of new offices in Ramsgate and Harwich in support of the wind farm industry, and in Plymouth to meet the specific needs of our road fuels [gasoline and diesel] clients,” he says.
“This latest integration adds significant muscle to the upstream and downstream logistics side of the industry. It also links in well with the continued northward march of our offshore support services, which have recently extended to the Arctic Circle.”
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