Royal Rotra chooses continuity with the sale of road transport and logistics | Continuation of Rotra Air & Ocean and CTD

Doesburg - Koninklijke Rotra in Doesburg has announced its intention to focus fully on developing its activities in sea and air freight forwarding and inland shipping. Pursuant to an agreement signed on 14 November 2019, Koninklijke Rotra’s road transport and logistics business units will be taken over by Kuehne + Nagel, one of the top 3 companies in the logistics sector. The transaction will be effected after approval by the competition authorities. The Board has made this decision to ensure the continuity of the road transport and logistics divisions.

Continuity in road transport

After 110 years of trading, why has Rotra decided to transfer the logistics and road transport activities to Kuehne + Nagel? Rotra's director, Machiel Roelofsen, explains: ‘Market developments that require a decisive response have been apparent for some time now. Maintaining an extensive partner network for European road transport will become more difficult in the years to come. The number of partners continues to decrease due to acquisitions and the lack of a successor. So this is the right time for consolidation.’ Kuehne + Nagel is one of the most successful logistics companies in the world and already operates 120 road transport depots in Europe. This transaction enables Kuehne + Nagel to reinforce its road transport network in the Netherlands and Belgium. The transaction represents a win-win situation for both parties.

Rotra offers a good transport network and highly trained and professional employees. In order to guarantee continuity, Kuehne + Nagel was selected as a financially powerful party that offers growth opportunities for employees and customers. Harm Roelofsen, CEO Rotra: ‘We believe this is a good time, particularly because our company is in good financial shape. This decision has not been taken under duress; we are in a strong position and have focused on what is good for the road transport division in the long-term. As a company, our aim is to always guarantee continuity for our employees and customers. Today, tomorrow and for years to come. In Kuehne + Nagel, we have found a partner who sees the future in the same way.’ Machiel Roelofsen and his brother Harm will remain involved in the road transport and logistics activities as board members of Kuehne + Nagel’s businesses in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Rotra's former road transport and logistics business units will play a leading role in the Netherlands and Belgium in further expanding the ‘Overland’ division within Kuehne + Nagel's European road transport network. The activities will continue at the current locations.

Digital freight forwarder

Koninklijke Rotra will focus on further developing sea and air freight forwarding, inland shipping, and transporting wind turbines by sea. Rotra's sea and air freight forwarding business continues to grow and is now almost fully digital. The new website and ‘myRotra’ customer portal for booking online, tracing shipments, pricing, and shipping statistics supported by a live chat functionality are to be introduced later this year. The company continues to focus on the high level of service and innovation that have characterised Rotra for several years.

Container Terminal Doesburg (inland shipping) will become a ‘preferred supplier’ for Kuehne + Nagel Ocean in Rotterdam and volumes are expected to increase rapidly. The entrance to the terminal was recently widened to allow larger ships to sail here and to reduce the costs per container.

Air & Ocean is profitable and enough partners are available to continue to guarantee good global service in the long term.). Machiel Roelofsen looks to the future with confidence: ‘We are looking forward to building a bright and sustainable future together with Kuehne + Nagel and our employees in road transport and logistics. As for Rotra Air & Ocean and Inland Shipping, we will continue to pursue our chosen strategy with ambition and confidence.