Lubbers Global Freight: “We want to be present in all major energy hubs”
As the new kid on the block, Lubbers Global Freight wants to rapidly grow as a specialized freight forwarder for the energy markets. Following a recent takeover in Singapore, the company is now close to expanding in the Middle East and China. “We want to be present in all the major energy hubs”, managing directors Jaap Kroon and Pascal Lammerts van Bueren tell PCJ.
Lubbers Global Freight is part of the Lubbers Logistics Group, a Dutch trucking company with nearly a century of experience in the energy markets.
The company first opened its doors in Amsterdam in January 2018, but barely two years later, Kroon and Lammerts van Bueren have expanded their network into Rotterdam, Istanbul, Houston and Singapore and are close to signing an important strategic cooperation agreement with a leading regional logistics player in the Middle East.
“I can’t reveal the name just yet, but it is one of the largest logistics providers in the region. The cooperation is set to become operational in the first quarter of 2020 and will accelerate our energy-related activities in the Middle East”, says Jaap Kroon.
Our goal is to become a recognizable niche freight forwarder in project logistics, with a strong global network.
In the meantime, Lubbers Global Freight is also preparing for further expansion into new locations like China. “Our goal is to become a recognizable niche freight forwarder in project logistics with a strong global network. Next to the Middle East, we see a lot of growth potential in Africa and Asia-Pacific”, says Pascal Lammerts van Bueren.
In May this year, Lubbers announced it had acquired a majority stake in Uniworld Logistics Singapore for an undisclosed sum. “This office – which is permanently manned by five employees and headed by Steven Lim – will function as a control tower to oversee and grow our activities everywhere in the Asia-Pacific region”, says Kroon.
If the managing directors have planned similar acquisitions in China remains unknown. “We prefer to find a strong local partner and build our network in partnerships. In Singapore, Uniworld remains a minority shareholder and our partnership extends beyond that single office. Such partnerships can be achieved through start-ups, cooperation agreements or acquisitions. In planned growth scenarios like ours, it’s usually a combination of the three”, explains Kroon.
In three years time, the company wants to have doubled in size. “We believe that is possible, although it will undoubtedly go with ups and downs”, says Lammerts van Bueren. “We focus on complex markets. Oil and gas remains key but the dredging, maritime and radio-active markets also show interesting opportunities. Additionally, we expect growth in the LNG and hydrogen segments”, he adds.
The foundation of Lubbers Global Freight originally began with talks between Ger Engelsman, the CEO of the Lubbers Logistics Group, and Kroon, who immediately brought in Lammerts van Bueren.
The two seasoned logistics experts had worked together on several occasions when Lammerts van Bueren was still working at one of the major logistics providers and Kroon at Air France – KLM Cargo.
“In 2008 we worked together on a contract for a major oil & gas service company, which needed to move large volumes from Houston to Angola. At the time, that destination was only covered by one of the major logistics companies with a transit time of 17 days. By launching a new Air France freighter service on Pointe Noire in Congo with a connecting coastal feeder service, we managed to set up an entirely new end-to-end service that could deliver in just 10 days. So when Ger Engelsman approached me to start up Lubbers Global Freight, I knew I wanted to bring Pascal in”, tells Kroon.
Lammerts van Bueren: “We believe we can add value because we think differently. Jaap has decades of experience at cargo airlines, I have worked at 4 of the 10 major logistics companies and our owner has nearly a century of experience in overland logistics. We see things from an operator’s perspective and that gives us fresh ideas.”