Lineage Logistics expands at US ports, Asia-Pacific markets

Lineage Logistics expands at US ports, Asia-Pacific markets

Lineage Logistics will gain facilities in New Orleans, Houston, and Charleston through its latest acquisition. Photo credit: Ari Ashe.

Following recent expansion in Europe, Lineage Logistics is acquiring Emergent Cold, strengthening its port presence in the United States and giving it access to temperature-controlled logistics markets in Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. Following the acquisition, Lineage will have more than 1.7 billion cubic feet of cold storage space in 260 facilities in 10 countries.

The purchase of Emergent, founded in 2017 by investment firm Elliott Management and CEO Neal Rider, will bring Lineage a distribution center in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and four port facilities in New Orleans, Houston, and Charleston, South Carolina. The transaction also includes the purchase of sites leased by Emergent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As refrigerated goods transportation rules become more stringent worldwide, US shippers are increasingly looking to integrate international and domestic networks to close potential gaps that could threaten temperature-controlled supply chains. That’s given Lineage, one of the largest US refrigerated warehousing and logistics companies, opportunity to expand.

Demand for US cold storage is heating up with a forecast calling for 70 million to 100 million square feet of new warehouses by 2024, a surge of more than 40 percent, owing to online grocery shopping and a rise in refrigerated containerized shipping to the United States.

In particular, the Emergent acquisition positions Lineage Logistics for growth in the Asia-Pacific market, particularly in Australia and also New Zealand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, where Emergent owns a cold-storage company that focuses on a vertically integrated supply chain that spans the tea and coffee markets, including tea estates, sourcing, packaging, and transportation.

A lineage of acquisitions

Lineage, founded by Bay Grove Capital in 2008, has grown rapidly through acquisitions, both in the US and overseas. It made its first overseas acquisition, Netherlands-based Partner Logistics, in 2017, followed by a UK acquisition in 2018. In September, Lineage acquired two facilities in the Netherlands and Belgium from Van Soest Coldstores.

Emergent followed a similar path, acquiring seven businesses in two years across six countries, including New Orleans Cold Storage (NOCS) in August, Emergent Cold’s first US acquisition. Earlier this year, Emergent acquired Oxford Cold Storage in Australia and Finlays Colombo in Sri Lanka. 

“Food producers, manufacturers and retailers are looking for cold-chain partners who can offer a dynamic and truly end-to-end temperature-controlled logistics solution, and one that can reach every corner of the world,” Lineage Logistics CEO Greg Lehmkuhl said in a statement, adding that Emergent “deepens our commitment to our port strategy and international trade.”

“We are better able to help customers respond to constantly shifting market dynamics, such as global network optimization, tariff impacts, consumer preference shifts, and much more, while at the same time unlocking new potential market opportunities to sell their goods,” said Lehmkuhl, who joined the company in 2015 after a career with Con-way Freight and Menlo Worldwide Logistics.

Contact William B. Cassidy at bill.cassidy@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @willbcassidy.