January 11 - ABL has acquired the Antwerp based freight forwarding company Dissaco.

The transaction took place on December 15 but has only just been revealed. Both companies will continue - certainly in the beginning - to operate under their respective names, confirmed ABL.

ABL, which is also headquartered in Antwerp, specialises in logistics services to Russia, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics. Dissaco has been active in the project forwarding industry for over 20 years, and has a team of 15 employees.

ABL will move at the end of January into Dissaco's office, which is located at Noorderlaan in Antwerp.

"With the acquisition of Dissaco, we strengthen our geographic reach in the project cargo sector, and extend our general forwarding, NVOCC, Customs agency, storage and distribution services," said managing director of ABL, Renaud Stiers, who now also becomes managing director of Dissaco.

Stiers explained that ABL purchased the forwarder in order to tap into additional markets, and noted that the economic sanctions against Russia were not a direct cause of the acquisition, since the company is not operating in the sectors most affected.

"But indirectly they did play a role, in the sense that we wanted to spread the risks," he admitted. "The economic situation in Russia has become shaky: the rate of the ruble is unstable, the oil price continues to drop and deteriorates the purchasing power of the Russians."

However, Stiers was still confident about project cargo volumes to Russia, since earlier agreements, such as ABL's contract for the Yamal LNG project, were not under sanction.