September 14 - Logistics networks Ocean Bridge Lines and CrossTrades have merged and rebranded as CrossTrades OBL.

To date Ocean Bridge Lines, which is jointly managed by the logistics companies, Ahlers and Syntrans, has a strong presence in Asia, Europe and the CIS.

CrossTrades, which was founded by Rik Spruyt (pictured) in 2015 as a network with a clear focus on Africa, attracted Gosselin and Syntrans as shareholders in 2016, with Ahlers taking a stake in 2017. It says it has always selected partners in Africa that are geared to move heavy and over-dimensional cargoes.

Dirk Van Der Borght, marketing & communications specialist at the Gosselin Group says: "80 percent of our African members have a decent fleet of equipment to handle such cargoes, and about 30 percent of this group have heavy specialised trailers and positioning equipment."

The newly founded network CrossTrades OBL will be representing 70 partners with close to 200 offices worldwide.

It will offer members a strong central purchasing power, as well as a comprehensive IT support platform.

The different shareholders say they all bring a very specific knowledge to the table, different specialisations they intend to keep focusing on within the network.