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ABF expands global supply chain services into Europe and Turkey

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
December 06, 2012

ABF Global Supply Chain Services, a subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corporation, recently announced it has expanded its services into Europe and Turkey.

These services include ocean transport, providing a single contact for full-container-load (FCL) and expedited less-than-container load supply chain services. With this announcement, ABF officials said that ABF Global Supply Chain Services now has offices in Turkey, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland and Poland. And it said it is serving 15 ports in Europe with multiple weekly sailings to handle import and export FCL shipments and is also serving more than 50 container freight stations and pre-carriage points of pickup and delivery with multiple sailings per week for LCL shipments.

ABF Director of Marketing and Public Relations Russ Aikman told LM that the impetus for this expansion is due to globalization.

“The world’s economics have become so interconnected that our customers and our customers’ customers are sourcing their goods from literally around the world,” he said. “We have always planned to provide service in the EU and have been doing so for several months now.  As our services to and from Asia gained traction, we have moved to broaden our reach. Turkey and Europe were a natural extension. And we plan to continue this global expansion.” 

Ocean-borne service offerings are not new to ABF. The company introduced a FCL (full-container-load) business in 2006. ABF has had an established presence for several years and is a licensed NVOCC (non-vessel operating common carrier) and services more than 250 ports in 130 countries as part of its ABF International service, which is geared for shippers moving international freight on a periodical basis. And in 2008, the company rolled out its ABF Global Supply Chain Services to meet the demands of an economy that has expanded globally.

When asked how ABF’s ocean services—and others—have evolved since 2006, Aikman said that while many providers can claim to offer a similar service, very few can provide the unique combination of asset-based and asset-light capabilities. 

“We can deliver total control and complete visibility to a customer’s LCL and FCL supply chain, which is an innovation valued by our customers,” he said. “The biggest benefit is the fact that ABF handles everything. We’re a synchronized local, regional and transcontinental motor carrier, a non-vessel operating common carrier, and a global logistics service provider—linked by a state-of-the-art technology platform that is the envy of the industry.”

While the Trans-Pacific corridor continues to drive the global commerce, Aikman said ABF is finding a growing need for service in the EU region and will continue to explore other areas of the world to ensure its North American customers have the total reach they require. 

Regarding staffing in Europe and Turkey, Aikman explained that local agents provide in-country services on the foreign end, including scheduling, booking, documentation, regulatory notification, staging and consolidation of shipments. And these local agents tender shipments to partner ocean lines for ocean carriage to domestic ports. Containers are then delivered to ABF’s domestic facilities in the port area for deconsolidation and introduction into ABF’s Dual-System Network.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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