DB Schenker is investing millions to strengthen its strategic collaboration with the US-based online shipping marketplace uShip and press ahead with the digital transformation of its business model. Following a capital increase, the global logistics company is investing $25 million (roughly €24 million) in the online platform for freight forwarding and transport services.
“Expanding our successful partnership will expedite and streamline transport management and help us, as a market leader in European land transport, to handle even larger volumes of freight,” said Jochen Thewes, CEO of Schenker. “We also intend to quickly develop and tap new opportunities to grow outside of our traditional business models. This is our largest equity interest in a digital company to date and it shows how serious we are about innovation at DB Schenker. We’re investing in shaping the future of digital logistics,” Thewes continued.
“Unprecedented investment in logistics technology is revolutionising freight transportation,” said Mike Williams, CEO of uShip. “Major players like DB Schenker are wisely embracing innovation to automate and digitise their operations, making them more efficient and profitable. The past year has shown uShip and DB Schenker are a great fit when it comes to taking the lead in this macro transformation, and we’re thrilled to deepen our partnership through its strategic investment.” The minority interest also earns DB Schenker a seat on uShip’s Board of Directors as an owner.
uShip and DB Schenker signed a cooperation agreement in May 2016. The uShip platform, which connects shippers and carriers in over 19 countries, is the industry leader in organising freight transport using mobile devices. For now, DB Schenker will use the platform for land transport through an online platform called Drive4Schenker, which will use uShip technology to connect the some 30,000 transport partners in the European land transport network to their freight. The new service launched in Germany this month and will gradually be expanded to other countries.
DB Schenker’s equity interest in uShip is part of the DB Group’s digitalisation campaign. A team from Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures GmbH, which was established as part of the campaign, advised DB Schenker during the transaction.