Neele-Vat acquires Mammoet Ferry Transport and Mainport

On Friday 19-12-2019, Neele-Vat Logistics reached agreement on two acquisitions in the port of Rotterdam. The company has acquired the road haulier Mammoet Ferry Transport and Mainport Forwarding, both based in Rotterdam.

Through the latter, Neele-Vat aims to start playing a bigger role in intermodal goods transhipment. The price paid for the two companies has not been made public.
With the acquisition of Mammoet Ferry Transport, Neele-Vat is first and foremost strengthening its position in European road transport. The company also notes that it is gaining international locations in Belgium, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom –
specifically at Zeebrugge (Belgium), Duisburg (Germany), Ansfelden (Austria) and Preston Brook and Cambuslang (UK). Mammoet Ferry Transport primarily specialises in road haulage between Benelux and the United Kingdom. With a view to the impending Brexit, those activities are a significant gain for Neele-Vat Logistics.


With the acquisition of Mainport Warehousing & Forwarding (20 employees), Neele-Vat is preparing for the coming new cross-dock centre at Waalhaven. Mainport is particularly strong in cross-docking continental cargo for the shortsea sector, but the firm is running into capacity constraints at its current location.

“The new cross-dock centre for Neele-Vat will offer a fantastic opportunity to continue the growth of Mainport Warehousing in the future”, says the company. Mainport will continue to operate within the Rotterdam family firm under its own brand name. As before, it will be run by its existing management and CEO Jos Lems. “Owner Henk van Esch will be taking a step back but he will remain involved with the company in an advisory role.


Through the merger with Mammoet Transport, Neele-Vat is “enhancing” its European transport network and establishing the scale “to remain competitive in tomorrow’s Europe”, said Neele-Vat Logistics CEO Cuno Vat in a statement.

“We will also be able to offer our customer an even broader range of services. Plus, we will have a strong position to extend our services internationally.” The purchase of Mainport is intended above all to reduce the number of truck-kilometres to and from the ports, added Vat.
“As a result, we will be able to work more efficiently and reduce CO2 emissions. We will also be looking to make more use of rail in the future. We already have several trains per week to Italy. They also carry cargo that is suitable for the cross-dock centre.”


Mammoet Ferry Transport has seventy employees and will continue to operate within Neele-Vat under its own name. The management, including CEO/owner Krijn Torreman, will remain in place and the acquisition will not have any consequences for jobs at the road haulage company.
According to Torreman, the acquisition by Neele-Vat provides assurances “for the continuity of the firm which I and all our employees have built up over the course of thirty years.”
Following the acquisition, Neele-Vat Logistics has nine hundred employees spread across twenty locations in ten countries. In addition, the group has over 256,000 square metres of storage space. The firm’s annual turnover is €300 million.

Brexit update

After the UK elections, more has become clear in the Brexit timeline


The next step for the Boris Johnson government is to get the Brexit deal approved at the Lower House. With the big victories after the elections, that seems the least bump at the moment. That could be more difficult in the House of Lords where these elections have not changed the situation.


After the UK it’s up to the EU. A simple majority is sufficient during the vote. If these steps have been taken the Brexit becomes a reality on February 1st. An agreed transition period starts on this date in which the UK remains a virtual EU member, thus also remains part of the internal market. The only thing that changes overnight is that the British no longer have a voice in Brussels. So there will be no changes for logistics.


Negotiations on a trade agreement between the UK and the EU start in February. The hope is that this is settled before 31.12.2020. EU negotiations with countries such as Canada and South Korea take five up to nine years. There is no time now, because the transition period already runs on December 31st 2020.


There might be another escape. Halfway through the new year is the last moment to decide on an extension of the transitional period for one or two years. Almost all involved see this as inevitable, because a comprehensive trade agreement is not to be expected within 11 months. However, Johnson has always said that he does not like such an extension. December 31st , 2020 could be a new, tough “no deal” Brexit date. If Johnson persists in his refusal to extend the transition phase. And if there is no trade agreement with the EU at the end of next year, then the UK will be taken out of the internal market on January 1, 2021 and without any agreements. In that case the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) apply. This inevitably leads to border controls, tariffs and other trade barriers.


In summary

Nothing will change during transport to and from the UK until December 31st 2020. So no customs clearance or other customs declarations. The most important is the possible postponement date by which the deadline becomes June 2020.


With no delay it becomes:
– in case of an agreement; a soft Brexit.
– in case of no agreement; a hard Brexit follows


We will report new developments via the website. If there are any questions in the meantime, please contact us.