SEKO Logistics has acquired New York-based freight forwarder and cross-border ecommerce firm Air-City, Inc. for an undisclosed sum as it looks to expand its shipping capabilities into China and add resources and infrastructure in the critical New York area.
“Air-City will give us immediate depth in the growing westbound airfreight and cross-border ecommerce trade for goods going to China,” said SEKO’s President and CEO, James T. Gagne in a release.
A year ago, SEKO acquired GoodShip International Inc., which expanded its capabilities in the Chicagoland area, and in 2018 acquired a majority share in strategic partner Omni-Channel Logistics Australia.
Air-City, founded in 1984, has 15 offices worldwide. It was among the first group of freight agents authorized by the Chinese government in 1994 and holds a certificate of approval to establish enterprises in China.
Brian Bourke, vice president of marketing for SEKO, said the acquisition of Air-City will enhance its ability to handle cross-border shipments more expeditiously, especially inbound customs clearance under Section 321 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency’s regulations through its network of bonded warehouses.
“When you’re dealing with imported goods, there can be delays, but today everyone wants things fast,” said Bourke, adding SEKO manages more than 4 million cross-border annually on behalf of its clients. “You can’t wait two weeks for a shipment. GoodShip will enhance our ability to do bring in shipments and clear them immediately under Section 321, so parcels aren’t delayed. It’s a pretty critical aspect of cross-border ecommerce.”
Air-City also expands SEKO’s ability to handle shipments into China through its freight consolidation services, Bourke said, bundling volume together on behalf of clients to save on shipping costs.
“As more U.S. retailers recognize that Chinese consumers love American products, this will help them sell into China, with a market of 1 billion people and a rising middle class,” he said. “This is a huge service we’re doing and now it’s being expanded.”
While SEKO had focused on organic growth since its founding in 1976, Bourke said the company is looking to take a deliberate acquisition approach to fuel growth, focusing on enhancing its services through cultural and technology fits.