UK rail freight operator Freightliner has announced its acquisition of Netherlands-based intermodal rail operator ERS Railways from Maersk Line for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, will help Freightliner expand its international activities in global rail markets in partnership with local management teams.
ERS Railways, founded in 1994, provides intermodal services to the surrounding areas of major ports including Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Lübeck and Rostock.
ERS also provides continental European rail services for intermodal operators and forwarders in Italy, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic.
ERS Railways has a fleet of 16 multi-system electric locomotives for cross-border transport and 550 intermodal wagons for all kinds of maritime and tank containers in addition to mega trailers.
For over 15 years, both Freightliner and ERS have been major service providers to Maersk Line and the relationship is further strengthened by a long-term contract agreed for ERS to continue to provide services for the shipping line.
Freightliner Group chief executive Peter Maybury said: "The acquisition of ERS is a very good fit with our growth strategy and further extends our profitable footprint, following our successful entry into the Polish and German bulk haul markets over the last seven years and our entry into Australia in 2009."
Following the acquisition, ERS Railways managing director Frank Schuhholz will continue to lead the business.
Schuhholz said: "We are welcoming Freightliner Group as our new shareholder who allows us not only to foster our strong relationship with Maersk Line in the long term but also to expand into new markets which creates value for our customers and our new shareholder."
Maersk Line vice president Soren Toft said: "This new set-up provides us with the opportunity to continue our long term contractual relationship with both companies as well as to develop our key European markets."
The Dutch intermodal operator also owns a 47% stake in German maritime hinterland operator BoxXpress, which was granted a license in 2012 to operate in Austria.
Earlier in June 2013, ERS signed a three-year agreement with BLS Cargo in Switzerland for the operation of intermodal services from Rotterdam to Melzo in Italy, representing more than 1,000 trains per year.
Image: The acquisition of ERS Railways from Maersk Line expands Freightliner’s international activities. Photo: courtesy of ERS Railways 2013.