GERMANY's Deutsche Bahn assigned its management board to examine and prepare the case for a potential sale of up to 100 per cent of its shares in German forwarding giant DB Schenker, reports London's Air Cargo News.
Speculation immediately turned to who could be a potential buyer and DHL emerged as the leading contender, though Denmark's DSV or Maersk also came to mind.
Air Cargo News contacted Deutsche Post DHL to comment on the reports, but the company declined to comment on speculation.
Any such combination would create a behemoth. Up until 2020, DHL Global Forwarding had been ranked as the world's largest air freight forwarder while DB Schenker had been ranked third.
Both slipped down the list last year as fast-growing Danish forwarder DSV moved up into third spot and Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) managed to take the top spot as both companies grew through acquisitions.
Based on the 2021 figures, were DSV to buy DB Schenker, it would become the world's largest air freight forwarder, leapfrogging both K+N and DHL with annual volumes of around 2.5 million tonnes.
Geodis could be interested while the cash-rich ocean carriers have been looking to expand their presence in logistics over the last couple of years.
Maersk has been investing in forwarding over recent years - this year it purchased Germany's Senator - and has started up its own airline as it looks to expand beyond only ocean shipping.
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