Case Study

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics: Building an integrated global enterprise

11 pages
December 2008
Reference: IMD-3-1783

In the spring 2005, senior managers of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), a Swedish and Norwegian global transportation and logistics firm, met in Chicago to discuss the best way forward after their New Jersey-based subsidiary WWL Americas had acquired Distribution and Auto Service, Inc. (DAS). As the in-house logistics arm of Nissan Motors, DAS managed the factory-to-dealer transportation for Nissan’s operations in the US and Canada. By acquiring DAS, WWL was blazing a new trail in the global vehicle logistics business, seeking to succeed where others had failed. No single company had operated a complete system that would take a finished car from the factory, transport it via land and sea, and deliver it to the dealer, equipped with all accessories and ready for the retail customer. But WWL’s parents’ long history in shipping, combined with its own more recent experience with organically developed land-based vehicle logistics, made WWL confident that this business made sense all the way around. Even with initial apprehension and concern over whether the companies would be a good match, the new team quickly began to map what it would take to be successful in both the ocean transport and the logistics businesses. Which aspects of the new organization should be integrated or kept separate? How could they build the organizational capabilities to deliver on the merged company’s potential?

Learning Objective

To examine how a company assesses a gap or overlap in organizational capabilities and plans to address the situation; Looking at M&A targets for skill complementarities; A divergence in required skill sets in different parts of a company has an impact on organizational dynamics; In an M&A situation, to what degree is it advisable to integrate the entities?

Mergers and Acquisitions, Integration, Capability Development, Personal Competency Development, Corporate Culture, Training, Ocean Transport
Field Research
© 2008
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