Heath Zarin EV Cargo launch image

EmergeVest, the Hong Kong-based private-equity investor that has acquired CM Downton, NFT Distribution and Palletforce over the past four years, has merged its road transport and logistics assets into one company: EV Cargo.

It has created a business that would rank 11th in the Motor Transport Top 100 and is now the largest privately-owned operator in the UK.

EV Cargo is a result of the consolidation of software firm Adjuno, freight-forwarder Allport Cargo Services, ambient distribution specialist CM Downton, temperature-controlled logistics operator NFT Distribution, 4PL Jigsaw and the 98-member strong Palletforce network.

The newly formed business has nine million ft2 of warehousing space, and approximately 5,000 employees – including 2,200 drivers.

The combined businesses have 175 UK operating centres as well as 18 overseas operations - albeit Palletforce has 98 haulier members and 116 depots.

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EV Cargo will run under four main operating segments: Express; Global Forwarding; Logistics and Technology. The four chief executives of each division – to be announced at a later date – are joined on the executive board by EmergeVest founder Heath Zarin (pictured), now chief executive of EV Cargo.

EmergeVest MD Simon Pearson becomes chief strategy officer. Mark Davis, secretary of NFT Distribution Financing, also serves on the executive board as general counsel.

Heath Zarin, EV Cargo chief executive, said: “We are excited to announce the creation of EV Cargo, bringing together our UK logistics and technology platform into a unified £850m corporate structure.

"EV Cargo will continue our existing strategy of delivering mission-critical supply chain services powered by people, technology, innovation and sustainability.

“By working closer together and creating additional capabilities, we will provide new and existing customers with access to a wider range of leading-edge integrated solutions,” he added.

In 2017 group revenue from UK road transport related activities stood at approximately £628m (although year-ends for the businesses comprising such activity vary from 30 March 2017 to 31 December 2017).

EV Cargo would rank 11th by turnover on that basis in the Motor Transport Top 100 – published on Monday (26 November).

Pre-tax profit for the group companies in 2017 stood at £10.9m, and the number of employees associated with such activity stood at 4,502.