UPS is buying Irish express delivery and logistics firm Nightline Logistics Group for an undisclosed sum.

The US logistics giant said the deal would move the company into a market-leading position in Ireland, giving it the broadest portfolio in the country and the opportunity to expand its B2C and B2B offerings in Ireland.

UPS currently provides both small package and supply chain services to customers in Ireland, offering ground, air and ocean freight solutions. It also operates gateway functions at both Dublin and Shannon airports.

Combining the two companies’ operations will see UPS significantly enhance its presence in Ireland, with the addition of more ground sorting capacity and vehicles throughout the country.

UPS said the two brands will operate separately at first, with plans to integrate “over time”.

However, UPS stated that the similarity of Nightline’s Parcel Motel service and its Access Point Lockers “creates the potential for network synergies”.

The deal to buy Nightline, which is a privately-held company, is subject to regulatory approval.

UPS truck

Jim Barber, UPS International president, said: “Nightline will complement our existing services, increasing delivery density, while also adding innovative new service options.

"We also look forward to bringing UPS’s extensive healthcare, high-tech and other specialised logistics expertise to the many Irish companies specialising in these markets.”

Nightline co-founder and CEO John Tuohy said: “As we celebrate more than two decades in business, this is the right time in the company’s evolution to join the world’s largest parcel delivery company – one with a reputation for taking care of its people and a culture that aligns well with our own.

"Our customers across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain will benefit from an even wider reach, enjoying direct connectivity to global export markets, and it will be an important milestone in the company’s growth into the future.”

At the start of the year UPS purchased Freightex to expand its brokerage service.