Press Release – Merger agreement between CrossTrades and Ocean Bridge Lines

Ocean Freight networks Ocean Bridge Lines and CrossTrades announce merger agreement


Logistics networks organizations Ocean Bridge Lines (Singapore) and CrossTrades (Hong Kong) have announced the merger of their communities into CrossTrades OBL. Given their compatible geographical scope and the size of both networks, they will be able to offer their members unique advantages through central purchasing activities and intelligent supply chain visibility.


Today logistic companies Ahlers and Syntrans jointly manage Ocean Bridge Lines, in which Ahlers initiated the Partner Network and Syntrans focuses on joint purchasing activities. The network has a strong presence in Asia and Europe.

CrossTrades was founded by Rik Spruyt in 2015 as an African partner network. Gosselin and Syntrans joined as shareholders in 2016, Ahlers in 2017.

The newly founded network CrossTrades OBL will be representing 70 partners with close to 200 offices worldwide. Besides offering their members a strong central purchasing power, the network will be investing in a comprehensive IT platform which consists of network management (communication & data exchange), collaboration features (planning & execution) and intelligent supply chain visibility.

Through the power of machine learning, the system is able to suggest improvements to individual users in order to lower costs, optimize rates and routes. This unique platform will prove without a doubt that it is smarter to join than to compete.

The different shareholders all bring a very specific knowledge to the table, different specializations they intend to keep focusing on within the network.



Ahlers Founded in 1909, Ahlers operates today as a logistics and maritime service provider offering tailor-made solutions to their clients worldwide. With 950 people working in offices and warehouses in Europe, Russia & CIS and Asia, it has a focus on supply chain solutions, warehousing, value added logistics, supply network optimization and project cargo.


Founded in 1930, Gosselin Group employs over 800 people with expected sales exceeding 300 million Euros. With 56 group offices in 34 countries, the company has strong representation throughout Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.. Gosselin Mobility handles international moving and relocation services for multinationals, expats, diplomats, military personnel and private individuals. Gosselin Logistics provides business to business logistics services.


Syntrans is one of the top local freight forwarders in China with 680 staff. After 22 years’ development Syntrans is now running 19 offices across “Greater China” (Hong Kong, Taiwan included). Syntrans is business partner for big companies like Alibaba, ThyssenKrupp, Amazon, Andritz, Midea & BYD etc.

Rik Spruyt

With over twenty year of experience in international transport & logistics, Rik Spruyt developed a specialization in Africa logistics and the Asia-Africa trade lanes. Rik held senior management positions for the leading logistics operator in Africa, whilst living in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, East Congo and Tanzania and as from 2010 in China. Rik currently lives in Bangkok, but he still spends most of his time travelling in Africa and other Asian countries.

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