The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a US$ 10 million loan to Ukraine’s TC Meest Express LLC (Meest Express), one of the leading providers of postal and logistic services for worldwide delivery to Ukraine, eastern Europe and the CIS region.
The EBRD financing will help Meest Express to implement its strategy of increasing their market share in Ukraine and achieve a expansion of its current network of 400 pick-up and drop-off points by 2020.
The loan is part of the EBRD’s Direct Financing Framework designed to provide easier access to funding with longer maturities for local businesses. Up to US$ 1.8 million of the loan is provided under the Green Logistics Programme (GLP) initiated by the EBRD and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and represents a strategic approach to decarbonise the logistics sector across the Bank’s countries of operations. The GLP encourages private sector players to introduce best practices in carbon reduction to combat the highly inefficient energy use the region is known for, according to EBRD.
With the support of the EBRD and GEF, Meest Express will invest the funding in a development programme aimed at introducing logistical innovations and low-carbon courier products. This includes the expansion of its network of automated collection and delivery points, the development of a specialised IT platform and of domestic and international logistical hubs, as well as marketing activities to boost market awareness of the Meest brand.
Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said: “Modern postal services like Meest Express allow Ukrainians to use extensively major international online stores like Amazon and eBay and stimulate healthy competition. Even more importantly, this project promotes low-carbon business practices, which are a novelty for the region.”
Meest Express is a top private international postal and logistics operator in Ukraine established in 1992 and represented 13 countries. Meest Group owns 14 international hubs in Canada, China, Greece, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine and the USA. Meest Express is the Largest national logistics operator in “door to door” delivery in Ukraine. It has 610 offices throughout Ukraine, 60 of which are stand-alone subsidiaries, which offer the full-range of storage services and operations as well as IT support in logistics.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €12 billion through 369 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993.