A unit of Swiss commodities trader Trafigura has formed a joint venture with a Chinese logistics firm to tap a network of more than 50 warehouses within and outside China, a major commodity importer, the companies said.

Trafigura’s North European Marine Service (NEMS) and SIPG Logistics Co Ltd (SIPGL) will each own half of the joint venture called Shanghai NEMS Port Logistics Co Ltd, the companies said in a statement. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Firms running warehouses registered by the London Metal Exchange, the world’s biggest industrial metals marketplace, have been making money by building up big stocks and allowing queues to grow for consumers to withdraw material, while charging rent for storage.

“NEMS will become a preferred supplier for SIPGL, creating fresh business opportunities within China but also amongst our traditional client base across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and other parts of Asia,” Charles Bucknall, managing director of NEMS, said in the statement.

NEMS will complete construction of a new 20,000-square meter floor capacity warehouse in the Yangshan Free Trade Port Area in Shanghai in October, boosting its storage capacity in China, according to the statement.

SIPGL is a subsidiary of listed firm Shanghai International Port (Group) Co Ltd. (Reuters)