Release Date:
Release ID: 1325

Barloworld Logistics announces significant international acquisitions

Barloworld Logistics, supply chain management subsidiary of industrial multinational Barloworld, today announced a major growth initiative by acquiring Dubai-based Swift Group and its affiliates in the Far East, India, UAE, Africa and Germany.

The acquisitions will catapult Barloworld Logistics into the global logistics arena, especially with regard to multimodal transport solutions, with several niche services and logistics activities between South East Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Europe and Africa.

The Swift group is privately held and has grown an international network specialising in distinctive logistics solutions and services. Now in its 19th year of operations, Swift is a leader in global transportation and logistics, with well-established services between South-East Asia and Western Europe and a number of innovative freight logistics solutions specific to African markets.

Swift has approximately 700 employees in its 46 offices in 21 countries, spanning the Middle East, Far East, the Indian sub-continent, and Africa.

The acquisition will include the marketing operations of one of Swift’s business partners in Germany, which has been responsible for the commercialisation of sea-air combined transport (a multimodal transport solution), operating from the Far East and the Indian sub-continent via the UAE to various destinations in Europe.

Although Swift has made recent in-roads into China, Barloworld Logistics as part of its acquisition strategy is currently also finalising the acquisition of a Hong Kong-based logistics company to strengthen Swift’s presence in the region and to expand Swift’s product and service offering.

Barloworld Logistics CEO Paul Stuiver, commenting on the rationale for the acquisitions, says, “The skills, networks and clients of Swift and its affiliates will enable Barloworld Logistics to provide niche, multimodal solutions in the global logistics arena. By expanding our freight management services through their networks, we will become a significant player in a supply chain network that stretches from Asian manufacturing to Western European and African consumers. In addition, the acquisition will consolidate our existing presence in Dubai, which is already an important global logistics and trans-shipment hub. Most of the existing multimodal market originating from South East Asia is trans-shipped through the UAE”.

Stuiver sees significant growth potential. Swift has an extensive African network which offers Barloworld Logistics the opportunity to sell additional supply chain services into these markets. There will also be synergies with the acquisition some years ago of local freight forwarder ZATrans, now integrated into the Barloworld Logistics group. “Multimodal transport services into Europe and Africa offer great promise as an international delivery niche”, comments Stuiver.

Swift Group’s Chairman and Founder Issa Baluch confirms that he will continue to play a leading role in the Swift Group and that, “It is a milestone for Swift – the staff, management and stakeholders – to be recognized as an organisation with a sound strategy and potential to grow even further as an integral part of the Barloworld group. I am extremely happy and excited for this organization and I believe we have a bright future ahead in pursuit of our corporate goal to serve the world from Dubai.”

Swift was one of the first companies to reserve space in Dubai Logistics City for a purpose built logistics centre (29 000 sqm) and an additional airside facility at the new World Central Airport to provide smooth air connectivity for shipments (25 000 sqm). At present, Swift has a total of 18,000 pallet positions in its warehouses in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, capable of cool, air-conditioned, and dry storage.

Services into Africa include Swift Perishable Logistics operating from the Dubai Flower Centre, offering African farmers and traders opportunities to export perishables around the world via Swift’s African network; and the acclaimed SAM (Sea Air Model) – the first combined sea-air transport solution into several destination points in Africa with scheduled services from origin points in the Far East and India, via transit points in Dubai.

From a Barloworld group perspective, the transactions fit well with the solutions-based growth strategy being pursued in each of its core businesses. Comments CEO Clive Thomson, “The acquisitions set the platform for significant long term value enhancement for the Barloworld Group, and emphasise the extent to which our Logistics business is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by ongoing rapid globalisation and trade movements. From a strong home base in Africa, we are very excited about Barloworld Logistics spreading its wings on the global stage.”


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