(Photo: Daniel Flitterman, MD, Seabourne Logistics)
Leading independent logistics operator with offices in the UK, The Netherlands, France, and South Africa
(Date) 2022: Established in 1962 by Sir Clive Bourne as a leading parcel delivery service in Europe, Seabourne is launching the next stage of its global journey as it celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Still independently owned, it has announced a consolidation of its business operations in South Africa, the UK, France, and The Netherlands to be known as Seabourne Logistics. This will best take advantage of its unique synergies, in addition to a new logo, vision, mission and values statement and a new and improved website.
“Our extensive experience is unparalleled in its breadth and scope, and we will continue to leverage this to seamlessly integrate flexibility throughout our global operations by means of cutting-edge technology and customised solutions,” says Seabourne Logistics MD Daniel Flitterman. “The fact that we remain an independent company allows us to offer rapid and reliable services globally via our extensive network of select partners.”
Flitterman points to the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as two examples of seismic shifts in the supply chain and logistics sector. It ultimately resulted in an unprecedented boom in e-commerce as markets scrambled to adapt to the ‘new normal’. “We have evolved and transformed in line with these trends, expanding our global services as a result,” says Mark Volante, Freight Director at Seabourne Logistics in the UK. The outcome for Seabourne customers is transparency and increased productivity through consistent logistics and delivery.
A key part of Seabourne Logistics is its South African operation, managed by husband-and-wife team Garry and Ezelle Harris. Garry set up the business from his garage in 2002, with one of the drivers who started out with him still at the company today. After establishing a significant footprint in the automotive industry, and other niche sectors such as wine and pharmaceuticals, Garry and Ezelle sold a 70% stake in the business to the Seabourne Group in 2009.
“We put our feelers out to Seabourne in the UK as a means to expand our international network and gain momentum abroad,” says Garry. Such has been the success of the company to date that it entered the burgeoning warehousing sector in the boom period from 2015 to 2016. “There are many large corporates that avail themselves of our warehousing services, due to our level of technology and the skilled people we have.”
In terms of the freight and courier side of the business, being part of Seabourne Logistics has allowed all businesses to offer global end-to-end solutions. “Our global affiliation means we can cater for the entire logistics supply chain,” says Jan Kalkman, The Netherlands MD. “We are calling it a ‘consolidation’ in terms of our vision refresh, but the important point to note is the synergies it unlocks between the businesses in all the different regions we cover. The Netherlands being the gateway to the rest of Europe, we are investing significantly in the business-to-consumer e-commerce side of the business with our new e-fulfilment operation connected to our new ‘B2C Connect’ delivery solutions.”
The new vision, mission and values statement pave the way forward for Seabourne Logistics for decades to come, says Flitterman. “Our aim is to be the first-choice partner in terms of offering global transport, logistics and warehousing solutions.” Key to this strategy has been the adoption of leading-edge technology to increase productivity and ensure consistent delivery.
“Our vision is supported by our core underlying values. Wherever you find us in the world, the ‘Seabourne experience’ is the same,” adds Garry. Indeed, the global Seabourne Logistics family is creative, dedicated, and inspired to deliver the best service possible to its vast client base. “We all share an unshakeable commitment to problem solving and delivering a personalised service to all,” says Volante.
Seabourne Logistics focuses on a basket of main services that include warehousing, distribution, courier, clearing and forwarding, air, rail, and sea freight, in addition to specialised solutions customised for specific industries. “We always aim to enter into partnerships with our clients, whereby we effectively become an extension of their business as a trusted advisor and service provider,” says Flitterman. He attributes the longevity of the group to its triple pedigree of ‘trust, reliability and flexibility’, which has allowed it to become one of the leading independent operators in the world.
The ‘Seabourne Experience’ is based on the following factors:
- Industry specialists: Personalised, best-in-class solutions offered at excellent rates.
- Single point of contact: Gives clients peace of mind to focus on their core business.
- Latest technology: IT systems both acquired and internally developed specifically for respective markets to boost communication, assess service levels, and provide real-time information for easy tracking and data integration.
- Large consignment negotiations: Partner discounts are passed onto clients for added cost-savings.