Sasfin Premier Logistics
Alogistics company that’s clearly moved into the fast lane is Sasfin Premier Logistics. Commercially focused, it grew significantly last year and is aggressively diversifying the nature and range of its services, and is looking to expand into Africa. A major driver of these developments is a dynamic team of more than 150 people headed by CEO Peter Ehrenreich, who has added enormous value to the company. Born in 1965 in Aarhus, Denmark, Ehrenreich j oined t he AP MøllerMaersk Shipping Group in Copenhagen at the age of 18.
Ehrenreich was initially trained at the group’s head office in Copenhagen and as he moved up the ranks, was posted to various regional offices in USA, Japan, Singapore (twice), the Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa. He also engaged gg extensively in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, apan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Cambodia, , India and other emerging markets during ring his 11-year tenure in Asia.
In 2003 he was appointed ppointed Head of Safmarine for Asia. Originally a South African company, Safmarine e had become a Maersk subsidibsidiary. In 2008 he returned urned to Johannesburg, where he started his own logistics company with a branch ranch i n Cape Town. In late 2011 011 he was asked to join Premier Freight as MD.
Premier Freight’s main focus was always books, magazines and other imports. Significantly, ignificantly, Ehrenreich travels extensively xtensively to various book fairs across ross the globe to meet with publishers hers and partnering freight forwarders arders on the other side. “This is a difficult niche market, which has to o be carefully managed and not least because it’s being attacked by the tablets.”
Hollard was Premier Freight’s original majority shareholder and 18 years ago the controlling interest was acquired by Sasfin, which owns 100% since March 2013. This development resulted in the recent changing of the name from Premier Freight to Sasfin Premier Logistics Safmarine and Ehrenreich was promoted to CEO.
The company is headquartered on the East Rand and has branches in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. Under Ehrenreich, the decision-making process has been largely f lattened and many functions have been centralised with the use of cutting edge technology.
“In the past, for instance, dealing with Sars at branch level required enormous paperwork. Today, we can do all the customer clearing g and framing of entries in Johannesburg via EDI [electronic data exchange] exchange]. This has made a considerable difference to operating margins – and most importantly we sp sped up our service to our cli clients,” he says.
“We have introduced th the latest technology to ru run our business on one IT platform and we’ve just m moved to new premises in P Pomona near OR Tambo Ai Airport. It comprises beautiful offices and a brand new ware warehouse too, and we are excite excited to be selling all kind of ware warehousing services as well.”
L Looking ahead, Ehrenreich is set on Sasfin Logistics bein being the preferred logistics prov provider in the country in the next f ive years, which impl implicitly means diversifying the company c into other logistics activities and competing head to head with its rivals.
“So in taking it to the next level, we are looking to both organic and acquisitive growth. Much of it is predicated on our relationship with Sasfin with its excellent balance sheet and its wide range of entrepreneurially-driven activities. Sasfin wants us to grow and if we’re able to get it right, the sky is the limit.
“When we all solely focus on servicing our clients and truly become a ‘Partner Beyond Expectations’ we are convinced our business will grow from strength to strength as per our strategy.”
Ehrenreich says that he’d like the business to be 40% export driven and 60% import driven. “We’d like to get a lot more into land transport, especially between Gauteng and the neighbouring countries. We’re looking at how to penetrate the wider African market as well.”
A huge advantage is also the global freight forwarder network in Hecny that Sasfin Premier Logistics has access to. The joint venture Hecny Transportation SA works intensively with the other 170 Hecny offices worldwide and will procure very competitive ocean – and air freight pricing to its customers. “With the Hecny affiliation we are a local company with a global reach through one very powerful partner only,” says Ehrenreich.
He believes that Sasfin Premier Logistics’ main advantages are its excellent relationship with medium to large companies; its ability to offer ‘start-to-finish’ solutions that other logistics companies can’t offer with its one-stop trade finance, forex and other services via Sasfin Bank. “When you interact with us you will realise that we can handle all the logistics – and we can do a lot more due to the services rendered by our shareholder, so we can also discuss trade finance, forex, consultancy services, insurance, medical aid, business banking and wealth management. No other logistics company has this much to offer in-house.”
Ehrenreich further adds: “Come check us out – we are ready to work with you!”