GBA in $5-million fleet expansion
European logistics operator backs up business confidence with equipment acquisitions
Fast-growing European logistics operator GBA Services is backing its business confidence with a spend of over $5 million on its largest-ever vehicle purchase, driven by continuing growth in demand and a significant new entry into fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) store delivery work.
At the company’s most recent management conference, it set out its One GBA vision, which includes doubled sales by 2020, and a ten-year plan to be active in every European country. The company believes its confidence is well-placed: GBA’s sales have almost quadrupled in the past seven years, and grew 25 percent in 2017 alone, despite the recent uncertainty about the possible impact of Brexit.
In addition to strong organic growth, 2018 sales in GBA’s UK business are receiving a significant boost with the recent winning of two distribution contracts for household name store chains, which have taken the company into the FMCG sector and added an expected $5 million in new revenue.
Now the company is backing its confidence with the single largest investment in fleet expansion of its entire 30-year history. This comprises 20 brand new DAF XF106 double sleeper tractor units, 30 low-mileage used units to facilitate a rapid start-up for a new contract, 15 brand new Lawrence David Tall-boy 4.65m high pillarless curtain-side trailers, and its largest ever single order for vans: 30 Mercedes Sprinter 316 LWB hi-top euro 6s, six of which are refrigerated and two of them a trial for larger-capacity box-vans. In all, the fleet purchases are worth over $5 million.
The majority of the vehicles are for expansion rather than replacement, and many are left-hand-drive for allocation to GBA’s European stations in Germany, Poland, Austria, and Portugal.
“While many are concerned about Brexit, we identify as many opportunities as threats,” said GBA Services Managing Director David Birkbeck. “For us, the key is to have a physical presence in all major European markets; and this is a transformation programme which has been under way for some time, and is on track to position us as a truly European company.
“Much of our future growth will continue to be organic,” he added, “but we are also planning carefully-selected acquisitions, provided these are a good fit with our existing structure, and can satisfy our stringent criteria.
“GBA is still a family-owned business founded on strong family values that have brought us a long way in 30 years,” he concluded. “We are agile, and we believe that our people, our investments and our values provide a very solid basis for continuing growth in Europe and beyond.”
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