SEKO Logistics is demonstrating its confidence in the continued cross-border growth potential of British brands globally by investing in a new flagship airfreight and omni-parcel services facility close to London Heathrow. The move comes as SEKO’s revenues are set to top £100 million in the UK in 2018 for the first time.
With Heathrow’s expansion gaining Government approval in June as well as the UK aiming to double its export business to £1 trillion by 2020 – and alongside Britain’s place in the world’s top five importing countries – SEKO says Heathrow will become an even more vital gateway for a plethora of new cross-border trading opportunities for both British and international businesses.
Moving into the new 22,000 sq ft purpose-built location in Egham this month is part of a £5 million-plus commitment to support SEKO customers’ fast-growing international shipment volumes, which includes the rapid expansion of pureplay e-tailer business from the UK to Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. It also provides additional capacity to manage new business from British brands attracted by SEKO’s hybrid logistics solutions offering fulfilment, forwarding, cross-border eCommerce and its award-winning supply chain software.
Keith O’Brien, SEKO’s Chief Operating Officer – EMEA, commented: “We are growing organically mainly on the strength of existing customer recommendations as well as our specialist expertise, expanding global footprint and reputation for helping British companies to quickly access the lucrative cross-border eCommerce space, which has been our biggest growth area in the past 2-3 years. This will continue because of the international demand for British brands. Our decision to invest in this new facility close to Heathrow will make the cross-border delivery process even easier for our customers.”
SEKO opened its first UK location in 2003 and now operates eight facilities, including a 225,000 sq ft logistics centre in Milton Keynes from where it delivers a full range of omnichannel services for global order fulfilment, delivery management, returns solutions and ecommerce for leading brands. Outside of the U.S, where SEKO was founded in 1976, the UK, boosted by the growth of eCommerce, is now the largest global market in a SEKO Logistics network spanning over 120 offices in more than 40 countries. Currently, the UK is the third largest eCommerce market in the world, with 46% of UK SMEs exporting and receiving revenue from overseas.
Addressing ‘The Delivery Conference’ in London recently, Justin Irvine, Commercial Director of SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics, stated: “Speed and service drive growth. It is already clear that consumers shop more and have higher cart spends with companies providing consistently higher service levels. And, quite often they are willing to pay to receive a better service once they have confidence in a company’s ability to deliver. This is driving growth of eCommerce Express or premium shipping options and expectations. It’s now possible, for example, for UK e-tailers to deliver to Asia and Australasia – collectively the largest eCommerce growth market in the world – in 2-3 days for under £10.00. Companies that deploy these increased service levels can expect to see their businesses grow 1.6 times faster.”
“We are extremely confident in the level of global demand for high quality British brands and will continue to invest to help facilitate their growth. Our hybrid logistics services, and the end-to-end supply chain visibility we provide, means SEKO customers can focus on fulfilling their sales potential. And, as a customs broker and 3PL, we will also help to ensure they are fully-prepared for all eventualities once the full outcome of the UK-EU negotiations is known. This is supported also by the added peace of mind that comes from us working closely with our neighbouring SEKO Logistics facilities in Europe, which underpins our ability to manage all customer requirements,” Keith O’Brien said.
SEKO Logistics’ global expansion also saw the opening of its second largest operation in Europe at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Logistics Park in February, bringing its entire service offering under one roof for customers using SEKO’s cross-border eCommerce, Omni-Channel and international transportation and fulfilment solutions. The Amsterdam operation provides a further distribution channel into Europe for U.S. retailers and will help to spearhead the development of the company’s Final Mile and White Glove services across the continent.
This investment increases SEKO’s ability in the Netherlands to handle fulfilment for multiple wholesale, retail and eCommerce channels, including reverse logistics and returns. It is also satisfying growing demand for the company’s value-added services, which include quality control checking, labelling, re-packing, adding and removing price tags, kitting and light assembly. SEKO also operates cross-dock operations for various customers in Amsterdam.