SEKO Logistics, the Chicago-based third-party logistics provider, will target China and Africa as it looks to expand from its U.S. origins and double revenue in the next five years, according to CEO Bill Wascher.
He said SEKO, acquired by its current management team in 2002 from USF Freightways, is in the midst of a major upturn in growth, with annual revenue already surpassing $500 million. “As we continue to invest in business development, marketing and technology, we are breaking through the tipping point and will reach $1 billion in revenue within five years,” Wascher said in an interview.
Regional head offices in London for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Hong Kong for the Asia-Pacific have driven SEKO’s overseas expansion, with a strong focus on China, Hong Kong, the U.K. and northern Europe. The company now is targeting other markets. “In the past five years, SEKO has also expanded into key markets including central Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Mexico,” Wascher said.
The company, he noted, is realigning its global sales team under Chief Sales Officer Joe Bento, who joined the company from CEVA Logistics recently.
Wascher said China and the U.S are key growth markets for SEKO and believes even Europe has room for progress despite the downturn in import demand. “Even as their (China) economy loses steam, they are still growing,” he said. “The United States continues to increase exports. We also continue to see success in Europe, even during their sovereign debt crisis, as shippers continue to look for creative outsourcing solutions to help drive down costs.”
The recession, however, has hurt European import demand, he said. “It is not just uncertainty over the euro; it is due to the fact that the European consumer is being much more conservative in their spending patterns generally,” Wascher said. “We expect this to continue for some time to come, at least until the leading economies start to show consistent quarters of growth in their respective areas.”
Africa is another bright spot for SEKO, and the company is expanding in North and East Africa. “Growth rates in many African countries continue to average north of 6 percent, and investments in infrastructure, technology, energy and mining continue to increase,” he said. “We now have offices in Libya, Uganda and Ethiopia, with Kenya and Tanzania coming soon. Our offices in South Africa also continue to grow.”
Contact Mike King at Michael@borderline.eu.com.