New private equity investment and growth of cross-border market share to drive SEKO Logistics’ expansion in China
SEKO Logistics’ ambitious growth plan with the support of new investment partner, Ridgemont Equity Partners, includes a significant commitment to boost its presence in China, commencing with the expansion of SEKO’s warehouse and fulfilment center in Shenzhen in 2021 to increase capacity by 400% to 250,000 parcels a day.
The move will build on SEKO’s successful air and ocean freight growth to and from China, which saw a cumulative 20% increase in the last year. It will also support strong B2B demand for SEKO’s Value Added Freight Forwarding (VAFF) services. The opening of more new office locations and an employment drive also follow SEKO’s major contract wins in China in 2020.
SEKO’s APAC head office in Hong Kong and China headquarters in Shanghai have already overseen rapid growth of the company’s China marketplace services, with some 300 staff already serving B2B and B2C clients from SEKO offices in Shanghai and Ningbo as well as from collection centers in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Yiwu and Xiamen. SEKO has also more than doubled capacity at its showcase omni-channel fulfillment center in Hong Kong to over 200,000 sq. ft., through investments in multiple mezzanine floors, pick towers, and dedicated areas for value added freight forwarding services including ocean freight consolidation services in China, Expedited ocean freight, sea/air services, air charters and origin freight management services. The building is also equipped with secure and temperature-controlled facilities for high value products.
The opening of a SEKO office in Hangzhou 18 months ago enabled SEKO to build its share of the cross-border e-commerce market from China’s Zhejiang province for all inbound and outbound ecommerce movements. Qingdao was the latest SEKO office to open in China in February 2021 and will be followed later this year by the expansion of SEKO’s existing facility in Shenzhen to serve multichannel customers in China doing business across the globe. Centrally located between both Guangzhou and Shenzhen, SEKO’s investment in the facility will provide full service cross dock and export services, and offer climate and humidity-controlled zones for the fulfilment of high value e-commerce shipments. Office accommodation will also be expanded as new staff are brought into the business to serve SEKO’s fast-growing portfolio of value added freight forwarding clients.
The rapid growth of SEKO’s China Export Hub facilities has been driven by its acquisition of Air-City, Inc. in the US, in 2020 and its partnership with Hermes Germany GMBH in Europe. The acceleration of SEKO’s network expansion in China, and the hiring of more sales and operations staff, will also help to serve sellers sending millions of daily parcels a day to Europe, the US and other international markets.
Anthony Barnes, SEKO APAC, COO
“With the encouragement of Ridgemont Equity Partners, SEKO is entering an exciting new phase of rapid growth, and China is at the forefront of our plans as we look to extend SEKO’s footprint to serve our clients wherever they need us. We are increasing our ability to help customers who want their product to be fulfilled in Hong Kong to cater to online orders in China and Asia. SEKO’s ability to be agile and flexible in meeting the needs of retailers and platform operators is also giving us opportunities to expand our business outside of China and Hong Kong. Ultimately, we are building a model for SEKO to vertically integrate all services, from online orders to home, or out of home deliveries,” said Anthony Barnes, SEKO’s Chief Operating Officer, APAC.
ABOUT SEKO LOGISTICS
Founded in 1976, SEKO provides e-commerce logistics and shipping solutions, white glove delivery solutions, healthcare logistics and value-added freight forwarding services. SEKO continues to expand on its specialized and configurable technology platforms that provide a seamless flow of information and give shippers more visibility and enhanced delivery experiences. With over 120 offices in 40 countries worldwide, SEKO’s customers benefit from a global implementation experience coupled with vital in-country knowledge and service at the local level.
ABOUT RIDGEMONT EQUITY PARTNERS
Ridgemont Equity Partners is a Charlotte-based middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested over $5 billion. The firm focuses on equity investments up to $250 million and utilizes a proven, industry-focused investment approach and repeatable value creation strategies. Ridgemont’s most recent flagship fund, REP III, was formed in 2018 and has $1.65B of committed capital.
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