Despite the recent troubles we have seen in the country, e-commerce and the transportation of goods, has continued to explode. Consolidation means better service and better pricing as the industry expands and competes. This also comes off the back of DPD’s involvement with transportation of vaccines via cold storage. They are on a great trajectory, especially since this acquisition was supported by a European logistics leader.
Express parcel leader, DPD Laser, acquires Fast + Furious at the peak of the pandemic
As the country rides the uncertainty of a third wave and gathers itself from recent social unrest, global express parcel powerhouse DPDgroup and their South African partner Laser have announced today DPD Laser’s acquisition of Fast + Furious, subject to final approval from the Competition Commission.
The move has been driven by the demand to service South Africa’s eCommerce growth, which has exploded since March 2020. “The importance of express and ‘to consumer’ distribution has never been greater than at this time,” explains Philip Hayes, CEO of The Laser Group. “This is an acquisition born out of necessity and the need to assist South African businesses and consumers in the toughest period of the last few decades.”
“In the last 16 months, we have worked incredibly hard at supporting our customers and their customers through the various COVID-19 waves and subsequent lockdowns. Consumers need products to live and work, and they need safe, ‘contactless’ delivery, and we focused our attention there. In recent months, we have actively developed our capabilities to deliver an ultracold distribution and storage solution for vaccines. And now we are doubling up on customer-centricity and reaching deeper parts of South Africa via the network expansion and capability brought by Fast + Furious. We are excited about the possibilities and the extent to which the two businesses complement one and other,” he adds.
The acquisition augments DPD Laser from 900 to 1500 people, sees 700 vehicles increase to nearly 1100, and expands 15 national branches to a presence of more than 25 areas nationally, with an estimated 12m parcel deliveries in the next 12 months.
DPD Laser benefits enormously from the resource, expertise and experience of DPDgroup, which operates in 49 countries worldwide and has led the European distribution market as it evolved to competently service eCommerce growth. Benjamin Demoge, Executive Vice President at DPDgroup, emphasises, “Time-sensitive distribution to or from the consumer’s home or place of work has been embedded in everything that we do for a number of years now. And this is not just on a domestic basis. International eCommerce is currently developing at an incredible rate, and as a consequence, we need expertise and scale in all of the markets that we operate in. The acquisition of Fast + Furious is very important in this regard.”
Fast + Furious, starting in a home garage in Johannesburg in 1997, is a South African success story that placed an intense focus on customer interface and support, delivering 300 000 parcels a month and building a network that can reach the far corners of South Africa.
Anton Visagie, CEO of DPD Laser, adds, “We wanted to deliver increased transparency, flexibility and control over large parcel volumes and to interface real-time with the customer. To do this effectively across all of South Africa, we required further network expansion, scale and density in the rural and regional areas to give customers a greater cost and service benefit. This acquisition is a win for customers and a win for us. And this is in every aspect of our business, not just the eCommerce aspect. Our specialist healthcare, food, and B2B offerings will all benefit from the acquisition.”
Jason Lombard, CEO of Fast + Furious, “Now my customers can have access to everything they want in every street in this country, not just because we can go there, but now we can go there more frequently, and that changes the dynamic – a visible delivery partner in every area, in suburbs, regions, remote areas and townships. We are bringing real access and inclusion with this deal and at a critical time.”
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