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good service New name, same


Sasfin Premier Logistics focus supply chain


Now 100 percent owned by Sasfin, Sasfin Premier Logistics, formerly Premier Freight, is embarking on an exciting new phase, 35 years after first entering the market.

By Ian Armitage

n March financial services company Sasfin acquired the remaining 31,58 percent of Premier Freight it did not already own. The transaction made Premier a 100 percent subsidiary of Sasfin and led to a number of changes – a new name, for one. The firm now known as Sasfin Premier Logistics is a multi model freight forwarding concern offering logistical solutions to the fields of international freight forwarding, by air, land or sea; customs clearance; domestic deliveries; and warehousing distribution solutions. Peter H Ehrenreich was appointed MD in 2011 and promoted to CEO in 2012. He has been driving change within the business ever since. “It is all part of Sasfin’s drive to expand service offerings into a broader commercial solution business,” he says. “It is an exciting new chapter and we’ve seen a lot happen in the last 12 months.” According to Mr Ehrenreich, being part of “a dynamic group” means Sasfin Premier Logistics can offer clients the services of an expert team, identifying the needs of importers and exporters from start to finish, and also satisfy them. The best way to think of the company now is like runners in a relay race, handing over the baton from one runner to the next. “It is a network, a team, working together, handing over to each other from one leg of the supply chain to the next. We call the concept ‘start to finish’.”


Sasfin Premier Logistics focus supply chain

The concept integrates import trade finance, foreign exchange, marine insurance and all facets of logistics, he says. “This holistic import/export solution is only a small part of the benefits that we, as the Sasfin Group, can offer. It enables businesses to benefit from the flexibility of freed up working capital.” Tamica Ching, sales and marketing director, agrees: “Our customers have responded very well to the change; it’s been very positive. I believe that is because of how we have managed the whole process, internally and externally. We very much view our clients as partners and have kept them abreast of all the developments and changes that have been happening. Clients are excited and I believe we will see the real differences as we investigate additional opportunities to add value.” In line with its ‘new beginning’, Sasfin Premier Logistics restructured internally. A number of management changes have taken place and Mr Ehrenreich has 4

introduced several new initiatives to the company, including an organisational restructuring and a new integrated IT system. “The state-of-the-art CargoWise/ Compu-Clearing system will increase value for customers in improving efficiencies and transparency on each supply chain movement. We are only just getting started and the system will provide several other customer-specific benefits. “When I came in, I looked at how we conducted business and had lots of ideas about modernisation, how we could streamline the management team - which was top-heavy - and so on. I looked at the entire business and was given full backing from my board. I feel confident because we have wonderful staff, there is a good spirit here in our organisation and we have a strong client base. On that foundation, I think, you can do pretty much anything. “We have made some real, positive changes, which have reinforced the solid foundation on which Premier Freight was

built 35 years ago,” Mr Ehrenreich adds. “We are now a proud full member of the Sasfin Group, which only adds value to our service proposition. We have a great team of inspired people I am proud to work with – and we see a future of sustainable profitable growth in a very competitive industry.” Mrs Ching adds, “We will continue to strive to be a Partner Beyond Expectations.” To the untrained eye, a freight forwarding and clearing business may look a little foreign in a financial services group but Sasfin Premier Logistics is now an integral component of the Sasfin service offering. “We specialise in freight forwarding, by sea, land or air, customs 6

As part of our strategy we are also looking to expand into other African countries, which would also give the rest of the group new opportunities

clearing, distribution and warehousing, logistics and freight insurance but we are much more than just your normal freight company. We’re a company that prides itself on its high level of service and an ability to develop good relationships with customers based on mutual trust. Sasfin’s other services fit in neatly with what we have traditionally done, providing the financing tools to facilitate trade and adding to our offering. Through the group we are able to offer services such as trade and debtor finance, purchase of forex, foreign exchange risk management solutions, investigating the opportunity to tap into growth incentives such as the manufacturing

Sasfin Premier Logistics focus supply chain

incentive, rebate application and administration, import duty recovery, training, permit application and insurance only to mention a few. Nobody else has that and by providing the logistical infrastructure for any international trade in-house, we’re able to limit the risk faced in financing imports and exports. “It is a really strong offering.” Sasfin first bought a stake in the company after 60 percent shareholder insurance company Hollard sold its stake in 1998. It was the birth of a strategic tie-up that has strengthened significantly in the last year, and mutual benefits will come from this and only expand in the future. “We’ve redesigned our internal processes now around our customers and their requirements,” Ehrenreich says. “We’ve broken down silos and created team units that work a lot closer with each other to ensure positive outcomes and experiences. We’re much more than the typical forwarding company; we’re partners. “As part of our strategy we are also looking to expand into other African countries, which would also give the rest of the group new opportunities. Now that is a lot of work and it will not happen overnight but we’re ambitious. “We’re definitely hungry, our shareholder is as well, and we know critical mass is vital in our industry. However, we will only buy and / or expand organically when it makes sense for our business or can add value to our customers. We want sustainable growth.” END To learn more visit

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Sasfin Premier Logistics Business Brochure - South Africa Magazine Issue 32

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