Allport, the Essex-based freight forwarding and logistics company, is merging with CS Logistics Holdings Limited, the parent company of Cargo Services Far East Limited, one of the most successful logistics operators in Hong Kong and China.
The companies have been working together for 20 years having established the Far East Cargo Line NVOCC network, set up joint ventures in countries such as South Africa, Singapore, Thailand and Korea, and now providing services to clients in Australia/New Zealand, South America, North America, the Middle East and UK regions.
Allport was founded almost 50 years ago by Will Toye and John Clayton, who are both retaining a minority stake in the new venture. CS Logistics Holdings, founded in 1990 by John Lau, now has 28 offices in Hong Kong and mainland China with over 4,200 staff. Allport has had a shareholding from CS’ inception.
Toye said: “We greatly value the strong partnership we have built with John Lau and his team and believe this is the best way to continue growing the company and the business we have developed together.
“We share the same values, business ethos and vision for the future so it is very much a natural progression to merge the two companies.”
Supply chain management is a well established and highly successful feature of both companies. With many leading retailers – including three of the UK’s top four supermarkets – established customers, using Allport's LIMA supply chain visibility system.
The restructured business which will continue to operate under the two existing names, manages over 700,000 sea container movements annually around the globe as well as operating significant air freight services and pre-retail origin logistics.
John Lau says: “I am very excited by the new opportunities and challenges that this merger will bring. We have always worked closely together and now, with more than 5,500 personnel in 70+ worldwide locations, we have the combined strengths to accelerate our growth on a global scale.”
The Allport senior management team has taken this opportunity to implement its succession planning, with current group MD and deputy group MD – Derek Davis and Danny Toye – moving to non-executive roles, giving way to long-standing colleagues Chris Cargill and Jerry Gray.
Chris Cargill, Allport’s new group managing director, says: “Our senior personnel have been consulted throughout and we believe that the merger ensures we maintain a solid management team and superb financial stability, with an infrastructure that combines the extensive origin services of Cargo Services in Asia and the customer-centric expertise of our team here in the UK.”
Allport’s two original founders, together with the new group managing director, Chris Cargill and deputy group managing director, Jerry Gray, will retain a 10 per cent stake in the company. And following significant interest from the Hong Kong financial sector, HSBC has become a strategic financial partner of the group.
Allport has local operations in Bishop’s Stortford, serving Stansted, and Tilbury.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Jerry Gray, deputy group MD, Allport