We've come a long way since 1987 .....
In the months following the 1987 stock market crash, our founder and Director, Ben Evans, faced challenging times. His employer’s business had failed, leaving him uncertain about the future. However, amidst the difficulties, Ben noticed a growing trend overseas where organizations were outsourcing their physical distribution activities to enhance their supply chain’s flexibility and efficiency. Recognizing an opportunity, Ben decided to establish a logistics company named ‘GDL,’ which later rebranded as Online Distribution Services.
Initially, GDL had only one client, an Australian business seeking warehousing and distribution facilities in New Zealand. Ben set up warehouses in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland, embarking on a journey that would present numerous challenges. Despite skeptical expectations, including those of the bank, Ben managed to grow the business into a thriving nationwide operation. The success of GDL attracted the attention of the Freightways Group, which acquired 50% of the company initially and the remaining stake a few years later. Although the decision to sell was difficult for Ben, circumstances changed in 1995, prompting him to repurchase the South Island component of the business and embrace new challenges.
Under Ben’s visionary leadership, the business flourished. Soon, a dedicated team of ten individuals was operating four warehouses in Christchurch. As the demand for outsourced logistics continued to rise, Ben seized an opportunity to acquire Meadows Southern Logistics Limited from UTI Worldwide Incorporated. To accommodate this expansion, two additional warehouses were opened in Christchurch, solidifying Online Distribution’s presence in the logistics market.
Recognising the growing interest in outsourcing logistics among companies, Ben and his team realized the need for storage and distribution facilities at both ends of the country. Consequently, they made the strategic decision to open a warehouse in Auckland, allowing clients to benefit from nationwide storage and distribution efficiencies.
Over the past decade, Online Distribution has experienced substantial growth, necessitating the expansion of warehouse facilities in both Auckland and Christchurch. The company now operates from 10 modern and efficient warehouses which maximise efficiency through thoughtful design and the implementation of advanced technology.
Today, Online Distribution remains a privately-owned family business, driven by a dedicated team of 180 passionate and dedicated “Onliners”, serving over 100 diverse and forward-thinking client companies. Online Distribution’s legacy endures, rooted in its humble beginnings and a strong track record of enabling the success of other businesses
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