Credibility key for fast-starter SGS Logistics

Importance of viability, sound management magnified during crisis

Credibility key for fast-starter SGS Logistics
Luke Sadler (left) and David Gay


In the midst of juggling virus-spurred challenges, national contract logistics firm SGS Logistics has marked its fourth year of trading with a second significant milestone.

With a turnover of more than $10 million in the 2019 financial year, the firm operating on a platform of paying above-market owner-driver rates nabbed a consecutive Australian Financial Review (AFR) Fast Starters accolade.

SGS rose 11 places from the previous year to finish in the top 20.

Co-director Luke Sadler hails the achievement and highlights the importance of business viability and responsibility in any economic circumstance – but particularly when times are tough.

"This is a reminder that we have a duty to all of those who got us to this point to do everything we can to ensure we continue to be a credible, viable presence in the market and come out the other side stronger than ever.

"This is what will leave us best placed to continue our quest for better pay and conditions for subcontractor drivers which leads to better service for customers."

Sadler notes the company response to Covid-19 is a "day-to-day proposition" balancing the needs of its diversified portfolio of clients and stakeholders.

"There are so many moving parts and things can escalate throughout any given day; it feels like we’re releasing new policies and processes daily to keep up with whatever the government has just announced.

"We are all going to be impacted in the coming weeks and months in some way and to some extent."

There is no magic-bullet solution, rather a measured response to scenarios as they arise, co-director David Gay says.

"Proactive transparent communication with all stakeholders is so important, but so is striking that balance between being honest and direct and not unnecessarily alarming your people.

"We have to keep our empathy and understanding high as we are going to face challenges together we never have before, and there will not always be a quick and easy solution.

"Aside from the necessary work we’ve done on mitigating the risk of catching and spreading Covid-19 that all responsible businesses will be doing, we and the team are just making sure we’re as contactable as possible so that all stakeholders whether they be driver or customer know we’re here and ready to act in whatever capacity is required."  

Read SGS's insight into its strategy, here

Both agree equally shouldering the responsibility of business direction and strategy eases the burden and improves operational outcomes.

"Any leadership textbook will tell you that remaining cool in a crisis is critical to making smart decisions through that crisis. Your people also need to see that you’ve got this," Sadler says.

"I think Dave and I being able to share all of the responsibility makes this a lot easier than it must be for those who shoulder the load on their own at the top.

"We do a very good job balancing each other out and I think the SGS team would agree that this leads to us both being the calming influences we need to be, particularly at this point in time."

Gay puts fast-starter accolade down to a trust shared between company, drivers and clients hence the importance of ensuring each party’s viability at this time.

"Whilst we do feel some pride, it is tempered by our recognition that as a business our focus needs to be on our drivers, staff and customers through these incredibly challenging times.

"Each of these stakeholders are equally responsible for getting SGS Logistics to where we are, and we will do whatever we possibly can to mitigate the impact of all of this on them so we can continue to take each other forward once this is all done."


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