Proudly homegrown. Globally respected.
Megafreight's history traces back all the way to Gordon’s Airfreight (Pty) Ltd, that was founded by Gordon Pascoe in October 1980. It opened its doors for business on the 2nd of February 1981 in Kempton Park, close to Johannesburg International Airport, as a Customs Clearing Agent with a staff compliment of four people. Shareholders at the time were Pascoe (25%), S. Bacher & Co (Pty) Ltd (better known as Lanco Watches - 50%) and Friedland Stores (better known as Dion Stores - 25%).
Gordon’s Airfreight enters into an agreement with German-based forwarder Richard Boas and Hong Kong-based forwarder Baltrans in its first steps to offer international forwarding services to its customers.
In line with expansion by Dion Stores, Megafreight Services (Pty) Ltd is registered on the 9th of December 1983 to handle Ocean Freight, with Dions taking up 75% of the shares in the company. Mike Els joins the company on the 15th of December 1983 as head of the Ocean Freight division. Megafreight installs its first computer system.
Gordon’s Airfreight (Pty) Ltd is merged with Megafreight Services (Pty) Ltd and the company relocate to larger premises. The company acquires Transpacific Shipping (Pty) Ltd, while German-based forwarder M&M Militzer & Munch is appointed as the first large international forwarder along with Marine Land Air Transport in Taiwan.
Following the now infamous “Rubicon Speech”, Dions experiences substantial exchange losses. In the process of disposing of its subsidiaries, Megafreight is sold to competitor Oceanair, where it continues to trade independently under its own name.
Oceanair is sold to Safcor-Panalpina and in May 1986 Gordon Pascoe and Mike Els acquire 100% of Megafreight Services (Pty) Ltd. Trading re-commence on the 1st of June 1986, in premises shared with friendly competitor Freightech, in the back of their small warehouse with a staff compliment of five. International partnerships are renewed.
Now operating from their own premises with a larger staff compliment, Megafreight develops its own in-house operations software, called Megatrac, that runs on a small Unix 386 computer network. Rohek Warehousing buys a minority stake in the company.
Durban branch opens and the Megatrac software development is outsourced to a specialist software house and re-written in INFORMIX. IBM Risc computer is installed to link the new Durban branch while Compu-Clearing system is utilised for customs entry processing. Gordon Pascoe & Mike Els re-acquire the Rohek minority interest. Total staff compliment is now just under 80 people.
Megafreight enters into an exclusive agreement with JE Bernard in the UK, which proved to be very successful until Bernard was sold to SDV in 2001.
Cape Town branch opens, headed by Wayne Lazo and Leon Delport, with Jane Reinhardt playing an active management role. Marianne Schlosser joins the company at its Johannesburg branch, which relocates to larger premises in Isando. Total staff compliment reaches 120.
Megafreight appoints SDV as its exclusive global partner.
Pietermaritzburg branch opens, and Durban branch relocates to larger company-owned premises in Bay Terrace.
Megafreight acquires 51% stake in Johannesburg-based customs agent Freight Clearing & Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd – headed by Hennie Enslin, Pieter Henning and Adriaan Mans. Bloemfontein branch opens. BDP International appointed as new global partner.
Freight Clearing & Consulting merged into Megafreight Services (Pty) Limited and Megafreight relocates to new premises in Pomona, Kempton Park.
Megafreight acquires 100% of JH Bachmann & Co (Pty) Ltd from Imperial Holdings, who in turn acquires 60% of Megafreight. The trading name of the company is changed to Bachmann-Megafreight and JH Bachmann is appointed globally as its new exclusive partner. With the addition of JH Bachmann, Megafreight now has offices in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth. Staff compliment reaches 300 following the acquisition.
JH Bachmann offices in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town merge with Megafreight offices. The Johannesburg branch acquires new premises in Jet Park. Staff compliment settles around 230. Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg offices close.
JH Bachmann is sold internationally to DFDS and DFDS (DSV) in turn becomes Megafreight's new exclusive global partner. Company drops Bachmann from its name and reverts to trading as Megafreight.
Staff compliment exceeds 240 and Durban branch relocates to larger offices. DSV (formerly DFDS) opens its own offices in South Africa and IJS Global is appointed as new partners.
Megafreight buys back all Imperial shares and once again reverts to a privately owned, independent company.
March - Exclusive agreement signed with C.H Robinson. October - Warehousing logistics devision formed. Warehouse established in Paarl (March).
Acquired Belfreight - Chemical warehouse established in Bredal Johannesburg (May). General warehouse established in Cape Town (August).