Transitex is one of the largest logistics companies in Mozambique. And year after year it has been growing. If in 2016 it had a turnover of 600 million meticais, Tiago Martins, leader of the operation in Mozambique, reveals that this year it will reach one billion and two hundred million meticais, which represents a growth of 100% between 2016 and 2022.
Transitex is a logistics operator and freight forwarder, specialized in international door-to-door cargo transportation. It started its activities two decades ago in Europe, specifically in Spain. About to complete a decade and a half in the Mozambican market, Transitex is undoubtedly one of the largest companies in the logistics business in Mozambique.
It currently employs over 200 people nationally, distributed in Maputo, Beira, Nacala, Nampula and Pemba, supported by a structure that includes six warehouses from north to south of the country.
Tiago Martins, leader of the company's destinations in Mozambique, revealed to MZNews that Mozambique represents more than half of the turnover in Southern Africa, followed by South Africa, with 30%. Says, during the interview, the also responsible for Transitex in Africa, that the company will continue to invest in distribution centers that can work and that can develop.
?we will be able to reinforce our fleet as we look for relevant projects. And there is no doubt that we want to lead the market, consolidating Transitex as a whole, as a unique, strong and relevant company?
Next year Transitex will complete 15 years in the Mozambican market. Will it also be a year of celebration from a financial point of view?
The company has been growing in terms of turnover in a very renewed way over the years. We, in 2016, had a turnover of 600 million meticais and this year we are going to reach, for the first time, one billion two hundred million meticais. These numbers represent a growth of almost 100% in six years, from 2016 and 2022. I would not say that we have a celebration from a financial point of view, but I would like the fifteenth year to be the year of consolidation of our structure from the point of view of the sustainability of our business.
How do you evaluate the company's evolution over time?
The company has grown as we have grown as people, as entrepreneurs, and the country has also grown and evolved. The main logistical hubs, Maputo, Beira and Nacala have evolved, there have been relevant financial investments in the three ports, there has been flexibility in the customs clearance systems, the single window was an important step in 2012, to give an example.
How much does the Mozambican market represent in the company's accounts if compared to the African markets?
(?) We have the African market whose decision center is here with me. I am responsible for Mozambique and also for the countries here in the region. We have a business structure that is a semi-circle. We started in Angola, Luanda, we have offices in Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, and we continue to Tanzania, besides the countries that are inland, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Transitex Africa this year will exceed $30 million in turnover for the first time. Mozambique represents more than 50% of this turnover. So, it is the most powerful country in the region, which gives us some indicators that the potential is really huge (?) Our number one country in Africa is Mozambique. More than 50% of the business is here, in this country. South Africa represents 30% of the rest of the business. And the difference is that the business in the other countries is still in its infancy.
"This year we will reach, for the first time, one billion and two hundred million meticais"
Is Mozambique an attractive market for the development of your business?
There is a component here of various types of logistics that lend themselves. In other words, from a distribution company, a company that builds corridors, there are some that import, some that work with commodities? there is business for everyone. So the country is very desirable in this sense, and then it is a country that provides services to its hinterland neighbors. That is, all the countries in the hinterland need Mozambique to be able to transact in the international market, which makes the country one of the most relevant in the region in terms of logistics.
What are Transitex's plans in the market. Will you continue to invest?
In the Mozambican market, it is our goal to continue to promote business to and from neighboring countries, at the same time investing in our installed capacity to promote relations between Mozambique and India. So, we want to invest in warehouses, look for distribution centers that we can operate and develop. And then we can reinforce our fleet as we look for projects that are relevant for that(?)) there it is, between warehouses, fleet and technical consolidation of our teams, we have here the scope of what we want to do for the next years. Not so much as a giant turnover to grow, but to keep growing, consolidating the types of businesses we have.
How can they exploit the opportunities of the gas mega-projects?
Transitex seeks to position itself as a global company. We have a specialized project cargo area that has been growing over the years, and this department deals with large projects, including the Oil & Gas area. Therefore, we have invested technically in the training area to guarantee specialty to support the Gas mega projects, both in the north of the country, as well as others that are coming up, for example those of Sasol. We are geographically positioned in Nacala and in Pemba to be prepared to serve as support to the subcontractors of the gas projects in the Afungi area. In other words, one way that we support the projects is to support those who are developing the construction of the exploration areas. Our goal is to be able to support the entire middle line at the same time, through our international network we can develop business with the leaders of these projects. So, Sasol is a company with whom we have some relationship, but we are also looking to establish relationships with Total and other companies that operate in northern Mozambique.
"Our number one country in Africa is Mozambique. More than 50% of the business is here, in this country."
What are the main challenges you face?
We, in the last two years, have managed to grow despite the pandemic crisis and the global crisis. I think that the challenges for Mozambique now are that we have the capacity to access support projects and financing that are competitive, to guarantee growth that is solid. I think eventually these will be the main challenges.
Does the issue of terrorism in Cabo Delgado interfere with your business?
We are aware of it. Some projects are going to be affected by this. However, it has not affected us particularly, (?) our business diversification has provided us a little bit with some tools and some "bullet jackets" against risk. So, I would say that with the global crisis from a financial point of view it may affect Mozambique in some way, but it would affect not only Transitex, but the whole market. I think we will have some capacity to reorganize. What we are paying attention to is the cost of cash to ensure that we do not have any impact here that would affect our current operation.
Which Transitex branches in the country offer the best business opportunities?
I don't have that very clear, we have four delegations, formally, we have a leader for South and Center. We have a coordinator and person in charge in Beira and then we have a coordinator in the Northern Zone, Pemba and Nampula and Nacala, and we have a person in charge of the road area who manages our entire fleet.
All these colleagues have a budget, a budget and an opportunity to develop their product independently, using as a support tool the management team: myself, the financial and legal team, and the sales team, which feeds our branches as opportunities arise. Our goal is not so much to compete with each other, because each area has its own particularities, its own challenges, and also its own opportunities, but we are happy to know that each one of them would be able to survive on its own without depending on the other.
And which of these has the greatest contribution to the company?
I would say that Maputo is still number one, Beira number two, and the North number three. The road area is a very specific area, it invoices less, but has a higher profitability because it is a direct market support area, but it is also an internal support area, and serves the various national offices. We have our fleet managed independently from Maputo, with several contracts on the table, which will be the biggest from a billing point of view, but the North is probably the most profitable
What has been the trend in recent years in terms of business development looking specifically at these poles?
Our goal to grow and diversify was to be able to have a portfolio of products that could be more and more comprehensive, and at the same time while providing a great service to our clients, decrease the risk and concentration on specific clients. I am particularly proud today that Transitex has no client that is more than 10% of our turnover. This growth in these four centers has allowed us not to be dependent on any one client from a geo-strategic point of view and the focus has been that each zone is growing in a somewhat organic way. i.e. Maputo is starting to develop a lot of services with South Africa (?), Maputo has grown as a transit center between South Africa and Porto, in addition to the import projects that we manage. Beira has grown as a promoter of corridors to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia and our business is very focused on that operation. Nampula, Nacala and Pemba are focused with warehouse logistics management projects. We have more than six thousand square meters contracted with various players, and at the same time we are attentive to the development of the corridor with Malawi, which at the moment has some crisis and we are waiting for the gas project to restart.
Are you going to open new branches nationwide?
We have a small representation in Lichinga. There may be interest in opening in Lichinga, that is, to give a more formal component here. For now we have a colleague, a vehicle, and eventually we can formalize the opening in the region because there are many interests in the agricultural area.
"We have a specialized project cargo area that has grown over the years, and this department handles large projects, including the Gas area."
In the range of your services, which are the most sought after?
Two more important things, a corridor management, cargo to and from Mozambican borders and ports, more and more we are being asked for this type of service with our truck structure and also with our network of offices in the region, at the same time management of import projects, large national companies that need to have a team that does a customs analysis, import component, customs process management, delivery, warehouse management, in short ... integrated logistics management is increasingly common.
Transitex is a company that is growing by leaps and bounds?what is the secret?
Laughs?what is important is some spirit of sacrifice, knowing that not everything is easy, not everything will always go well, there are moments of some pressure, some crisis, but if we believe in the country, if we believe in the clients, if we trust the suppliers and also respect them, if we combine here the difference of the client, the supplier and also the shareholder, things will gradually sustain themselves and we will evolve. I think it is a combination of willpower to make things happen with constant technical improvement and the search for new opportunities, while at the same time we try to renumerate innovation, i.e. we have to try to innovate at every moment?maybe that is the secret, to try to be corporate without ever losing creativity and innovation.
Four, five years from now, where do you want to be?
We want to be market leader, without a doubt, consolidating Transitex as a whole, as a unique, strong and relevant company. Specifically in Africa, Transitex Moçambique wants to continue growing while also empowering its neighbors to grow with us. Therefore, at the African level, I would like to say that in three, four years time we will have a turnover of over 50, 60 million dollars with a service chain that is more and more diversified and more and more sustained.