Supply chain and logistics leader Imperial Logistics has partnered with Ghanaian conglomerate LMI Holdings to form a new business, Imperial LMI Logistics that will deliver world class logistics services in Ghana and West Africa.

“The vision of Imperial LMI is to be the leading integrated, end-to-end supply chain partner of choice in Ghana, with sufficient capacity and scale to catalyse economic growth and position Ghana as a trading hub for West Africa,” reveals Imperial Managed Solutions chief executive officer Johan Truter. “The launch of Imperial LMI Logistics will enable this vision by merging LMI’s infrastructure with Imperial’s operational capabilities, while leveraging the relationships that both groups have established with end users, service providers and decision making bodies in Ghana,” he states.

Imperial Logistics is one of Africa’s largest supply chain solutions provider and a subsidiary of Imperial Holdings (IPL: Johannesburg). Imperial Logistics has over 1,100 operational sites globally spread across 5 continents.

LMI Holdings is a highly diversified Ghanaian group with interests in the construction, property development, logistics, utilities and ICT sectors in Ghana. Established in 1992 as John Murphy Construction, a firm focused on roads, industrial developments and commercial real estate, LMI Holdings has grown consistently over the last 24 years to become the multi-faceted conglomerate it is today. “Our partnership with Imperial represents an exciting new era for the group, enabling us to use Imperial’s systems, technology and skills to unlock the potential of LMI’s logistics assets,” comments Kojo Aduhene, chairman and CEO of LMI Holdings. “It will enable LMI to realise its vision of being a world class Ghanaian industrial business; contributing to the creation of an environment that attracts foreign investment into Ghanaian industry,” he adds.

Among the LMI Holdings assets that the new business will exploit is a new 93 000m2 “Mega Warehouse” in Tema, which will enable Imperial LMI Logistics to offer clients state-of-the-art storage with easy access to the Port of Tema; an important gateway to West Africa.

Imperial Logistics has been operating in Ghana for the past seven years through its group company Imperial Health Sciences and has a longstanding relationship with LMI as its preferred local infrastructure partner in Ghana. The Imperial LMI partnership deepens the relationship between Imperial and LMI allows the new company to offer end-to-end managed logistics solutions to a wider range of industries in Ghana.

Imperial LMI Logistics forms part of Imperial Managed Solutions, and, like this division, is based on an asset light business model, he explains. “The business will not acquire any assets of its own. Strategic business partners will be identified to provide the required assets, including warehouses and vehicles. A detailed vetting process will be employed to ensure that service providers comply with the required service levels, including adherence to industry legislation.”

Skills transfer and the development of local enterprises are important elements of the new business. “We are proud to have joined forces with a Ghanaian corporation that has a long and proud history of contributing to the growth of industry in Ghana and Africa,” Truter stresses. “Imperial LMI Logistics is committed to employing and upskilling local people wherever possible. Through this venture, we will bring international best practice to Ghana and we aim to ensure its sustainability by building and growing local talent.” Ghanaians will be developed to take on senior positions within the business, and this will include training at Imperial’s Johannesburg based in-house training centre, the Imperial Logistics Academy, he states.

The services that Imperial LMI Logistics will roll out initially include freight and warehousing services, as well as associated value added offerings. Truter elaborates: “Container transport from port to destination will be offered, together with outbound primary, secondary, national and cross-border logistics. On the warehousing side we will offer dedicated and multi-principal facilities, ambient and temperature controlled, as well as bulk and bonded storage.” The value added services that the company will provide include co-packing, light manufacturing, container de-stuffing and stuffing. Imperial’s reporting processes, business intelligence systems and tools like vehicle scheduling and tracking will ensure that clients reap the benefits of full visibility, seamless integration and international standards throughout the supply chain, he adds.

Looking ahead, Imperial LMI Logistics will expand its integrated solutions with the addition of new service capabilities as these are enabled by the completion of various LMI capital projects. “Upon the completion of LMI Holdings’ container terminal in the Tema enclave (adjacent to the new warehouse), Imperial LMI Logistics will be able to offer an integrated solution for multiple users of the terminal and the warehouse,” Aduhene explains. This container terminal is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2018. “The construction by LMI of a rail infrastructure from the Tema Port to the Tema enclave, and from Tema enclave to the new Dawa business park, will enable us to offer freight rail solutions. In addition, a barge operation on Lake Volta is being investigated, to offer an alternative mode of transport to complement the road infrastructure to the north of the country.”