PORTUGAL - Transport
CEO, Garland Group
Mark Dawson was with Interamericana insurance in Argentina from 1991-1992 and with the Garland Group from 1992 to date. He has been a board member of the Garland Group since 1999.
TBY talks to Mark Dawson, CEO of Garland Group.
With more than 240 years of operations, Garland is one of the oldest Portuguese companies operating in logistics. How has the company evolved over time?
We have seen continued growth in the last 10 years and restructured the group such that we are currently focused on three sectors: logistics, transport, and shipping. The focus of the group in the last few years has been to improve our infrastructure in two areas. One is the IT side, and we have been investing heavily to upgrade our IT infrastructure. We have a plan all the way through to 2025. The other side has been in infrastructures of logistical centers. We have invested in this because the market does not necessarily offer the best solutions. By the end of 2022, we should have anywhere between 135,000 to 150,000sqm of logistic infrastructure that have all the necessary requisites to be cost effective and productive in offering solutions. Outside of Portugal, we are in two countries, Spain and Morocco, where we are quickly growing and expanding. In both cases, it was because customers drove us to those places. We are looking at possibly creating a transport hub in Spain and looking at where opportunities emerge.
What factors distinguish Garland from the competition, allowing it to lead the market?
The key factors are people and technology. We place great importance on the way we look after our staff and give them the conditions to work in the best possible way with training and other benefits. We consider ourselves a family. Garland also has the know-how and a solid reputation. We are a flexible company, which is extremely important. We are small in the global market, but reasonably big in our local market. We have a strong market position in all three sectors that we are involved in. We are fairly different from the other multinationals in that we have built up an asset base. We own about 50% of our properties and warehouses. This makes us strong financially, especially when there were economic crises in the country. Considering our history, we have built up a large network of global partners, several of which we have worked with for many years. This gives us a global reach where we can do transport basically wherever we want.
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