NZ Truck & Driver News

 
ISO buys huge  logtruck fleet

ISO buys huge logtruck fleet

NZ Truck & Driver News

 February 2021   

International port logistics company ISO Ltd has made a huge move into New Zealand’s log transport industry, with the purchase of Pacific Haulage and Williams & Wilshier’s Gisborne operation.

The buyout has seen ISO acquire the entire Gisborne operations of the two companies, including a combined fleet of 90-plus logtrucks and trailers. 

ISO chief executive officer Paul Cameron won’t divulge the purchase price, but says the company paid “a fair market price for a quality business.”

Cameron pays tribute to W&W owner Warwick Wilshier and his former Pacific co-owners Calvin Paddon and the late Mike Treloar for building what ISO terms “well-respected businesses with strong brands, that have delivered exceptional transport service to the East Coast over the past 30 years.”

He says the two companies will “both be run the same as they are now…..separate businesses operating out of the one site, with a single management team overlooking both.”

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International port logistics company ISO Ltd has made a huge move into New Zealand’s log transport industry, with the purchase of Pacific Haulage and Williams & Wilshier’s Gisborne operation.

The buyout has seen ISO acquire the entire Gisborne operations of the two companies, including a combined fleet of 90-plus logtrucks and trailers. 

ISO chief executive officer Paul Cameron won’t divulge the purchase price, but says the company paid “a fair market price for a quality business.”

Cameron pays tribute to W&W owner Warwick Wilshier and his former Pacific co-owners Calvin Paddon and the late Mike Treloar for building what ISO terms “well-respected businesses with strong brands, that have delivered exceptional transport service to the East Coast over the past 30 years.”

He says the two companies will “both be run the same as they are now…..separate businesses operating out of the one site, with a single management team overlooking both.”

General manager Campbell Gilmour stays on, “running the business,” along with more than 120 staff, including drivers and workshop and admin staff….plus “a handful” of owner-drivers. 

Cameron says that Paddon has retired, but Wilshier has been “more than happy to stay on” – contracted by ISO to assist the company “until we settle in.”

The deal, which saw the Tauranga-based (but Australian-owned) ISO take over on January 5, did not include the transport companies’ modern Gisborne HQ, workshops and yard – but Cameron says ISO has secured a longterm lease of the property. 

ISO is not appointing any of its own execs to head the business: “It’s not necessary. As you can imagine with Warwick and Calvin, it’s a really mature, established and well-run business and there’s no real need for us to interfere with the operational side of the business.”

Rather, Cameron sees ISO adding value to the operations “through our network and our corporate structure, our access to capital and our health and safety and quality and compliance systems…”

And the company won’t be rebranding the fleets in ISO livery: The Pacific and W&W businesses “will operate as a standalone company within the ISO group” – continuing with their current names and colour schemes “for the foreseeable future.”

Cameron says that the acquisition is the result of a decision by the company – owned for the past six years by leading Australian logistics provider QUBE Ports & Bulk – to add log transport to its stevedoring, marshalling, warehousing, IT and total supply chain solution port operations throughout the country.

Says Cameron: “We made a decision a wee while ago to expand further into the supply chain with forestry transport. It’s a good addition to our logistics business…” Since then it had considered “different transport businesses….looking for quality assets. And we were fortunate enough that we happened to make the approach to Warwick – and it was the right time for him and Calvin.”

Asked if this is the precursor to more trucking company acquisitions, Cameron says wryly: “Oh look, I think we’ve taken a pretty bite of the apple with this business! So we’ll bed this in for a time – and then we’ll re-evaluate a little bit further down the track.”

He says that a key reason for the Gisborne purchase “is that we already have a strong presence there with our port business. We had 150-odd staff already at the port. 

“What that does for us is it gives us the opportunity to create some really good career paths for people in the business. It’s a pretty challenging environment to recruit people in Gisborne and if there’s anything we can do to upskill staff….it’s a real benefit to us…and to them as well.”

Until now ISO has had a modest involvement in trucking – running a fleet of 12 to 16 container and curtainsider units for its logistics operation in Tauranga.

Last October, it embarked on a renewal programme that saw it take delivery of the first of eight new Kenworth T410 6x4 and 8x4 tractor units, to tow predominantly three-axle Patchell skeletal semi-trailers or seven-axle Super-B trailers custom-designed by ISO and Patchell.

The Super-Bs are capable of carrying two heavy 20ft containers or can have cage log bodies twistlocked on, for short-distance log transfers. They are, says Cameron, “really versatile units HPMVs, automatics, no chains – easy for us to find operators for.”

ISO is, he says, “more than likely to order another couple (of the Super-B units) this year, to service Napier.”

The W&W/Pacific buyout is, Cameron says, “probably the largest” of the many acquisitions and investments ISO has made in NZ – even given its 26-year history of continual expansion..  

The company started up in 1995 as International Stevedoring Operations Ltd, in Tauranga, Gisborne and Wellington.

In the years since, it has expanded into ports nationwide – and into other cargo logistics services, prompting a name-change in 2008 to ISO Ltd, “to better reflect its move away from offering mainly stevedoring services.”

It had begun log marshalling operations in four Australian ports and two in the US before the company was bought in 2015 by QUBE.    


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