When Jarl Ternander and Daniel Johansson founded Speed Group in 2004, the idea was to provide companies with the people and skills necessary for expanding their core businesses through a dedicated staffing service. Demand for both blue and white-collar personnel, as well as the external recruitment of skilled professionals, quickly grew leading to the establishment of dedicated divisions catering for services, including recruitment, and education and training. Before long, Speed Group had also taken strides to become a provider of logistics and production services, and more recently automated warehouse solutions.
As a result of the above, Speed Group is today one of Sweden’s leading third-party logistics (3PL) companies, with more than 1500 employees, large modern warehouse and logistics centres in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Borås, and a total storage area of more than 130,000 square metres. Working according to ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications, as well as being authorised by one of Sweden’s main employers’ organisations, Almega, its comprehensive 3PL services are offered to several different core market segments, including industrial clients, retailers, book distributors, construction professionals and electronics manufacturers. Speed Group also has the expertise available to provide its clients with full transportation and customs services, based on industry-specific requirements.
“We have worked extremely hard over the years to develop what can now be referred to as a complete, end-to-end logistics service,” explains Speed Group’s CEO, Peter Nilsson. “What with the growth of e-commerce, escalating outsourcing, the centralisation of warehouses in strategic locations, and the rising complexity of logistics systems, demand for efficient logistics services is growing at pace. This means that our clients have a greater need than ever for flexible solutions that require specialised and skilled personnel, and we are here to provide those vital requirements.”
An increase in demand from its clients has meant that Speed Group has had to keep itself ahead of the curve when it comes to technological advances and ways of operating. For example, in 2017, it became the first 3PL player in the Nordic region to invest in the AutoStore automated storage and retrieval system. This unique solution uses robotics for collecting stored goods within a warehouse, providing significant improvements in capacity, performance and efficiencies. “Embracing innovations and technologies such as AutoStore is very important, particularly in light of the growth of e-commerce, as it provides Speed Group with added levels of flexibility and adaptability which we can use to respond to our clients demands quickly and effectively,” Peter adds.
No doubt that the innovative approach taken by Speed Group was one of a number of factors that caught the attention of Swedish Private Equity Company Ratos back in 2015, when it acquired a majority stake in the business. “Ratos came in with the clear intention of establishing and consolidating Speed Group as a national player in Sweden, through a combination of organic growth and targeted acquisitions,” Peter details. “In the three years since our purchase by Ratos, we have seen group revenues increase from approximately 50 million euros to 80 million euros as we have expanded across the country.”
This expansion saw Speed Group establish its presence in the Stockholm area earlier in 2018 with the acquisition of Samdistribition Logistik Sverige, a subsidiary of Bonnier Books. Samdistribution is recognised as being the leading logistics partner for the Swedish book market, operating out of a 22,000 square metre facility in Rosersberg. “The acquisition of this well-maintained and reputable company has been an extremely positive move for the business, and has resulted in a number of new customer relationships being forged,” Peter enthuses. “For the future this facility in combination with the customers already there is an excellent location for E-commerce and to be able to provide the customers in that area with very short lead times.”
By establishing itself as a national player in Sweden, Speed Group wants to be able to provide as much as 80 per cent of the Nordic customers it serves within 24 hours. “The focus for the company in recent months has been to create a logistics map that sees Speed Group covering the needs of its customers across a number of strategic regions,” Peter says. “What we want to do now is consolidate our activities in said regions, much like we have done in Borås where we are focusing to move all of our operations into one central building. We want to replicate this elsewhere, moving into the most modern facilities possible with low energy consumption since our work with sustainability is a key for us now and in the future.”
As Peter goes on to conclude, it is hoped that the above-mentioned efforts will play a core role in strengthening Speed Group’s position within the marketplace. “By around 2020/2021 I would like to see ourselves firmly entrenched within the top three logistics service providers in Sweden, and in the top ten staffing specialists,” he says, before revealing his plan for achieving this. “Basically, the secret is to work very very hard!! By that I mean continuing to do what we do so well, being proactive, being present in the right markets and always making sure that we are delivering the services that our customers want.”
A leading Swedish 3PL service provider
ISO and Almega certified
Acquired by Swedish Private Equity Company Ratos in 2015