16 June 2024 Last updated at 03:25 GMT

Building an Empire at a Rate of Knots

Founded in 1982, thirty years of solid industry experience has seen freight forwarding company VISA Global Logistics catapult from strength to strength. 

Opening doors with the primary focus to ship containers from Italy to Australia, the company is now one of Australia’s largest privately-owned international freight forwarding firms.

Today, as the name suggests, VISA Global Logistics delivers fully-integrated solutions in global freight forwarding, customs brokerage, smart parcels, warehousing and transport & distribution services. 

From the Italy to Australia trade route of yesteryear, the company’s network has grown, today spanning a well-established worldwide market in Australia, Europe, Asia and the US.

VISA Global Logistics can certainly attribute part of its success to a particular focus on tailoring solutions to meet the needs of their very individual customers. Its sea and air freight, customs clearance and transport and distribution services can move everything from mining and raw materials, to fashion, clothing and textiles, jewellery and valuable cargo, food and beverages, furniture and homewares, technological products, toys, pharmaceuticals, vehicles and whitegoods.

“We’re still considered number one in the trade rank from Italy to Australia today, although 55 per cent of our work is from China to Australia and New Zealand now,” co-director George Schirato said.

“One of our company founders is still profoundly active in the business and has been acutely focused on opening offices in China, New Zealand and Italy over the past 10 to 15 years.”

“Now, we have four offices in Italy and more in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ningbo and Qingdao. Within China, we employ close to 200 employees.”
The last three decades has seen the company and logistics industry evolve as the world has transitioned and the significance of China as one of the world’s biggest players in the export and import markets has emerged.

Through this time, VISA Global Logistics can credit its ongoing success and longevity to staying true to itself, according to Schirato.
“The logistics industry is large scale and impacted by global occurrences on almost every level. We’ve established a very big fleet of our own trucks and also own facilities where we do our third-party logistics,” he said.

“On top of that, we have warehouse capabilities in all Australian states, which are also owned and operated by ourselves.”

These attributes and an innate ability to forward plan act as the pillars to VISA Global Logistics’ strengths in the market.

The company’s strong management and extensive industry experience has also played a role in its prosperity, with all four directors committed to setting high standards of service and continuing to be heavily involved in day-to-day operations. Schirato and fellow partners involve themselves in decision-making processes throughout their global operations.

Apart from the company’s strong in-house customer service focus, forward-thinking innovation is also responsible for VISA Global Logistics’ ongoing success.

The company’s IT design capabilities have launched VISA OneTrack ahead of its strongest competitors, providing a visible web-based freight management platform for customers. VISA Global Logistics offers customers unique, cutting edge technology with OneTrack, a polished software that traces shipments from purchase order placement to door delivery, giving clients a chance to follow progress in real time.

“We have a very strong IT capability – we’re considered to be the market leader as far as software in the industry is concerned,” says Schirato.

“The web-based system that our customers use is unique to VISA Global Logistics as well; it’s been developed in-house and we have a dedicated team of 10 committed to research, testing and its development on a daily basis.

“All of this is part of our commitment to customer service, which continues through all four partners – decision-making is done locally and quickly all across Australia. We also have a partner who spends half of his time in New Zealand.”

While the Australian-owned company continues to expand throughout its home turf and New Zealand, Schirato and his co-directors have set their sights on continuing international expansion.

“What sets us apart from the big companies is the fact that we run globally but continue to control the business from door-to-door, from the trucking division to our 17 licensed customs brokers,” Schirato said.

“Customers have access to the directors, so even though we’re running overseas offices, our clients can deal with us directly if they have any queries.

“Our consultancy service is a large factor in the customer service we provide. We offer a complimentary audit of companies’ supply chains. Based on this we can tailor bettered solutions for these companies. The consultancy service has been very successful and through it we’ve handled a number of major brands.”

With such ensuing success and growth, what does the future hold for VISA Global Logistics? According to Schirato, the company is expanding into eCommerce, which is part of moving with the times.

“We expanded into China because that’s where the pulse was and still is,” he said. “At VISA, we’re about being proactive instead of reactive – now we’re moving into the eCommerce sector too.”

VISA Global Logistics company background:
• Operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Fremantle and from offices in Hong Kong, China, Italy and New Zealand.
• AFS-VISA International (HK) Ltd offers a full range of sea freight and air freight services including regular container links to and from all the world’s major business and trading centres.

• VISA’s extensive global network spans many countries, delivering a comprehensive logistics system for all worldwide trade lanes.

• Customers are provided with a seamless logistics solution, incorporating a range of integrated services including international freight forwarding, customs brokerage, wharf transport, warehousing and distribution services.

• All integrated solutions are delivered via the company’s own resources, with zero reliance on third parties. This ensures the shipping process is visible to customers through VISA’s real time web-based IT platforms at all times.



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