From its inception in 1926, the history of UTi over the past 85+ years has been about growth created by delivering client value. The company started as a freight forwarder in Germany and grew into a global supply chain provider with 21,000 employees and company-owned offices in 59 countries. UTi now offers complete supply chain services and solutions, including air, ocean, distribution, customs brokerage, and contract logistics, capable of providing demand chain services globally.
In 1993, Union-Transport was acquired by a group led by Roger MacFarlane, Peter Thorrington and Tiger Wessels. Previously, these managers owned WTC Airfreight, which they sold to Pittston, the holding company for Burlington Air Express. MacFarlane and Thorrington served as joint CEOs of Burlington Air Express prior to the acquisition of Union-Transport.
By 1994, Union-Transport would have facilities on six of the world's seven continents, generating revenues of over $300 million annually. Over the next seven years the company grew to $1 billion in annual revenues; launched one of the first truly global end-to-end information systems, eMpower, that provided clients with supply chain control and visibility; won a number of industry excellence awards; and acquired several freight forwarding customs brokerage companies to create a global network of transportation offices. The resulting network covered 98%-plus of the global GNP.
In 2000, the company was listed on NASDAQ under UTIW and changed its name to UTi Worldwide, Inc. Since that time, revenues have grown to approximately $5 billion annually through a combination of innovative client solutions that deliver quantified value, end-to-end visibility and control down to the SKU level, and the addition of supply chain capabilities in transportation management contract logistics and distribution.
Today, Eric Kirchner, a veteran of the global logistics industry, serves as CEO. While carrying on the company's tradition of innovation, excellence and industry expertise, the focus today is on the company's 5-year strategy, CLIENTasONE, a client-centric approach to delivering competitive advantage to client supply chains wherever they operate worldwide.