Mondiale VGL names new Chair

Justine Smyth Mondiale VGL.

A major new appointment has been announced at freight forwarder Mondiale VGL.

Justine Smyth CNZM will join Mondiale VGL as Independent Director and Chair the company has confirmed.

Announced to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the successful merger of Mondiale Freight Services and VISA Global Logistics, Smyth’s appointment will support the company’s next phase of growth in the global freight forwarding sector.

Smyth brings extensive commercial and governance experience to Mondiale VGL and is currently the Chair of Spark NZ and Chair of The Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

She was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to governance and women in 2020.

“Having Justine Smyth join Mondiale VGL to chair our Board is another important step forward for our business,” said Mondiale VGL CEO, Ray Meade in a statement.

“Smyth’s appointment to the Mondiale VGL Board of Directors supports the firm’s strategic commitment to leveraging its increased capabilities, cementing long-term customer partnerships, and expanding its global reach,” he said.

On joining the Board of Directors, Smyth recognised the opportunities that the merger has created for the business.

“Mondiale VGL has built Oceania’s leading freight forwarder by bringing together two highly experienced industry leaders in the supply chain and logistics sector,” she said.

“This has established solid strategic and financial foundations, with current and expected market dynamics creating further opportunity to scale,” said Smyth.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Mondiale VGL team at such an exciting time in their expansion journey.”

The merger in 2021 helped secure the company’s place in the world’s top 30 freight forwarding services in addition to supporting the strategic acquisition of Customs Agency Services (CAS) in South Australia.

With further strategic investments in China, Spain, Germany, and India completed, Meade said it had been a significant two years for the business.

“We are seeing clear evidence of the advantages that the merger and acquisition of CAS have delivered through increased international trade lane access, enhanced technology, and the achievement of the growth milestones we mapped at the outset,” said Meade.

“Our goal was to build a global supply chain operation with its roots in the Asia Pacific region, and we are firmly on the path to achieving that with our strategic position across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and America,” he said.

“Growth by acquisition is an important part of our strategy to build scale in our business and the merger positioned us well to take this forward.”

Meade said the acquisition of CAS, made in December 2021, had enabled the business to consolidate Mondiale VGL’s national footprint in Australia while building further scale in the Australasian market.

“CAS has given us valuable access to the highly strategic Defence and eCommerce industry verticals and our Australian customers have benefited from greater access to contested sea and air cargo space,” he added.

Mondiale VGL has transitioned into a global entity, and today, the rapidly growing freight forwarding company employs over 1500 staff across 39 offices in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and the USA, supported by 1000 agency offices worldwide.

Following a particularly challenging period for the industry during the COVID-19 situation and continued supply chain constraints, the forming of the new combined entity of Mondiale VGL, according to Meade, had allowed it to provide increased commercial value to customers.

“While the sector faces ongoing pressure, our united volumes, long-term relationships with carriers and suppliers, and combined 40 years of industry knowledge have enabled us to solve complex supply chain issues and innovate at pace,” he said.

“A key factor of our success has been the way our people have come together and embraced the merger. We’re thrilled to watch them grow their careers within a global organisation and have made several senior appointments to support our expansion ambitions.”

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