ols. STUTTGART. Every day, online retailers around the world ship their parcels. The key element is the logistics service providers’ large distribution centers. There, the work is highly automated. "The package comes in at the delivery company’s and has to be identified. Then comes the sorting, and finally it has to find its way to the delivery vehicle," says Markus Glaser-Gallion, CEO of Leadec Holding BV & Co. KG. This requires sophisticated conveyor systems, which the Stuttgart-based industrial service provider plans, develops and maintains for its customers. So far, the company has not been active in the parcel delivery sector. But by acquiring Diversified Automation in America at the end of 2020, the company, which employs just under 20,000 people globally, has opened up a new sector. First in the USA. “But we are in talks with customers in Europe regarding such service offerings.”
The market for automation and software in the logistics industry is estimated at 2.5 billion euros globally, and 600 million euros in the special segment in America alone, according to the 57-year-old manager. With acquisitions, the company’s sales are now expected to exceed 1.5 billion euros by the end of 2023. The coronavirus has thus shifted the original planning by one year. But the pandemic is also opening up new opportunities. More hygiene concepts and start-up scenarios have been developed and implemented. The growth targets remain ambitious. This is because in 2020, sales fell by around 10 percent. They amounted to just under 800 million euros. In the same period of the previous year, this figure was slightly less than 900 million euros. The acquisition abruptly reduced the dependence on the automotive industry from 80 to 70 percent in the total sales of Leadec – Voith’s former industrial services division, which is now around 90 percent owned by the financial investor Triton and around 10 percent by the management. About two-thirds of sales are generated in Europe.