Santova, a fourth-party logistics provider, has been a standout performer in my portfolio in recent years. The company offers a range of logistics solutions, including customs and excise clearing, warehouse management, freight forwarding, and transport management solutions, in Africa, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.
A fourth-party logistics provider, also known as 4PL, is a supply chain management and logistics company that acts as a single point of contact for an organisation's entire logistics needs. 4PL companies are responsible for the coordination and management of all logistics activities, including transportation, warehousing, distribution, and other supply chain-related services. In other words, 4PL providers handle all the logistics activities that a company would typically handle in-house, but outsource to a third-party logistics provider.
Santova has differentiated itself in the market by utilising tech-enabled logistics solutions, resulting in value creation across the entire supply chain. Additionally, their asset-light business model allows them to scale to meet demand and maintain a low fixed-cost structure. This means that the company does not own its own fleet of trucks or ships, instead they outsource these services to other companies.
The majority of Santova's revenue is generated offshore, yet the company is currently being valued as a domestic stock, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.54 and a price-to-free cash flow of 8.62.
The company has demonstrated strong financial performance, with an annualised net income growth rate of 40% over the past three years, high-profit margins and a solid balance sheet.
Furthermore, management has implemented share buybacks which have further enhanced returns on equity and returns on invested capital.
In summary, Santova is a well-managed and innovative 4PL company that has disrupted the logistics market through the use of technology and an asset-light business model. The company has demonstrated strong financial performance and has the potential to continue to generate significant returns for investors.