Smart50 Awards 2017

27 Coastal Transport Services

Revenue

$19.7 million

Growth

106%

Founder

Ray Graetz, 70

Head office

Warnervale, NSW

Year founded

1987

Employees

65

Industry

Transport & Logistics

website

www.coastaltransport.com.au

New South Wales-based logistics and trucking company Coastal Transport Services was founded by Ray Graetz in 1987 and quickly grew into a force to be reckoned with, offering freighting and transport services throughout Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

With revenue just shy of $20 million last financial year and a three-year revenue growth rate of 106%, Graetz’s long term goal is to boost the company’s revenue to $50 million while achieving strong growth in the Sydney area, with “no desire” to enter into interstate markets.

Graetz has taken a back seat in the business, with the day-to-day running being left to chief executive Graham Ryell, but he still keeps a close eye on how things are running, with one of his most important mantras being “check everything”.

This means keeping true to the four key principles Graetz has instilled into his business and his staff.

“Always look after your good customers, always look after your good employees, always ensure that your income exceeds your expenditure, get your money in fast,” he says.

“I continue to operate the business on these key criteria, and my staff who now run the company are well aware of my strong views on these points”.

Moving forward in the industry, the biggest concerns for Coastal Transport Services include a lack of trained drivers, and even the removal of drivers altogether, with Graetz saying the business will have to implement new strategies to deal with the imminent “major change” brought on by driverless vehicles.

“I think the industry as a whole should be developing recruitment and training strategies, supported by all stakeholders to ensure that the available pool of drivers is maintained and grown,” he says.

If the time came for Graetz to exit the business, he says he would prefer to pass the business onto his daughter, or merge it with a larger one. But he also hasn’t ruled out the idea of an acquisition, saying “as the saying goes, everything is for sale!”

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