Divisional overviews

Anthony Dawe

Anthony Dawe
Chief executive

Trading profit
grew by 21.8%
Revenue growth
of 14.6%
South African Bulk Terminals handled
a record-breaking volumes
Overall expenses
increased 7.5%

Salient features

Salient features

  • The division delivered another excellent performance, which is an all-time record for this division.
  • This was led by higher agricultural, bulk commodity and liquid volumes which drove greater utilisation and therefore operating leverage. The handling of grain import and export volumes were exceptional and mineral export flow was steady.
  • The investment in liquid fuel and multi-purpose tanks during 2017 and 2018, where 11 of 17 multi-purpose tanks have been commissioned, contributed to the growth in Bidvest Tank Terminals (BTT).
  • Despite three debilitating incidents to berths and equipment, Bulk Connections performed well.
  • Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) secured new contracts which resulted in a better second half. However, airfreight volumes remained depressed. Project related work was significantly reduced in BPL and Bidfreight Port Operations.
  • South African Container Depots had a pleasing year and Naval - Mozambique Port Services, produced a profit well up on the prior year, which was assisted by commodity exports.
  • ROFE for the division is very healthy, despite the considerable ongoing capital expenditure in BTT. Overall expenses were exceptionally well controlled.

Strategic focus

While cost and efficiency management is a central prerequisite throughout this division, the main strategic emphasis at this stage is being directed towards the expansion of storage infrastructure at BTT. Work is underway at BTT in Richards Bay for the development of a new facility for the import and storage of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). The completed facility will be the region's largest pressurised LPG import terminal.

Bolt-on acquisitions and other growth opportunities are continually being assessed.


The division continues to perform well in relation to its B-BBEE scorecard resulting in all the Freight companies achieving a Level 2 contributor status on the Transport Sector Codes. There has been a great improvement in management diversity with several new appointments.
A focused and planned approach initiated over the years is delivering good results. Of the total placements at management levels, 78% were black. The lack of females in this industry is challenging. Investment in skills development has increased with spend amounting to R54 million. Enterprise and supplier development programmes included more initiatives. Procurement from BEE suppliers remains good while SED is ongoing with the division achieving target and scoring full points.


The division's annuity-income work now represents 35% of trading profit and there is a focus on increasing this even further.

The significant new multi-purpose tank capacity should support growth, and the investment in new infrastructure is continuing. Maize exports, which are anticipated to continue until the end of the calendar year, will remain robust.

Our story

Transforming Tank Terminals

BTT, previously known as Island View Storage, was established in 1953. It became a subsidiary of the Bidvest Group in 1999, at which time the company's combined tank capacity was 562 000 cubic metres.

BTT facilities now have a combined capacity of over 825 000 cubic metres in 562 tanks

Since 2014 R850 million has been invested in capital expenditure

BTT handles over 3.5 billion litres

R1 billion investment in a new LPG import and storage facility in Richards Bay

The new 22 600 metric tonne storage facility in Richards Bay will be the region's largest pressurised LPG import terminal

BTT is currently South Africa's foremost independent bulk liquid terminal operator for chemicals, gases, fats and oils, base oils and lube oil additives.

The tank terminal facilities now have a combined capacity of over 825 000 cubic metres in 562 tanks, which are strategically located in the ports of Durban and Richards Bay, as well as inland near Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

The company was rebranded in 2014 to BTT, and since then R850 million has been invested in capital expenditure to expand its facilities both in capacity and technology advancements. These investments have ensured the long-term competitive advantage of the business and have also gone a long way to improve its customers' accessibility of ship, road and rail transport routes. Today BTT handles over 3.5 billion litres of its customers' products.

BTT continues to identify improvements to its facilities, which ultimately benefit its customers by maintaining product quality and improving speed of service. An absolute focussed imperative is the stringent safety operating procedures aimed at ensuring zero harm to employees and the environment. The nature of the business is such that site personnel regularly handle highly valuable and flammable liquids and gases which needs to be done safely and efficiently. Capacity usage and tank turnover is closely tracked, product quality and emissions are continuously monitored, and operating procedures are closely followed to prevent spillages, with the ultimate goal of reducing loading and unloading times.

BTT is currently busy with a further investment of R1 billion in a LPG import and storage facility in Richards Bay for global LPG logistics company, Petredec. Over the next five years, this expansion is expected to result in an additional 400 million litres of product being handled. The new 22 600 metric tonne storage facility consisting of four mounded tanks in Richards Bay will be the region's largest pressurised LPG import terminal. Its intention is to ensure year-round availability of LPG. Despite growing demand in domestic and regional markets, LPG imports have historically been hampered by high costs due to the significant distance between South Africa's small coastal import terminals from major consumer hubs. The commissioning of this new large-scale facility – also capable of seaborne re-exports to neighbouring countries – will unlock previously unattainable economies resulting in lower landed prices to the local market. Petredec already supplies most of South Africa's imported LPG and, together with Bidvest, believes further investment in large, dedicated infrastructure is the only way to increase LPG's popularity and enhance affordability for consumers.

This investment demonstrates Bidvest's commitment to working in close collaboration and partnership with major customers to ensure the provision of strategic storage and product handling infrastructure in South Africa. By delivering this unique and innovative facility, set to become the global benchmark for pressurised LPG storage and handling terminals, BTT will ensure a better service offering to Petredec and its diverse customer base

As a result of its significant growth, BTT has further enhanced its focus on safety and the environment by initiating more rigorous processes to prevent injuries, accidents and work-related ill health, while also preventing pollution and minimising adverse impacts on the environment.

In years to come, BTT aims to continue its expansion and remain the foremost bulk liquid terminal operator on the continent.