Suffolk logistics firm snapped up by Canadian warehousing giant

Stephen Basey-Fisher, founder of Century Logistics, outside the Bury St Edmunds HQ

Stephen Basey-Fisher, chairman of Century Logistics, is thrilled after the warehousing company was snapped up by Metro Supply Chain - Credit: Alex Basey-Fisher

A family-owned logistics firm operating across Suffolk and Norfolk has been snapped up by a Canadian warehousing giant for an undisclosed sum.

All 200 or so workers at Century Logistics will continue under new owner Metro Supply Chain, a privately-owned company based in Montréal.

"It is business as usual at the operation, and leadership is remaining as are the rest of the staff," a spokeswoman for Metro said. Stephen Basey-Fisher will stay on as chairman with Stuart Ager as managing director.

Warehousing at Century Logistics

Inside the Century Logistics warehouse off the A14 at Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Gregg Brown

The East Anglian third-party logistics firm was founded by Stephen and Ann Basey-Fisher in 1998 and is based at Saxham Business Park in Bury St Edmunds with warehouse and distribution centres at Brunel Way, Thetford, and Snetterton Business Park.

The Canadian company was started in Québec in 1974 by Chiko Nanji and has since grown into a much larger enterprise with around 6000 workers across 80 sites. 

Metro Supply Chain Group president Martin Graham welcomed Century Logistics to the group.

“Century’s wide capabilities and customer-focused culture complement Metro Supply Chain’s strengths as a strategic supply chain solutions partner to some of the world’s fastest-growing and most reputable brands,” he said.

“This acquisition deepens our operations in the UK and Europe and broadens our service offerings for UK-based customers looking to expand into the United States or Canada.”

Century Logistics managing director Stuart Ager

Century Logistics managing director Stuart Ager, who will stay on - Credit: Julija Aleskevica

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Century is strategically located along the A14 - a main artery from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands - and manages seven distribution sites. It deals with local and multinational consumer packaged goods brands, providing services ranging from warehousing, co-packing, ecommerce fulfilment, product repairs and product returns.

“Since opening our first commercial warehouse in 1998, Century Logistics’ driving focus has been to invest where our customers need us most, which, in recent years, has meant supporting their significant ecommerce growth,” said Mr Basey-Fisher.

“We’re thrilled to join Metro Supply Chain and be able to offer customers here and abroad a true end-to-end, harmonized experience that will delight their consumers wherever and whenever they shop.”

Metro Supply Chain has been operating in the UK since 2016 when it acquired Evolution Time Critical, a premium provider of 24-hour emergency logistics for companies around the world, with offices in Derby, the United States, Portugal, Germany and China.

In 2021, it expanded its operations to include five facilities in Wales dedicated to defence sector logistics. With the acquisition of Century Logistics, it now manages more than 12 million square feet in more than 80 distribution centres across North America and Europe.

“Century Logistics founders Stephen and Ann Basey-Fisher have built an impressive customer-focused operation and we are excited to welcome the full Century team to Metro Supply Chain,” said Mr Nanji.

“We look forward to providing greater synergies and opportunities for our UK-based customers who are looking to grow their operations in new geographies and capabilities.”