Skip to content

History & Numbers

Founded by Sir Clive Bourne at the young age of 19 in March 1962 from a telephone box near Shoreditch, East London, Seabourne quickly became a leading parcel delivery service in Europe. 

Seabourne was the first forwarding agent of its kind for Europe, well before the likes of FedEx, DHL and other well-known brands.  Clive had an incredible vision of creating a truly independent logistics company and he went on to build a close-knit organisation, with big dreams. 

Seabourne rapidly expanded, building depots across Europe, and earned the prestigious Queens Award for Industry in the UK on two occasions.

In the 1980s, Seabourne acquired a freight company, closely followed by an international express courier operator, greatly expanding the range of services provided. The following decade, Seabourne sold Seabourne Express Parcels, allowing them to dedicate themselves to freight and express courier operations.

The many acquisitions that followed enabled Seabourne to provide high levels of service and experience across the globe, in all areas of distribution. In 2008, Seabourne made the acquisition of Air Action Group, providing comprehensive and reliable service on road, sea and air freight, as well as courier and mail fulfilment. In the following year, Seabourne acquired leading South African business InXpres which enabled their expansion into the growing South African market.

The acquisition of UK based Gazelle Couriers highlighted two revenue streams including same-day courier and 3PL services, this acquisition was critical to Seabourne’s objective of providing a broad range of services in order to meet all of our customers’ needs.

Noteable Milestones

  • 26 March 1962

    SEABOURNE SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED began by Sir Clive Bourne at the age of 19.

    Business: Parcel services, Road Freight across Europe, developed into market leading network. Sold to UPS 1991.

  • 25 May 1984

    SEABOURNE FORWARDING LIMITED (current FREIGHT Division) was acquired.

    Business: Freight Forwarding

  • 29 January 1988

    SEABOURNE EXPRESS COURIER LIMITED was acquired, resulting in offices in UK, France and The Netherlands.

    Business: International Courier Service

  • 1991

    Seabourne Express Parcels Limited sold to UPS, leaving behind Seabourne Forwarding and Seabourne Express Courier still operating today.

  • 1 August 2008

    AIR ACTION LIMITED was acquired in the UK, catalyst for huge growth in freight and courier.

    Business: Courier and Freight Services

  • 30 April 2009

    INXPRESS PTY LTD– SOUTH AFRICA was acquired, resulting in huge impetus in South Africa

    Business: Warehousing, Road Transport, Courier Services

  • 7 October 2011

    GAZELLE LIMITED was acquired, warehousing in Basingstoke UK. Catalyst for our current supply chain growth.

    Business: Warehousing and Courier Services

  • 30 April 2013

    PLI (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED was acquired. Now trading as Seabourne Mail Solutions

    Business: Mail Solutions