Often the simplest beginnings can grow into something extraordinary. The tale of Bluestar Global Logistics is just that. It starts with a story about family and brotherhood and of a new start and a vision.
Today, under the leadership of CEO Muzi Eideh, the company’s success in the logistics and transportation industry is widely acknowledged and respected. His family has built the business from the ground up, so the Bluestar Global Logistics team know the meaning of hard work and putting the customer first.
During the 1970s, the Eideh family arrived in Australia from Lebanon. As they settled into life in Australia, the Eideh brothers gradually picked up work. Nineteen-year-old Muzi, who was studying at the time, started helping his older brother Khalil on a truck he’d bought.
When offered the opportunity to buy into a business, the pair asked their siblings to invest with them. In 1987, the six Eideh brothers formed a business with each one investing and playing a role in the operation of what was to become Bluestar Global Logistics.
Today, Muzi manages the company, which remains 30 per cent family owned. Three of his brothers – Hass, Aussie and Ibrahim – still work alongside him. "We get along well together and everyone has a responsibility," says Muzi proudly.
"My nephews and nieces are now in the business too. Although we have grown in multiple folds over the years, we continue to be a family business. It takes everyone’s input to achieve a result; it can’t be done by one person alone. I’m proud of everyone."
Based in Victoria with offices in most states, Bluestar Global Logistics employs more than 250 direct staff plus a national fleet that services deliveries around Australia. The business turns over A$120 million annually.
From humble beginnings, the company has grown into a global service provider, offering national door-to-door deliveries, international freight forwarding, third party logistics and warehousing. Having been there from the very beginning, Muzi and his brothers understand every role and process within the company.
They have the proverbial dirt under their nails and intimately understand their customers’ needs. "Our brand stands for loyalty, reliability and responsiveness," explains Muzi. "Our customers know we’re committed and they can trust us." So what makes a successful logistics company? "We create solutions – that’s our biggest strength," Muzi answers easily.
"This means we’re accessible, flexible and reliable. We have an open-door policy and can be contacted at any time." Muzi recalls examples of after-hours deliveries, weekend processing and late extended shifts to complete jobs.
Our customers are an extension of our business. Without them, we don’t exist.
He laughs as he remembers customers urgently awaiting a baby seat; "I actually put the baby seat in my own car and drove it to them myself just to make sure they received it.
"It’s an industry that connects you with a lot of good people from different walks of life. We feel we’re contributing to the wider community by creating employment opportunities, which is exciting and rewarding. Our customers are an extension of our business. Without them, we don’t exist."
The company’s values of loyalty, honesty and integrity form the cornerstones of this family business. "If we all believe in these things, this understanding filters through all levels of the organisation."
As is the case for many businesses right now. COVID-19 has presented some exceptional challenges for Bluestar Global Logistics. The company played an integral role in refilling the rapidly emptying shelves of its major customer, supermarket chain Coles.
"Coles was running a massive program that meant we received and processed a vast amount of product in a very short space of time before getting it into the Coles distribution centres," Muzi remembers.
"It has felt like we’ve been jumping at shadows at times. Every day we would discuss how we were positioned, what we needed to be mindful of and our preparation plan. We were very emotional about this program. We knew that we could ease the pain of the panic by getting the product into the supermarkets, and we felt an obligation to do our part to support the wider community."
The nature of a logistics company means strong and supportive supply chain partners are important, as is a collaborative network. "In our partnerships, we understand and support each other," Muzi explains.
"Our relationship with National Sweepers is based on this premise. We share similar values. We’ve worked together for 16 years and share a great deal of trust in our partnership. National Sweepers is extremely loyal and understands what is needed to add value to our business."
In today’s environment, logistics and transportation technology has developed quickly along with customers’ expectations about delivery times and communication standards. "The industry is always evolving, which means you never stop learning," Muzi says.
"We want to use technology to grow our services and deliver better visibility and outcomes for our customers." With a deep-seated belief in giving back to the community it operates in, Bluestar Global Logistics is an active and passionate supporter of local sports and youth initiatives.
It balances community support with an involvement in health organisations, particularly mental health and cancer foundations. "It’s important to us to use our services to play a greater role in the community," Muzi explains.
Growing up in a large family, then working in business with almost all of them means there’s no mucking around for Muzi when it comes to managing his team. "I want people to be open and honest and tell it the way it is," he says.
"I don’t want to know why it can’t or didn’t happen. I just want the solution and I’ll support whatever is needed to achieve this. We get a faster result when we’re dealing with facts. "Achieving good results for the company by delivering great service for our customers and providing security for the families of our employees is what matters the most. That’s what makes me feel I’m doing a good job."