Between 1952 and 1960 Fernando Luís Simões bought some more trucks, which replaced older ones, and diversified the transport services of vegetables into the transport of construction materials. Among its main clients, Novobra stood out, a civil construction company that would have a decisive influence on the commercial momentum of Luís Simões.
During these years there was a boom in the Public Works policy of the Estado Novo and the compound feed industry was born.
Fernando Luís Simões specialised in the transport of bulk cereal and in the transport of materials for civil construction, always alongside the horticultural and grocery business.
Due to statutory requirements, ‘Transportes Luís Simões, Lda.’ was incorporated in 1968 to officialise the business that existed.
In 1973 the management of the company was handed over by the founding couple to their sons Leonel, José Luís and Jorge. It is at this time that they defined their concept of being in the market: for a variable and random demand there must be a fleet of vehicles that is flexible and tailored to the market.
What is important is not owning trucks but serving clients. Consequently, the company chose to outsource about 50% of the fleet, a strategy that is maintained to this day.
Following the April Revolution, its main client went bankrupt, which corresponded to 80% of the company’s total turnover. And it is from this event that the partners drew their first major lesson: never depend on only 1 client.
During this decade, the first home distribution experience in conjunction with Tupperware with full coverage of the Portuguese territory was implemented.
The company acquired equipment for the transport of indivisible loads and began making special transports, and in 1979 the first steps were taken towards the computerisation of the company.
In 1981 ’Transportes Luís Simões’ opened its first branch in Porto. In 1982 it gave its first training course to drivers, during which a film on Prevention was shown.
In 1983 Portugal went through a deep economic crisis that significantly affected the civil construction sector, which at the time represented about 50% of turnover.
From this crisis the Simões brothers drew their second major lesson of their history: no sector of activity must represent more than 20% of sales turnover.
But it is internationalisation towards Spain that marked the 1980’s. In 1985 the International Traffic Department was created, managed from the headquarters in Loures, a strategic move that clearly set Luís Simões on its future path.
Strategic guidelines for the mission of TLS were defined for the first time: business segmentation by areas of activity and market leadership in the road transport of goods in Portugal, which materialised in 1993.
Luís Simões incorporated a company under Spanish law, with headquarters in Madrid, and consolidated its presence in this market with the opening of branches in Andalusia, Catalonia and Galiza.
In anticipation of the logistical consequences of the European market, Luís Simões initiated its logistics activity in Portugal.
Businesses were segmented and diversified into areas as diverse as fleet management, the construction of bodywork and real estate management.
The 1990’s witnessed the attainment of quality certifications for the main businesses in accordance with the ISO 9002:1995 standard, the installation of integrated management systems for warehouses, transport and distribution and, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Luís Simões, the renewal of the institutional image and the inauguration of the Logistical Operations Centre of Carregado in the Iberian Peninsula at the time.
The logistics activity was extended into Spain.
The LS Network was set up, a production franchising model, in order to professionalise the sector and guarantee subcontracting with the level of service guaranteed by the own fleet of Luís Simões.
Furthermore, another technological leap took place in the management of operations with the introduction of Informática Embarcada and the Global Satellite Positioning System (GPS) in vehicles. In addition, Radio-frequency and optical reading via barcode in warehouses was also implemented.
The LSnet Portal became an advanced technological tool for web-based management of the relationship of Luís Simões with its business partners (clients and suppliers).
In 2008, LS subscribed to the European Road Safety Charter, an initiative of the European Commission that planned to reduce the number of road deaths to half by 2010.
To celebrate 60 years of activity, the Logistics Operations Centre of the Future, in Carregado, was inaugurated, an automated warehouse that improves the offer of logistics solutions and reinforces the innovation and pioneering brand of Luís Simões. The corporate identity was also updated. In the year of commemoration of the company’s 60th anniversary, the IRU Diploma of Honour was awarded to João da Mata Isidoro, who has been a driver at Luís Simões for more than 30 years. In subsequent years IRU distinguished another 10 drivers at Luís Simões with its Diploma of Honour.
E@sy7 was implemented in 2010, a customised electronic invoicing platform which enables subcontracted hauliers to transport and deliver goods and receive payment in 7 days.
At the end of 2010, Luís Simões carried out two mergers with companies that overlapped and complemented its rendered activities. In its core business – logistics and transport, the companies ’Transportes Luís Simões’, ‘Distribuição Luís Simões’ and ’Transportes Reunidos’ marged into Luís Simões Logística Integrada, S.A. In its complementary activities, the companies ’Socar’ and ’Reta’ took up the designation of Reta – Serviços Técnicos & Rent-a-Cargo, S.A.
The provision of the new excise warehouse management service was initiated, and the promotional logistics services gained a new impetus.
In 2011, the LS Mobile application offered real time information through the mobile phone for the management of requests and details about deliveries.