A family owned business that started in 1946 with the first Delgado brother, Antonio Delgado and later his brothers Francisco and Jose Delgado.
This would begin a company whose specialty was not merely logistics and port operations but the drive to bring innovation to the Philippines.
• The Caltex Floating Station, the first of its kind in the country, bringing port supplies to ships.
• The first to mechanize the port system of Manila.
• The first to introduce and implement the use of the shipping container in the Philippines.
• The first five star hotel in the Philippines, the Manila Hilton.
• First Total Transportation Company (land, air and sea) in the Philippines.
• A leading joint venture with the world’s largest logistics provider, United Parcel Service (UPS).
• First company internationally to develop a direct-to-owner visa courier services for the US embassy.
• largest equipment leasing company in the Philippines.
For almost seventy years Delgado Brothers has maintained its strong commitment to the betterment of the Philippines and the Filipinos.
It was in 1949, overlooking the Port of Manila, when Antonio C. Delgado realized an untapped need in the market. In a port full of anchored vessels, why wait for the ships to come, when you can go to them. From a repurposed war barge, Mr. Delgado formed the Caltex Floating Station (CFS), redesigned to carry fuel and supplies around the port. The success of the CFS propelled Mr. Delgado to establish Delgado Brothers (later known as Delbros Inc.). Further building into the industries that surrounded the port area—such as arrastre (the operation of receiving, conveying, and loading or unloading merchandise) and warehousing— Mr. Delgado successfully won the bid to manage the Port of Manila in the 1960s.
Under his management, Delbros brought in innovative business operations and mechanized technology from abroad, including the pallet system and forklifts. It was also during this period that Mr. Delgado discovered the potential of the shipping container. Undeniably catching his attention, it was only a matter of time before one of the first units arrived in the country, a 10-foot container from Matson Line. What ensued would only be the beginning of what would become a booming industry, fortifying the Philippines’ place in the container industry.
The 50’s and 60’s were a period of large-scale growth and prosperity for the Group. Operations were expanded into crewing and manning (ManServe), while transportation and warehousing flourished (Delbros Terminals Corporation, Transport Corporation, and Air Cargo). A large investment of 40,000,000 PhP (74,600,00 USD today), was made through the Delgado Brothers Hotel Corporation to establish the first 5-star hotel in the country, bringing honor, modernity, and tourism to the Philippine Islands. The Manila Hilton, a tie-up with the international Hilton Hotel chain, rose twenty-two storeys and was the tallest building in the country at the time.
In the subsequent decades of martial law, and now an Ambassador, Mr. Delgado was unwilling to bend his corporate values to suit the Marcos dictatorship. Because of this, Delbros weathered heavy political pressure and loss in the form of the seizure and closure of many of the group’s assets. It was during this period that the brothers decided to part ways, resulting in the divestment of some of the core businesses, as well as the resulting buy-out of shares of the main holding company. Although separated, these divided companies have all survived well into the second millennium and continue to thrive in their respective fields – a testament to the strength of the original Group. Despite or in spite of the split, it was in the face of all of this that Delbros re-tooled and grew into the first total transportation company. With a new concept of ‘consolidation’ it discharged fully integrated air, land, sea freight forwarding services. It even served as the largest military transport service in the Philippines during the Vietnam War. The close of the 80’s brought a partnership with the world’s largest package delivery company, United Parcel Service (UPS).
With the logistics investments of the Group performing so well, more assets were directed to this industry – a move that would shape the foundations of Delbros in the years to come.
While the 300,000,000 USD investment in 2001 by the UPS Asian Hub and its local partner Delbros, worked to revive Clark after the devastation wrought by Mt Pinatubo’s eruption, the 90’s to early 2000’s were still a time of careful business decisions as the group – and the rest of Asia during the regional economic crisis – began to reorganize its priorities. The financial crises of 1997 (Asia) and 2008 (Global) weighed heavily on global trade and eventually pushed Delbros to reconsider its long term strategy as it began its group restructuring in 2008. After being so heavily reliant on logistics, Delbros decided to expand its horizons and focus on developing more diverse fields in response to the changing times.
It is in its persistent drive to bring nation building, innovation, and modernization to the country (through being resourceful) that Delbros will continue its reputation as a company of firsts; working to set the benchmark in every industry it touches. As the group is in the midst of completing its restructuring phase by 2020, it believes that now is the time to consider elevating the corporation to a global scale. The management of the group is now in its fourth generation, moving forward with an ever clearer understanding of its past, care for the present, and big dreams for the future.