Sometimes, well … most of the time actually, I’m so busy looking into the future for Logistics Bureau and all our spin-off companies, as well as being up to my eyes in the present day-to-day, that I forget to take those golden moments of reflection that every entrepreneur (logistics consultant or not) has a right to enjoy. However a situation just a few weeks ago gave me worthwhile cause to do just that.
Looking Back—But Only for a Moment
It was only after the web conference that it dawned on me. There we were; my three senior management colleagues and I, discussing strategy for the group. I was in Bangkok, David was in Hanoi, Chau was in the Philippines and Steven was back on home turf in Sydney. All of us scattered across the APAC region and each one in the middle of a different project, either on behalf of customers or as part of our internal business development.
“How much our company has grown from its humble beginnings:” That was the thought that arrested me after that conference, quickly followed by “How fortunate we are to be doing what we do in this particular corner of the world right now.”
APAC is Where it’s At
As a firm of logistics consultants in this neck of the woods, we have a lot of work to do going forward, helping companies across the Southeastern corner of the globe to scale and capitalize on the burgeoning growth in markets here. Much of this growth is resulting from the growing popularity of ecommerce, which is driving change and demanding supply chain innovation across Asia and Australasia, as it is over the rest of the globe.
Working with customers in Southeast Asia is always interesting, exciting and challenging. Economies in these countries are growing strongly, but transport infrastructure is still sub-par in the majority of the region, making supply chain network design projects especially challenging.
Take the Philippines for example, with around 2,000 inhabited islands, most of which have main highways little wider than a British B-road. Some have no kind of metalled road at all. There is also no rail network capable of moving freight anywhere in the country.
That leaves distributors with only two options; fast but expensive air freight and very slow RORO shuttle ferries. Any logistics cost-reduction project under those circumstances is going to be educational for even the most seasoned logistics consultant.
A Region of Extremes … and Growth
At the other end of the spectrum are centres such as Singapore, a vastly important logistics hub on the world stage. Indeed, Singapore is the world’s top hub for transshipment and has the busiest seaport on the globe. Changi, Singapore’s International airport is one of the largest cargo airports in Asia, handling close to two million tonnes of cargo a year.
Of course our Head Office is here in Australia, which is completely different again in terms of supply chain challenges and opportunities.
As our operations based at home, in Thailand, and in Vietnam continue to grow, it’s going to be interesting to see the knowledge our team gains from each new experience and how much of it we can transfer across national borders to help customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Interesting times are in front of us and as a logistics consultant; I wouldn’t want to be based anywhere else in the world.