Asia Pacific remains top shipping loss region

Asia Pacific waters remain top shipping loss region, led by South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines. According to the latest research by Allianz.
The Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s Safety & Shipping Review 2019 annual study analyses reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons (GT).
In 2018, 21 total losses of vessels were reported in Asia Pacific, down from 46 losses in the 12 months earlier, driven by a significant decline in activity in the global loss hotspot, South East Asia, and weather-related losses after quieter hurricane and typhoon seasons.
While this plummet in total losses is encouraging, the number of reported shipping incidents overall in Asia actually increased by 22 per cent in the past four years, according to analysis of data from 4,000 insured vessels by AGCS[1].
However, this is more due to the sheer volume of ships that pass through the region, rather than below-par safety standards.
“We do typically see more incidents of groundings and collisions in Asia than other locations around the world, but this generally reflects the higher levels of trade and where ship owners are trading,” Tom Taberner, Regional Head of Energy & Marine Asia Pacific at AGCS said.
“In many cases port infrastructure in Asia is new and there are many new or expanding ports in China, Korea, Japan and Malaysia etc. Newer infrastructure means fewer issues, better port operations and more up-to-date charts, which will address challenges,” Tom continued.

Yojee signs three-year deal with Geodis

Yojee, an Australian logistics technology start-up, has announced a three-year master services agreement with global logistics provider Geodis.
The Agreement will govern multiple projects across Asia Pacific where Yojee will provide its SaaS logistics and supply chain management technology on a project by project basis on standard commercial terms over three years, with: setup; subscription; professional service; and transaction fees applicable.
“We are excited to be selected for this opportunity as we have strategically aligned ourselves to the current needs of the market with innovative technology and are uniquely positioned both technically and geographically to understand and deliver a solution against the requirements of Geodis, a true global leader. This milestone validates our mantra of any business of any size, and also proves the capabilities of our world leading logistics technology,” Ed Clarke, Managing Director at Yojee said.
Geodis aims to digitise its logistics operations, optimise efficiency and enhance customer experience across Asia Pacific for land transport and cross-border logistics.
Land transport includes express, line haul and container trucking and can be both domestic and across borders in Asia, where Yojee’s proprietary software provides unique advantages in areas such as visibility, compliance and invoicing.
“After searching the market it became apparent that Yojee has built a unique solution that supports modern logistics requirements, drives efficiency and supports customer requirements. We work with over 1,000 partners across the region and face challenges in cross-border trucking which is solved by Yojee’s enterprise grade solution,” Dinesh Kenapathy, South East Asia Road Network Director at Geodis said.
Read more about Yojee: https://logisticsmagazine.com.au/a-rising-force-in-freight-movement/
 

New Board member for Yojee

Yojee has announced the appointment of David Morton to its recently announced Advisory Board team.
This is the final appointment to the existing Advisory Board, rounding out the strategic and operational growth focus of the Company for 2019.
David is an experienced Corporate Banker with a successful career spanning 40 years at Westpac and HSBC.
He has recently returned to Australia after 12 years working in Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong) in a number of pan Asian roles including Managing Director, Head of Corporate, Financials and Multinationals Banking, Asia-Pacific.
David Morton is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, GAICD and holds a Business Studies degree (Accounting) from Victoria University.
“I am excited about the opportunity to assist Yojee in executing its strategies within the Asian region and scale across the world. The Company has a wonderful opportunity for its platform to support all stakeholders in the supply chain and logistics ecosystem, from shipper to carrier and from governmental and financial institutions where data and transparency is key. It’s recent announcement with a multi-national organisation shows the true potential of this early stage business,” David said.
“The Company has been strategically building its board and advisory structure with globally proven talent across technology, supply chain, automation and finance and capital markets with David being a great addition to complete our advisory structure. We are very pleased to have David joining us and look forward to our group of experienced board and advisors engaging the executive team in robust discussions around strategy and growth along with providing public market strategy and strong corporate governance,” Ed Clarke, MD, Yojee said.

Linfox opens warehouse in Vietnam

Linfox has opened a warehouse and distribution centre in Bac Ninh to service Hanoi and the northern Vietnam region.
The new facility is part of a strategic partnership with multinational fast-moving consumer goods company, Unilever.
The 100,000-square-metre site is one of the largest warehouse and distribution centres in northern Vietnam, offering 70,000 pallets positions, 60,000 square metres of ambient storage space and multi-tenancy.
The warehouse is equipped with cutting-edge technology such as a Microlistics system for warehouse management, and radio frequency (RF) devices to complete warehouse activities.
“The facility is strategically located at the VSIP Integrated Township and Industrial Park in Bac Ninh province, 20 kilometres from central Hanoi with connections to all major road systems, ” Linfox International Group CEO, said Greg Thomas.
“This will provide customers easy access to their inventory and will optimise distribution across the region.
“When designing the facility, we focused on incorporating many environmental features.
“The facility features motion sensored LED smart lighting to lower energy consumption and minimise the environmental footprint. We’ve also installed a rainwater harvesting system to reuse the rainwater and reduce the risk of stormwater flooding. This facility represents Linfox’s commitment to sustainability,” he said.
The new Bac Ninh facility is a significant investment for Linfox as the company expands into the Mekong region, with further investments planned in the near future. Operations will commence at the facility in March 2019.

Shippit turns down $5M funding boost

Sydney-based logistics and shipping business Shippit has rejected a $5 million investment offer in its Series A funding round, instead accepting $2.2 million to fund in order to drive its growth and Asia-Pacific expansion.
250,000 parcels are delivered via Shippit’s platform each month, and many of the company’s 750 clients are major retailers, including Harvey Norman, Sephora, Topshop, Thankyou and Pet Circle.
Shippit’s Series A funding round attracted strong investor interest due in part to the company’s announcement of significant growth of its subscriber base and a 200 per cent increase in monthly profits.
“During the raising process, Shippit’s user base grew ahead of our projections which reduced our capital requirement and prompted us to review our growth ambitions,” said co-CEO Rob Hango-Zada.
Hango-Zada and his co-CEO William On decided to reject the $5 million investment secured through the funding round, having calculated that the growth push would cost around $2 million.
“We’ve always been fiscally responsible, however when we reconsidered the amount that was required to fuel our next phase of growth, the figure was actually much closer to [$2.2 million],” Hango-Zada added.
“We received a humbling flurry of interest, however, we didn’t think it would be wise to accept more capital than we actually required. The purpose of this raise was specifically to obtain growth capital to invest in strategic hires, building out the local team, as well as supporting rapid expansion into international markets.”
Lead investor Aura Group, a well-established venture fund, has experience dealing in the APAC market, which will benefit Shippit as it makes its bid for the market.
“Shippit stood out to us because of the scalability of its platform and its alignment to the global opportunity being driven by the transition of retail into e-commerce,” said Eric Chan, Managing Director, Aura Group.
“The predominant reason we invested, however, was because we believe Shippit has the right founders to execute on a well-considered strategy and vision.”

Japan government targets logistics efficiency

A range of new incentives announced by the Japanese Government aim to minimise the economic impact of driver shortage on the logistics sector.
Nikkei Asian Review (NAR) reports that through revised logistics legislation, the Government has approved 15 plans as eligible for tax breaks and subsidies and up to 2 million yen ($23,400) will be allocated to 15 projects aimed at formulating efficiency plans. It is hoped that the Government’s support of the private sector’s projects will improve labour productivity by 20 per cent.
Many projects centre on moving cargo transport to rail. NAR shared that Senko will switch from road to rail for shipping apparel, saving 1,500 driver hours annually, while Sagawa Express and others will switch to rail from air for transporting fresh produce, taking advantage of new containers that can maintain freshness longer.

New MD for DHL Global Forwarding HK, Macau

DHL Global Forwarding, provider of air, sea and road freight services in Europe and Asia, has appointed Mark Slade as Managing Director of Hong Kong and Macau.
Slade has been for the organisation for 14 years, until recently serving as Managing Director of Japan. In that role, Slade delivered record financial performance, and also receive the highest internal accolade for corporate responsibility – Deutsche Post DHL CEO Award 2012 for Living Responsibility – for his role in leading the company’s aid efforts after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and remaining in Japan to maintain staff morale in the aftermath of the disaster.
While in the role, Slade also established the Japan Power Network, a global forum for overseas Japanese sales professionals to support one another in business development and finding local support, and he has also been the Chairman of Japan’s Logistics and Freight Committee for the European Business Council since 2012.
“In his six years leading our operations in Japan, Mark showed a care for the entire market that went well beyond simply doing business,” said Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Greater China.
Slade commented, “Our successes in Japan stem from the steadfast commitment of our team to literally going the extra mile for both our customers and the communities we operate in, and I believe our customers can anticipate even greater results in the years ahead.”

Uber-style app for Chinese e-commerce

A new social-media platform could help struggling Chinese logistics companies match delivery capacity to fluctuating demand.
According to McKinsey, the yet-to-be-named shipping platform using both digital and social technologies links merchants with multiple logistics companies’ trucking fleets and drivers – enabling the companies to share capacity when they have room to do so.
Much like Uber, “the app serves to mobilise an on-demand pool of thousands of independent urban Chinese delivery drivers,” McKinsey explained.
“The service provides dynamic profiles of drivers, their delivery records, and their capabilities – such as whether they do unpacking or installation work.
“It also enables users to rate drivers, thereby encouraging merchants to turn to competing logistics services or to the many independents they might previously have considered unreliable.”
McKinsey found that the Chinese e-commerce sector is still fragmented, and as a result the country’s logistics players struggle to keep up not only with the dizzying rates of e-shopping growth – 50 percent and more – but also with the wide variability in demand.
“During slack periods, trucks are often loaded to only 30 to 40 percent of their capacity,” the company revealed. “At peak times…merchants complain that orders are lost because of delivery delays.”

LMFAsia 2016 Gains Traction with Regional Industry Players Amidst Asia eCommerce Market

Organised by SingEx Exhibitions, Last Mile Fulfilment Area (LMFAsia), the only Asian conference and exhibition dedicated to eCommerce fulfilment in Asia was officially opened today by recently appointed CEO of IE Singapore, Mr Lee Ark Boon. 

Held at Singapore Expo, this year’s event marks its 2nd edition which is bigger than the previous event. Themed eCommerce Beyond Borders, it will feature over 90 conference speakers, a 40 percent increase from last year, and over 90 exhibitors which is, three times more than 2015.

"The significant increase in participation by the industry players in Asia Pacfic and globally corresponds to the growing eCommerce market in Asia. The Asia eCommerce market grew by 36 percent in 2014 and is now twice the size of online retail market in the United States. Inevitably, there is great interest from the industry to congregate, discuss and finds solutions to the challenges arising from the last mile fulfilment aspect of the suppy value chain," said Mr Adrian Sng, General Manager (Events Business), SingEx Exhibitions.

The support the market growth and provide additional outlets for collaboration and knowledge exchange, several pre-conference activities were hold on the 2nd March.

Industry players and country representatives from Southeast Asia congregated at a Government Session to discuss what each country has to offer in the areas of logistics technology, as well as, grants that can be offered to support eCommerce and fulfilment operations. While the Marketplace Roundtable welcomed representatives from ASEAN to discuss about collaboration and growth opportunities for independent marketplace operators in the current business environment. 

Special arrangements were also made for delegates to visit the DHL Innovation Centre. A one-of-a-kind facility in Asia Pacific, the DHL Innovation Centre is designed as a platform for collaborative innovation and development of solutions that will transform the logistics and supply chain industry.

Mr Sng added, "LMFAsia offers a unique platform for retailers, logistic service providers, government agencies, and other players in the entire eCommerce fulfilment ecosystem. In this edition, we have added pre-conference activities, more roundtables, panel sessions and tracks, as well as new pavilions at the exhibition to facilitate more focused discussions and thematic showcases."

The LMFAsia exhibition features exhibitors from across the fulfilment ecosystem, making it the definitive one-stop marketplace for industry players to come together to explore opportunities for business collaboration and market expansion.

There are four new pavilions namely Brands and Cross-Border Marketplace Pavilion, Fulfilment Disruptor Pavilion, Singapore Pavilion and Malaysia Pavilion which will house up-and-coming local brands, new and established technology companies with latest innovative solutions, key technology companies from Malaysia and home-grown service and solution providers.

One of the latest solution to look-out for is Grey Orange’s warehouse automation solution which is a disruptive technology powered primarily by their robotics and software engineering to solve operational inefficiencies at distribution and fulfilment centres operated by e-commerce and logistics companies.

The exhibition will also feature products from retail brands worldwide, international eCommerce marketplace operators, integrated warehouse, fleet and payment management solutions, as well as the latest in fulfilment technologies by leading regional and domestic players.

Richard Chua, Managing Director, Yamato Asia said, “It is great for the industry to come together at one event to share knowledge and best practices. eCommerce has been growing at a tremendous pace, especially in Asia, and logistics, postal and parcel delivery companies serve a central function in last mile fulfilment. I believe there is much more that businesses as well as governments in this region can do to drive the industry forward.”

Air purifiers within cars making a mark in China

Car makers are increasingly responding to the pollution problems that are a part of Chinese cities by selling cars with internal air purifiers.

AAP reports that car makers such as Volvo, Nissan, and PSA Peugeot Citroen are all winning over prospective buyers with state-of-the-art devices that give drivers better air inside their cars than they would be breathing if they were walking outside.

As Edouard de Piray, the Shanghai-based president of Valeo in China explained, "The air quality is a general challenge in the country, and Chinese drivers are more and more conscious of it."

He added that many residents of Chinese citizens “have particle filters at home to protect their children” and that the next step would be to purchase cars with similar systems.

Meanwhile, there are moves afoot to try to decrease the pollution problem with China’s cities. As The Business Spectator reports that the most popular car in China at the moment is the Tesla, an electric car.

Consumers interested in buying electric cars can take advantage of subsidies from Beijing and local governments which encourage them to do so.

However, local protectionism is slowing the electric car market. For example, one of the most popular electric cars is the BYD E6 model which has a range of 300 kilometres after a single re-charge.

The problem is that drivers from China’s two largest cities, Beijing and Shanghai can’t take advantage of 60,000 yuan worth of subsidies from their local governments because they are only available to locally-based manufacturers.

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