Monday, February 10, 2014

Freight Forwarding Group Aims to Change Cargo Logistics Methods throughout Asia

German Company Substitutes Road Haulage system for Short Sea Shipping
Shipping News Feature

ASIA – GERMANY – A good supply chain professional is always seeking to optimise traditional routes by integrating new logistics methods, and now global forwarding group, DB Schenker, says it has taken a fresh look at the modes of transport usually chosen for moving freight around Asia and switched to a more efficient multimodal option which it has christened the ‘Asia Landbridge’. Using twenty three strategically located hubs located in the key cities and border regions Schenker says it has found a better way to ensure fast and sure shipping of cargo.

Historically most freight transport in Asia was carried by sea, however, it takes a cargo ship roughly two weeks to make the journey from Penang in Malaysia to Shanghai and whilst airfreight takes only two days, it is more expensive. A truck can complete the journey in just under a week and is far cheaper than airfreight and, with improvements in infrastructure and the use of the right equipment, DB Schenker says the consortium of experienced partner companies used to carry the goods on its behalf, plus experts at the border crossing points to ensure speedy customs clearance, the service is a marked improvement over the old ways.

Special air-suspension trucks are the preferred mode of transport as these also enable the carriage of sensitive and valuable electronic goods, and the widespread use of closed circuit cameras, alarm systems, GPS tracking and even the use of escorts ensures that the routes are secure. Additionally, a control centre is staffed 24/7 and all stations are integrated in the global DB Schenker network. The German headquartered group has already done business in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 50 years and currently has a workforce of 13,000 employees at approximately 400 locations in 20 different countries. Dr Thomas Lieb, Chairman of the Schenker AG Board of Management and the man responsible for the worldwide business of DB Schenker Logistics, explains why the company has revised its logistics methods in the region, saying:

“Our network for this new product covers China and the ASEAN countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. These countries rank amongst the fastest growing economies in the world. Overcoming borders is the only way to ensure that this growth can continue, and that is what our customers’ bank on.”

Photo: The end of the Great War saw Schenker making a similar strategic move as it switched from rail and seafreight services to more road based domestic transport in Europe.