YCH: On the rise in Asia

We are well on our way to becoming the leading logistics services and supply chain management solutions company in the region, Robert Yap, chairman & CEO, YCH Group, tells Bob Gill.

Back in 1977, the young Robert Yap was not overly keen to join the family business, but circumstances and obligations soon dictated otherwise. Since taking over the helm, he has transformed his father’s Singapore transportation company into a formidable, region-wide supply chain management provider for thelikes of Dell, Canon, and Exxon Mobil.

Q: When did you join YCH?
A: As you probably know, YCH is a family- owned company, started by my father in 1955 as a passenger transport business. I joined in 1977, rather reluctantly I would admit, when my father asked me to help out when he lost his one and only customer, the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

It was then that we switched to moving cargo instead of people, and we won the contract from PSA (known at the time as the Port of Singapore Authority) to transport cargo between its various ports around the island. Singapore was booming at that time and business was very good.

After that, I guess I got stuck. My father retired and I formally took over in 1981. I inherited 100 lorries and 100 workers. Now, we have migrated from a Singapore transportation company into a regional total logistics provider, with 3,600 people in 13 countries across Asia Pacific.