Agility rises to Asia Pac challenges

Despite facing various challenges in the Asia Pacific region, Agility, one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics, sees opportunities for providing solutions to its customers in such an environment, drawing on its legacy of building logistics networks in emerging markets. Hans Hickler, Agility’s Asia Pacific CEO outlines the company’s business in an interview with Wong Joon San.


Asia Pac challenges


Agility rises to Asia Pac challenges

Although Agility has already established a logistics network across Asia, the company is continuing to invest in developing its presence in emerging markets in the region. As an international logistics services provider, the company is uniquely positioned with a hub and spoke domestic network in China, which gives it capabilities to offer a wide range of domestic logistics services to local and international companies. Hickler says that the China/ASEAN trade pact will have a positive impact on trade and points out that it is already doing so and expects it to drive continued growth between China and its Asian neighbours. “We see opportunities from the challenges in Asia Pacific and our legacy of building logistics networks in emerging markets means that we have the experience, understanding and people to meet those challenges. “We are also seeing a shift in low value manufacturing shifting to the smaller emerging markets, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and we see opportunities in these markets.” “Some companies have moved production facilities to Vietnam and Cambodia, noticeably in the textiles and garments sector, this has been driven by lower land and labour costs, as well as preferential quotas from Europe and the US,” he adds. ”Agility is working with its customers to facilitate their logistics requirements, which means that we have a range of logistics services to support them, including a range of cross border logistics services.” “For example across Southeast Asia we see cross border trade growing significantly but the plethora of government red tape at each border crossing means that shipments are delayed and costs incurred. At Agility we are working with governments in Hans Hickler Indochina and Southeast Asia as partners and advocates to find ways to streamline the cross border truck transits and save time and money for our customers,” he comments. “Intra Asia trade is also driving growth in China as more and more countries in the region source products from China. Also, China is buying more from its neighbours in Asia driven by growing consumer demand and the country’s growing consumption of raw materials for processing,” Hickler says. Asked about Agility’s forecast of logistics growth in the Asian market, Hickler says economic growth in Asia has been trimmed down to 7.5 per cent year-on-year, “so we see that intra-Asia trade and emerging markets in the region will continue to drive our growth forward for the rest of the year and for the foreseeable future”.