Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Freight Forwarding Groups Partner Up for Logistics and Supply Chain Import/Export Operations

New Agency Arrangement for Hong Kong Multinational
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – SRI LANKA – UK – Since the settlement of the civil war in 2009, the Sri Lankan government has had the goal of a minimum growth per year of 8% for the formerly troubled country, a figure exceeded on seven successive quarters between June 2010 and March 2012 and ensuring at least 5% overall growth for the past five years. Combined with an ambition to lower government indebtedness from around 80% to 60% of GDP by 2015 these factors have encouraged more global freight forwarders and logistics groups to increase their presence on the island as import/export traffic develops.

Now the Hong Kong-headquartered international freight services and logistics group U-Freight has welcomed the Chinese New Year with the appointment of Sri Lankan forwarder Care Logistics (PVT) Ltd of Colombo as the latest agency partner of its global network. The company says that a well-educated young population has been behind strong growth in industries and services since the civil war, creating demand for goods, whilst economists point to a highly literate population and an advantageous location along key shipping routes to India and China.

These factors have influenced U-Freight to seek a bigger presence in a market they see as holding real opportunities for growth by way of the cooperation with a company founded in Colombo in 1997 and offering a full range of forwarding services, including air and sea freight, Customs brokerage, warehousing, supply chain management, project cargo logistics and out-of-gauge traffic, as U-Freight Chief Executive Officer, Simon Wong, explained:

“Following the ending of civil unrest on the island nation in May 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka has been ambitious in its determination to capitalise on the peace dividend. A key strength has to be Sri Lanka's strategic position in the Indian Ocean on key shipping routes between India and China. As part of its return to a peaceful normality, the Colombo government is establishing vocational training for the population and providing low-interest finance and begun rebuilding roads and bridges all over the island.

“International and domestic banking is recovering while big retail chains are opening locations, which is giving a significant boost to import and export traffic, and the freight forwarding services that are associated with it. We intend to capitalise on that business through our new agency partnership with Care Logistics [whom] we welcome as our latest agency partners, a dynamic freight forwarding business, which has gained recognition within the Sri Lankan freight community within a short period.”

Another company with global headquarters in Hong Kong is Kerry Logistics which has announced it will be supporting the contemporary cookware designer and manufacturer Joseph Joseph with the UK based group’s ongoing expansion programme, providing ocean and air services from China to the UK and the USA. Lloyd Roberts, Head of Purchasing and Planning at Joseph Joseph indicated the reasons for choosing Kerry when the announcement was made, saying:

“Finding a logistics partner who could support our fast growth by offering the required services at competitive pricing was essential. Kerry Logistics' operational strength in Asia combined with keen commercial benefits was key in our decision-making, and following a smooth integration we look forward to building our relationship.”