Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kerry Logistics Furnishes IKEA with Freight and Supply Chain Services

Meanwhile Thailand Aims for Central Role in ASEAN Group
Shipping News Feature

THAILAND – With the future of the freight infrastructure in the country firmly on the agenda this month, news comes that one company, with a history of trading in the area, Kerry Logistics, has secured a contract with IKEA, the Scandinavian furniture and accessories group, to provide a broad range of supply chain services in the region. Meanwhile the country itself aims for a bigger slice of the regions freight trade.

Kerry will be responsible for various value added services before distribution of more than 7,500 separate product lines to the numerous stores which IKEA now has in Asia. The Hong Kong headquartered freight forwarding group already controls 2.4 million square meters of logistics facilities and Alex Ng, General Manager, Kerry Logistics (Thailand) was delighted with the news saying:

“We are very pleased that one of the world’s leading retail brands has selected Kerry Logistics to manage this contract to provide a broad range of value-added logistics services. We are aiming to optimise existing operations for IKEA, which will result in higher efficiency and cost savings. It also demonstrates how Kerry Logistics delivers a comprehensive range of logistics services across Asia”

The ASEAN group of countries aim to present a unified commercial market by 2015, similar to the EU model, and Thailand aims to be a leading player, occupying as it does a key geographical position for freight transferring between the relevant organisation members. Manufacturers in many Asian countries have parts manufactured in Laos and Vietnam and shipped to Thailand for assembly and, with several major industries considering relocations to the Greater Mekong sub-region (Cambodia, China’s Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam) the Thai authorities believe they have an inbuilt positional advantage as an international freight hub.

With this in mind the Government is currently undertaking a review aimed at encouraging private investment in developing transport infrastructure and encouraging industry. The Italthai Industrial group, based in Thailand and with a strong commercial portfolio in the region, is currently undertaking the development of the port at Dawei after signing an $8.6 billion agreement with the Mynamar Port Authority and the Thai’s see this as a natural stimulus for growth now that road and rail links have been developed.

A video of the scheme from the Thai point of view, warts and all, can be seen HERE.

Photo: Existing port facilities at Dawei will need considerable investment - No(2) Yeawun Jetty is currently where coastal vessels load and discharge.