Logistics firms buoyed by export spike

Vietnam’s robust export growth has encouraged foreign logistics service providers to target manufacturers’ supply chains.

Foreign logistics firms are on the move to meet the growing demand of local exportersForeign logistics firms are on the move to meet the growing demand of local exporters

Global logistics group DHL underlined the trend recently when it announced an additional $13 million for developing its Vietnam supply chain arm through 2015 to ramp up business. The new investment will create 1,400 new jobs, increasing the Vietnam operation’s total staff to 2,200 in the next two years.

In addition, DHL Supply Chain will aim building its second distribution centre, covering 10,000 square metres in the northern Bac Ninh province to serve customers in technology, retail and consumption goods. The new facility is scheduled to be opened in third quarter this year.

Other logistics providers are also quickly expanding business in Vietnam.

Singapore-based Neptune Oriented Lines, a global leading shipping lines, is planning to expand its warehouse footprint in Vietnam from 70,000 to 100,000sqm by focusing on inbound logistics, especially in retail and raw material, and providing distribution centres close to big cities and industrial parks.

Through two core business segments in Vietnam – APL and APL Logistics – Neptune Oriented Lines provides local and multinational clients across a range of business sectors with premium container transportation and supply chain management solutions.

APL, among the top three shipping lines in Vietnam, handles 300,000, 20-foot equivalent units annually in this market. Meanwhile, APL Logistics handles 2.4 million cubic metres of cargo every year, with a compound annual growth rate of 14 per cent over the last five years.

“Vietnam is an important market and represents a significant part of our regional activities, and we remain optimistic about opportunities in the country,” said a Neptune Oriented Lines spokesman.

Vietnam’s export turnover last year grew 18.3 per cent year-on-year, despite the local economy was in slowdown, led by foreign export-oriented manufacturers, according to General Statistics Office. In the first four months this year, the nation’s export turnover rose 16.9 per cent from one year earlier, while the import turnover rose 18 per cent.

Two months ago, the US-headquartered UPS gained an investment certificate for becoming the first foreign wholly-owned company to provide deliver express services in Vietnam.

“We have seen the transformation of the country to the dynamic export-oriented economy and UPS has grown in parallel with the market,” said Jeff McLean, general director of UPS Vietnam.

Cargolux, the largest all-cargo airline in Europe, increased its air cargo services to Hanoi to three weekly rotations beginning on March 1.

“The added third flight, as well as the subsequent introduction of the advanced 747-8F with higher payload and improved economics, underlines the commercial importance of Vietnam for us,” said Martine Scheuren, director of Corporate Communications at Cargolux Airlines International S.A.

He added the 747-8F was providing buffer capacity to cater for the garments, textiles, and footwear while electronics shipments are creating certain steady demand in Hanoi.

By Ngoc Linh