Blog for updates and happenings in logistics in the Asia-Pacific region

December 31, 2012

2012/13 Supply Chain & Logistic Employment Market Survey Report

Filed under: General,Jobs,Logistics,Newsletter,Study & Reference — admin @ 7:56 am

Logistics Executive has announced the release of the  2012/13 Supply Chain & Logistic Employment Market Survey Report.

The Survey Report this year includes a new feature – Employment Market Trends and Predictions for 2013, gathered from market intelligence additional to the Survey

A complimentary copy of the report can be accessed at –

Logistics Executive is an International Specialist Executive Recruitment and Business Consulting Company that offers market-leading, global connections and drive business performance in the Logistics, Supply Chain, Transport, Freight, Aviation, Manufacturing, Retail, FMCG, Pharma-Healthcare and Resources sectors by providing Executive Recruitment, Interim Management and Business Consulting Services.


December 29, 2012

Singapore government to boost manufacturing skills

Filed under: Newsletter — admin @ 2:51 am

The local government last month granted a sum of SG$3.8 million to help companies in the manufacturing sector upgrade their workforce.

In atypical Singapore Inc style the grant was launched by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). The grant will be given under the Manufacturing Plan for Learning and Advancement (PLAN) scheme to help skill up professionals, managers, executives and rank-and-file employees in the next two years.

The grant will target especially those working at SMEs, allowing subsidies for workers and aligning in-house training programmes with national Workface Skills Qualification, according to The Business Times.

“Through Manufacturing Plan, we hope to make it affordable for SMEs to holistically upgrade their training systems and workforce,” Lee Yi Shyan, senior minister of State for Trade and Industry, said.

30 companies have since made a commitment to PLAN, with 22 from SMEs in various sectors.


Industry picks Amazon over Apple for Supply Chain Excellence

Filed under: Logistics,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 2:47 am

20130102-103919.jpgAmazon, a US-based online retailer, has overthrown its tech counterpart Apple in supply chain excellence, according to research by SCM World, global community of supply chain practitioners.

In a survey of 1,136 supply chain practitioners, 58% of respondents picked Amazon, indicating their admiration for its supply chain operations. Only 37% had picked Apple.

The research goes against what Gartner had reported in its Top 25 for 2012 report, in which Apple had taken first place instead.

In SCM World’s research, each firm was ranked according to four attributes of the supply chain, such as agility, collaboration, execution and innovation.

As such, Amazon came out tops for three attributes.

62% of respondents voted for Amazon for its agility, which measured the firm’s ability to quickly and cost-effectively shift amounts and types of production and delivery to improve operational performance.

For collaboration, 59% picked Amazon’s ability to work across organizational boundaries to solve systemic operational problems and create new value for customers and partners.

Furthermore, 57% had also indicated that Amazon excelled better in its execution, indicating the company’s ability to deliver consistently and reliably against commitments and within budgeted expenses.

However, Apple won over the majority with its innovation skills, stealing 78% of votes. Only 19% picked Amazon.

The research by SCM World spanned a wide variety of sectors, including hi tech, consumer goods, logistics and distribution, and retail. 43% of respondents were from EMEA, 41% from the Americas and 41% in Asia Pacific.


SDV opens ‘Green Hub’ in Singapore

SDV, recently announced the official opening of its new warehousing facility in Pioneer Turn. Over the past 20 years, SDV Singapore has strengthened its position by providing value-added transport and logistics solutions for its customers which are major players from the luxury retail industry to the aerospace, healthcare and oil and gas sector as well as flavour and fragrances. Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, was the Guest-of-Honour. His Excellency, Mr Olivier Caron, Ambassador of France in Singapore also attended the event.

This four-storey ramp-up facility with nine floors of production and office space, is the first warehouse in Singapore to be Green Mark Platinum certified*. It is also the largest logistics centre in Asia to be under LEED Gold Certification**. A total of S$55 million was invested into this green warehouse which spans an area of 42,000 sqm.

Mr Herbert de Saint Simon, CEO of SDV Worldwide, said: “We are pleased that this innovative warehouse has received the highest ‘green certifications’. At the design phase we involved our core customers to define the operational needs specific to their industry, and align our CSR expectations. When we started building this facility, we made sure that the site followed stringent specifications and construction practices. The warehouse structure has been designed to be energy-efficient and waste management systems are in place to ensure that the site is sustainable”.

Mr Yves Laforgue, South East Asia Director of SDV, added: “We have seen spectacular growth from the markets in this region and particularly in the luxury retail industry. This has propelled us to be proactive in developing a new hub which will serve ‘a limited number’ of premium brands in cosmetics and luxury fashion industries with both regional distribution needs and sustainable development strategies. We strongly believe that Singapore is the ideal location to operate a Regional Distribution Centre for Asia Pacific. For the luxury retail industry, this new warehouse is integral to fulfilling our commitment to offer sustainable solutions to these clients with a 20 per cent growth over the next five to six years”.

The key features of this green warehouse are:

  • Building orientation and design – This is to help on thermal insulation of the building. In addition, the building materials used such as roof panels, double-glazing or composite cladding constituted low thermal transmission.
  • Energy efficient – Combining innovative lighting technologies and an efficient air-conditioning plant system.
  • Water efficient – Optimising water usage for example, by collecting rainwater and distributing it for plant irrigation and toilet flushing.
  • Sustainable site and waste reduction – Recycling of packaging materials in the warehouse. Recharge stations for electric vehicles will be provided at the parking area.
  • Building Management System or BMS – Utilising a BMS to control, monitor, and optimise energy usage and green features of the building.
  • Working environment – Providing a healthy and conducive work environment for employees and customers by promoting natural lighting, planting greenery, and controlling air quality within the building.

LA Strike Update : Strike on 29th Dec looms closer

Filed under: Newsletter,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 2:17 am

The White House is urging east and Gulf coast dockers and shipping company employers to reach agreement or extend the labour contract to avoid a threatened December 29 strike, which will stop containers movement, but let perishables, military cargo though and continuing passenger ship service.

Talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) broke down on December 18 over container bonuses or royalties, but hopes were expressed that they would resume before the week is out.

The National Retail Federation has asked the Obama administration to use “all means necessary” to prevent a strike, but so far no sign of his invoking the back-to-work Taft-Hartley Act.

The federation fears a strike will cause a national economic emergency with billions lost in commerce at countless businesses affected, from automakers awaiting parts to truckers delivering them.


December 27, 2012

Singapore Airlines pays $3.3 million penalty for price fixing

Filed under: Logistics Social Responsibility,Newsletter,Singapore — admin @ 9:43 am

The High Court of New Zealand has ordered Singapore Airlines Cargo (SIA Cargo) to pay a NZ$4.1 million (US$3.3 million) fine for price fixing.

The company is the seventh airline to settle with the Commerce Commission in the long-running air cargo cartel case. SIA Cargo and Singapore Airlines were among the 13 airlines against which the commission charged, alleging they colluded to impose fuel and security surcharges for air cargo shipments to and from New Zealand.

Today’s penalty judgment brings the total fines to NZ$25.475 million paid by British Airways, Cargolux, Emirates, Korean Air, Qantas and Japan Airlines International.

SIA Cargo admitted liability for agreeing fuel and security surcharges in Indonesia and Malaysia for cargo flown to New Zealand over a period of nearly four years from October 2001 (security surcharges) and from mid-2002 (fuel surcharges).

The penalty was recommended to the court by both the Commerce Commission and SIA Cargo as part of a pre-trial settlement which included a 20 per cent discount to recognise SIA Cargo’s admissions. SIA Cargo was also ordered to pay costs to the commission.

The Commission agreed to discontinue its proceedings against Singapore Airlines, the parent of SIA Cargo as SIA Cargo took over Singapore Airlines’ cargo operations in mid-2001.

Said Commerce Commission chairman Mark Berry: ” Price fixing is unlawful and the fines imposed in the air cargo case should be a deterrent. The fines are also a reminder to companies that it is important to have effective compliance programmes in place to prevent anti-competitive behaviour.”

SIA Cargo and Singapore Airlines were among the 13 airlines the commission filed proceedings against in December 2008, alleging that the airlines colluded to impose fuel and security surcharges for air cargo shipments to and from New Zealand.

Section 30 of the Commerce Act makes price-fixing agreements between competitors unlawful. This includes agreements with the purpose, effect or likely effect of fixing, controlling or maintaining prices, or that provide a mechanism for doing so. An agreement can be a formal document, such as a contract. An agreement can also be very informal.


December 15, 2012

Most carriers to pose full year losses in 2012

Filed under: Newsletter — admin @ 9:17 am

SHIPPING demand continues to weaken in the fourth quarter, and the gap between the surplus of containerships and the insufficient demand to fill them widens.

Expectations are that shipping lines will likely return to losing money this quarter after a brief period of respite in the third quarter. If this prediction proves correct, the impact to the industry and to shippers in 2013 could prove to be quite significant. As experienced in the past few years, carriers will look at recovering these losses from shippers thus driving up overall shipping costs in Supply Chains that are already facing numerous other challenges and threats globally.


IATA recognised ELITE Association plans to be voice of for smaller freight forwarders

Filed under: General,Logistics,Newsletter — admin @ 9:01 am

THE Elite Association of Logistic Networks (ELITE) has been officially launched following the qualification of nine major global logistics networks as founding members.

The membership of ELITE-qualified networks comprises 3,550 freight forwarding companies worldwide, with annual revenues of US$60 billion and 140,000 staff operating from 7,000 offices in 188 countries.

ELITE will represent the independent forwarding community by engaging with and participating alongside major global industry associations, regulators and government agencies.

“For the first time the independent sector has a powerful and unified voice to ensure the interests of SME freight forwarders are considered,” said a statement from the new group.

IATA’s head of global cargo, Des Vertannes, has welcomed the formation of ELITE, saying that with the industry undergoing major changes it is essential that all sectors work together.

“ELITE has the potential to become a powerful and potent voice for freight forwarders around the world,” said Mr Vertannes.

A second objective for ELITE is to provide the global logistics industry with visibility and clarity by differentiating bona-fide, high-quality logistics networks from a growing number of rogue networks around the world.


December 12, 2012

LA Strike Update

Filed under: Newsletter — admin @ 4:37 pm

Shipping lines and terminal operators look set to face months of disrupted supply chains across the US, despite the resolution late on Tuesday night of a strike that had halted work in most of the US’s busiest container port complex.

Representatives of striking clerical workers at the twin California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reached an agreement with the Harbor Employers Association guaranteeing their work would not be “outsourced” to other places, including Texas and Taiwan. The HEA had always insisted it never had any intention of outsourcing the jobs concerned. Neither side gave details on the new contract’s terms after the agreement, except the guarantee against outsourcing.

The dispute had nearly shut down container handling at the port, which handles 40 per cent of the US’s containerised imports, after ILWU longshoremen refused to cross clerical workers’ picket lines at the 10 terminals where they were striking. Only four relatively small terminals kept working.

Shipping lines diverted ships as far away as Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico in an effort to escape the disruption. About 20 ships are sitting at anchor off the ports waiting to load and unload. Other vessels were slowed down during their journey across the Pacific and will arrive in the next few days.

Lines, terminal operators and customers said before the eight-day strike ended that, after a lockout of ILWU members all along the US west coast in 2002, it had taken six months to restore inventories to normal levels and supply chains to smooth functioning. Recovery from the clerical workers’ eight-day strike is expected to take nearly as long.

“It could take several months for supply chains to become fully normalised,” said Neil Davidson, ports analyst for Drewry Shipping Consultants in London.


December 1, 2012

LA Strike Update

While negotiating teams representing employers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach met with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (“OCU”) on 30th Nov, several key terminals at both ocean cargo gateways were still shut down.

In Los Angeles, operations at 10 of the 14 terminals have stopped. In Long Beach, three of six terminals are closed and this strike has had a severe impact on the flow of cargo and on jobs in the harbor community, with multiple ships sitting idle at berth or at anchor in the harbor and hundreds of workers in the ports out of work, report port authorities.

Industry analysts note that there is a significant amount of freight on the water now, so retailers will have to assess over the next week or so whether to ship to alternative ports for current/future Asia departures and whether the goods that are already on the water will make it in time to market (or if extra needs to be shipped airfreight).

Meanwhile, with cargo destined for retail shelves stranded in the San Pedro harbor, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is demanding that the Obama Administration step in:

“Given the enormous risk posed by a prolonged shutdown of the nation’s busiest ports, we urge you to consider all options, including invoking the Taft-Hartley Act, in order to restore the critical flow of commerce,” said RILA president, Sandra L. Kennedy

“We respectfully ask that you put the weight of the White House behind resolving this dispute.”