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LSCMS Blog

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

May 28, 2015

Indonesia’s Logistics Industry to Grow at 15.2% in 2015, Says Expert

Filed under: Logistics,News,Newsletter,Research — admin @ 11:15 am

trends-imageA Frost & Sullivan analyst says over 1.1 billion tons of total freight is expected by 2015 with CAGR of 5.4 per cent between 2010 – 2015.

Gopal R is expecting strong private consumption growth, higher trade growth, lower external financing cost & oil price and infrastructure development to continue drive logistics industry growth in 2015. However, he said that rising labour wages will force businesses, including transportation & logistics to incur lower profit margin. He also said that the limitations to invest optimally in logistics infrastructure such as ports, airports and roads will hamper freight movement.

Gopal said that ASEAN’s transportation and logistics sector is expanding rapidly, which is in line with the region’s economic growth. He added that the projected growth in ASEAN countries will have an average growth of 7.9 per cent where exports play a greater role, while domestic demand is expected to be moderate.

[Read more… Curated from Logistics Insight Asia]

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March 19, 2015

B2B Procurement Begins to Feel Emergence of Millennials

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Research,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:38 am

Influencer shiftMillennial influence within business-to-business buying decision groups is growing rapidly, according to a study by Google and the research house Millward Brown Digital.

According to the study, 46% of potential buyers researching b-to-b products are millennials today, up from 27% in 2012. They’re now the biggest generational group researching b-to-b products for potential purchase. “We saw a big shift in a two-year time span in the number of millennials that are in the b-to-b purchase path,” said Mike Miller, Google’s director of business and industrial markets.

[Read more… Curated from Ad Age]

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August 26, 2014

LSCMS launches “aggregator” site for Supply Chain and Logistics

LSCMS has launched another great resource for keeping up on today’s manufacturing and supply chain news: Supply Chain Brief.

Launched by The Logistics and Supply Chain Management Society in August, Supply Chain Brief is a new site that was launched to bring together content from the best bloggers and thought-leaders in supply chain management, operations, logistics, and warehousing from all over the world.

Supply Chain Brief is an “aggregator” or “hub” site, so it allows readers to search for articles tailored to the specific topics you seek. This way you can easily find stories that actually matter to you, and stay informed, so you are in the best position to help your business continue to succeed.

Readers can also elect to receive a daily or weekly message on topics that you select. Just click on the icon to visit the site!

supply_chain_brief

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May 26, 2014

Vietnam Container Ports Development

With its lengthy coastline of some 3,200 km, Vietnam’s seaport network comprises of numerous small and medium-sized entities, the fragmented sea-side capabilities further hampered by inefficient land-side distribution. Most large ports are located on rivers, like Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City, typically with limitations of access from the ocean, water depth, quay length and container yard space, compounded by downtown city locations making cargo transfers to other modes of transport difficult and inefficient due to traffic congestion. Hence the development of modern deep-water port facilities at Cai Mep – further out from HCMC and closer to the ocean.

As discussed however in a recent ASEAN Ports and Shipping forum, the fragmented approach to the development of multiple container terminal facilities at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex – situated on the southeast coast some 50 km from Ho Chi Minh City – has resulted in over-capacity, to the extent that operations at several of the new terminals have been suspended, due to a shortage of cargo and absence of ships.

Distance from major industrial zones, together with limitations in land side connectivity – and associated additional cost implications – all combined to make cargo owners reluctant to utilise the newly built facilities, in turn making shipping lines question the viability of making port calls at the new terminals.

Vietnam Ports

Picture: South Vietnam fragmented container port developments resulting in over capacity and underutilisation (source: ICF GHK Hong Kong)

Compounding the unfortunate scenario is the continuing operation of the Saigon city river ports in downtown HCMC, thereby supporting the existing inefficient operations within the busy city, with the related congestion and pollution, and further entrenching the incumbents’ reluctance to move cargo operations to the new Cai Mep facilities.

As a ray of sunshine amongst the gloom, CMIT (Cai Mep International Terminal) see many positive opportunities for Vietnam to capitalise on the newly constructed, modern, deep-water terminal facilities and their strategic geographic location near the ocean, not least of which is to connect south Vietnam to the major international trade flows from Asia to Europe and USA, eminently feasible assuming larger container vessels can be persuaded to return to Cai Mep and that multimodal hinterland connectivity can be enabled through effectively integrated logistics networks.

In the international context, Vietnam’s location on the South China Sea provides access to the main intra-Asia and inter-Asian shipping routes, which are forecast for above average growth in the coming years. Adopting a more holistic and integrated approach to deep-sea port development, and the related multimodal hinterland connectivity, will enable Vietnam to better capitalise on its strategic position and vast potential – with many opportunities to empower performance and growth throughout regional supply chain ecosystems in this Asia Era.

Mark Millar provides value for clients with independent, external and informed perspectives on their supply chain strategies in Asia. His series of ‘Asia Supply Chain Insights’ presentations, consultations, seminars and corporate briefings help companies to improve business operations, plan more effectively, and increase the efficiency of their global supply chain ecosystems. Clients have engaged Mark as Speaker, MC, Moderator or Conference Chairman at more than 300 events in 20 countries. The Global Institute of Logistics recognised him as “One of the most Progressive People in World Logistics” and USA-headquartered Supply & Demand Chain Executive named him as one of their 2014 Pros-to-Know in Supply Chain. mark@markmillar.com

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May 17, 2014

Benefits of On-Line Learning

Logisticians occasionally write to us to enquire about courses and training. We are more than happy to assist with this.

More and more we are getting questions about on-line courses. Given the exponential growth of on-line learning over the last decade and the amazing growth of MOCC’s like Coursera on-line education is now a widely accepted mode of learning.

In many countries, access to good, recognised, quality education and training is not always accessible or available. On-line learning helps overcome this. Also, on-line learning can be just as challenging – maybe even more so – than conventional classroom learning.

Additionally, there are several benefits of on-line learning that will help you acquire valuable career skills that you will not get from any textbook. These skills are essential to succeed in the workforce; they are also skills that traditional classroom students often will not develop until long after they have graduated – if ever.

In many countries today, having a paper qualification is fairly common. The individual with the soft or less tangible skills like high EQ is what employers are looking for.

The following are just 4 benefits we see from on-line learning.

Benefit 1 — Self-Motivation: Traditional students are required to attend a class. They meet with an instructor on a regular basis. Instructors deliver lessons, answer questions, and help keep students on track.

In an on-line learning environment however, you rarely have a set class time. In progammes that do not incorporate on-line webinars and the like, it is unlikely that you will ever see your instructor face-to-face.

On the positive side, this allows for a flexible schedule but since there is no one there to make you show up and learn, you have to learn how to stay motivated. You have to hold yourself accountable. Self-motivation, once mastered, is an amazingly beneficial skill to possess in the real work world.

Benefit 2 — Communication: Being a highly motivated go-getter is terrific, but what good is that when you cannot convey your ideas to others? Being a good communicator will be highly valued wherever you work.

On-line learning is perfect for helping develop those communication skills. Because you do not get to sit next to your classmates on-line group projects and communication with your instructor is very common and carry their own unique communication challenges.

The primary way you will communicate with them will be through written assignments, e-mails, and posts. To them, you are essentially just “words” on a screen or someone they will see on-line for just a few minutes. Communication therefore has to be clear and succinct. Your communication skills have to be sharp. You want every message, every paper you submit, to communicate your thoughts as clearly as possible. Simple written misunderstandings can lead to bad grades. On-line learning teaches you to communicate well and often.

Benefit 3 — Organization & Time Management: It does not matter how motivated and eloquent you are if you cannot juggle your school work with the rest of your life. As an on-line student, you have to develop a time management plan and prioritise your coursework, otherwise you can easily get left behind.

How much time will you have each day to study? How can you make the most of that time? Will you be able to be more productive during the morning or evening? How many classes will you be able to take at once and still stay sane? You have to ask yourself questions about time management from the beginning, and constantly re-evaluate your time use as your tasks and priorities change.

Benefit 4 — Adaptability: Regardless of how well you plan and prioritize, there is always the chance that something unexpected will happen. You must be able to adapt quickly whether it is a  crashed computer, loss of internet connection, or something else.

In a nutshell, employers today are looking for individuals with these four highly beneficial skills:

  • self-motivation
  • communication
  • time management
  • adaptability

On-line learning students must acquire these same four skills in order to successfully complete an on-line course. Regardless of the programme you choose, the benefits of on-line learning will help you build career strengths that will pay off daily in the real world of work.

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May 1, 2014

China at the Heart of Two Worlds – Global and Local

In continuing its impressive development path of recent decades China has become two economic markets that are interconnected and converging:

– its Global market which is driven by mass production for export to developed countries, and

– its Local market which revolves around rapidly expanding domestic consumption.

Multi-national companies first came to China to capitalise on the abundant supply of low-cost labour and take advantage of the incentives to establish operations in Special Economic Zones. Nowadays they remain in China to sell products to Chinese consumers in the local market.

Factories and shops are interconnected and converging – the workers have become the shoppers. One development has fuelled the other, increasing economic prosperity across the nation. The latest saying is that the foreign companies “came to China for the workers, now they stay in China for the shoppers”.

From the China logistics perspective, the emphasis is therefore no longer purely on transporting products from factories to the ocean ports on the eastern seaboard for export to the developed markets. Nowadays there is just as much emphasis on distributing goods within-and-throughout the domestic China market – in order to reach the increasingly prosperous consumers located all over this vast country.

Continuing economic development in both production and consumption sectors brings new challenges and opportunities for the logistics industry. Although logistics in China is the backbone of the domestic supply chain, the industry itself remains complex, inefficient and fragmented.

Whilst we are seeing improvements in the quality of warehousing infrastructure – largely driven by a combination of property developers and the increasing presence of foreign enterprises and their related investments – the domestic transportation sector remains massively fragmented and hugely challenging.

As China’s economy continues to develop, the logistics sector will gradually mature, and outsourcing levels increase. The increasing presence of multinational companies in the domestic market – in particular the consumer, retail and electronics sectors – will accelerate the deployment of international best practices in logistics – embracing multi modal transportation, structured distribution networks and more efficient supply chain ecosystems.

Mark Millar provides value for clients with independent and informed perspectives on their supply chain strategies in Asia. Clients have engaged him as Speaker, MC, Moderator or Conference Chairman at over 300 events in more than 20 countries. London based business publisher Kogan Page have recently commissioned Mark to write the book entitled “Global Supply Chain Ecosystems”, due for publication in 2015.  Mark serves on the Advisory Board of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Society (LSCMS).

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March 10, 2014

Robotic Ships may become reality.

Running away to sea has been a dream of escape for centuries, but unless you plan to be a tap dancer on a cruise ship, that door may be closing. In a report on the future of cargo shipping, Rolls Royce Vice President for Innovation, Engineering and Technology, Oskar Levander, outlines a vision for a time not far from now when freighters and other ships are unmanned robots that cruise the oceans under remote control by shore based captains.

Imagine it’s 20 years from now and a cargo container ship bigger than anything afloat today approaches the port of Shanghai. Despite its size, it looks surprisingly simple with a hull designed for extreme efficiency. It has Flettner rotors for catching the wind and helping to save fuel, but below the slim equipment mast there’s no superstructure. There’s no space for crew’s quarters, and there aren’t even lifeboats or guardrails. When the pilot comes aboard to guide the ship into port from the minimalist bridge (if it has one) there’s no one to greet him or offer a cup of tea because the vessel is a robot, without a single person on board.

According to Levander, this scenario may come about because of the economic pressures being put upon the merchant fleets of the world. The Rolls-Royce report works on the assumption that the era of cheap energy is over and that rising fuel costs will require alternatives to the heavy fuel oil that currently powers the world’s shipping. In addition, shipping companies will have to contend with increasing burdensome national and international regulation, especially in regard to greenhouse gases, which will produce major rises in costs.

This will require a great deal of innovation, such as converting ships to burn biofuels, developing more efficient hulls, and installing solar panels or wind propulsion in the form of Flettner rotors and the like to cut down on energy bills. However, the biggest cost to shipping is labor – in fact, industry consultant Moor Stephens LLP put this expense at 44 percent in an interview with the BBC.

This cost isn’t just in the form of salaries and pensions. Crews need living quarters, galleys, washing facilities recreation areas, lifeboats, and a lot of other things to keep them safe and comfortable. These cost money to build and maintain, as well as fuel to cart it all around the world. Rolls-Royce’s plan is to take an holistic approach to future ship design aimed at tackling the problem by incorporating new hulls, engines, solar power systems, and partial sails.

In all of this, the most radical is turning merchant ships into robotic craft, where Horatio Hornblower sails his ship all over the world without ever leaving Plymouth. That may not seem like much fun, but it’s a path that marine engineering has been on since the time when some ancient ship’s master figured out how to balance his sails, so he wouldn’t have to steer so much. Since then, all sorts of automatic steering and navigation mechanisms have been developed until today when it isn’t uncommon to read news stories of ships steaming into port of their crews abandoned them prematurely in some disaster.

Even with the largest ship, steering a course is relatively simple and its rare for a helmsman to touch the wheel between ports. What’s really needed is the ability of a ship to pilot itself and keep watch under the guidance of shore operators. Many ships are already equipped with all sorts of cameras that can see at night and through fog, not to mention radar, sonar, GPS and a plethora of other sensors hooked up to high speed satellite data relays. Rolls-Royce foresees a time when these sensors and automatic systems will allow onshore crews to control and monitor ships from land-based centers with little difficulty.

Aside from the more obvious cost advantages, such an arrangement would allow one person ashore to control several ships. Levander sees this as both safer and making it easier to retain skilled crews, saying that it’s better for a ship to be operated by five operators on shore as opposed to 20 wrestling with the ship in a gale in the middle of the North Sea.

However, shiphandling is a complex task and a ship doesn’t operate in isolation. Before robot ships can set sail, there are serious safety issues to be answered about collision avoidance and similar concerns. There are also many legal hurdles about responsibility for the ship and compliance with regulations and maritime law, which might see a token crew kept aboard with nothing to do except fulfill salvage law. If these and other objections can be overcome, then the seas may be a safer and more efficient place, albeit a less romantic one.

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September 30, 2013

Employment Market Survey 2013/2014

Filed under: Newsletter,Research — admin @ 9:21 pm

Earning big $$What do you earn and are you at the right salary level?” Before you can answer that question another question arise: “How much are you worth?” To address that question, a full report will be available for you to compare your compensation with that of your peers in the industry. In addition we will be able to give you an insight in how the industry looks at supply chain roles and their aspects. But to be able to provide you with those answers we need to collect the data and we need your participation in this survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5D67BH3

We estimate that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the survey. The questionnaire is anonymous, however if you leave your e-mail address you will receive a free copy of the report. The report will also be published in various LinkedIn groups, on our website and presented at the 3PL/CSCO Summit in Amsterdam coming November.

Your input is very important to us, and will only be used for the purposes of this survey.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

Sincerely,

Edwin Tuyn & Oskar Verkamman
Inspired-Search

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