Logistics: the next frontier | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 18, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:08 PM, July 17, 2013

Logistics: the next frontier

Kelvin Leung, CEO for Asia-Pacific of DHL Global Forwarding, speaks on burgeoning industry

Kelvin Leung Kelvin Leung

Bangladesh has immense potential in logistics as the economy is growing rapidly and integrating with international trade, an expert said.
The country registered steady growth in the last several years and so, the logistics industry will grow alongside the burgeoning economy, said Kelvin Leung, chief executive officer for Asia-Pacific of DHL Global Forwarding.
“There is a lot of room for growth for the logistics market as the country has a very young population and many manufacturing bases are starting their operations,” he added.
Besides, the government has been investing in infrastructure such as bridges, power projects, highways, and flyovers in the country, he said.
“More manufacturing bases and infrastructure projects mean additional requirements for logistics,” Leung said in a recent interview with The Daily Star.
The current GDP size of Bangladesh is around $120 billion, and 16-20 percent of total GDP is the annual logistics market, he said.
Leung said DHL Global Forwarding (BD) Ltd has been registering over 30 percent growth in the country in the last couple of years.
“We are now the market leader in the logistics business in Bangladesh.”
Leung is responsible for managing and directing the business unit's activities and growth in the region. Between 2008 and 2011, he was the chief executive for North Asia Pacific and prior to that, was the chief operating officer for the Asia Pacific region.
He joined Danzas AEI, now known as DHL Global Forwarding, in 2002 as managing director for Hong Kong, South China and Macau.
DHL Global Forwarding has achieved higher growth in the country as it offers innovative solutions to the customers with the use of state-of-art technology.
Customisation is the company's strength as DHL always focuses on the location, said Leung. “We offer door to door logistics support by considering each customer's needs.”
Logistics giant DHL aims to strengthen its foothold by continuing aggressive growth in the country.
“We will continue on our growth path by bringing more innovative solutions and opening more warehouses,” said the regional chief.
Globally, DHL has established a good logistics solution for the pharmaceuticals sector, including certification, document processing, and temperature control, he said.
The thriving pharmaceuticals sector in Bangladesh can enjoy this opportunity by going for shipments, said Leung, who graduated from the University of Cambridge, Magdalene College, with a master's in general engineering science. He received his doctorate in business administration from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The logistics industry is facing a challenge in attracting talent as the nature of the job is not like in banks and other financial institutions, said the logistics expert.
“Bangladesh is a growing market, but we are facing a shortage of talent as many graduates have the misconception that logistics means driving trucks and operating warehouses.”
Leung also expressed sympathy for the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse that resulted in more than a thousand deaths.
“The building collapse had a huge impact on the global community. So the government should take urgent measures to avoid such a tragedy in future.”
He urged the government to focus more on fire safety and strong building structure for the industrial outlets.
Bangladesh is an attractive destination for global companies for its lower production costs from other countries, he said. The country has also developed a good number of skilled people over the years, Leung added.
“So, it is not an easy task to move from one country to another.”
Deutsche Post DHL, the world's leading postal and logistic group, is operating its Bangladesh operation with two companies -- DHL Worldwide Express (BD) and DHL Global Forwarding (BD).
DHL Global Forwarding, which began operations in 2009, has around 150 local staffers at two branches in Dhaka and Chittagong.
The group's consolidated net profit climbed by about 500 million euros to 1.66 billion euros in 2012.
The company that operates in more than 220 countries now generates about 70 percent of its revenue outside Germany.

suman.saha@thedailystar.net

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