Beyond its ground and air freight logistics coverage, DHL Global Forwarding aims to extend its reach into road cross-border logistics networks, otherwise known as International Road Freight (ITR) with AsiaConnect and AsiaLine services. These services are DHL’s answer to the growing cross-border logistic demand within the Asia-Pacific region.
Not long after the launch of DHL Global Forwarding, AsiaConnect, a cross border logistcs service began to offer a less than truckload (LTL) ground service. AsiaConnect links five key logistics points within the Asia-Pacific region which are Singapore, Penang, Hanoi, Shenzhen, and most recently in 2011, Bangkok. The operation in Bangkok was a catalyst for a more active form of cross-border logistics services, such as a door-to-door service and multimodal to and from other trading regions all over the world. DHL then went on to offer a full truckload service (FTL) to numerous different destinations in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, and China under a service named AsiaLines, which was very well-received by its clients.
LM had the chance to speak to four management and operation team members of DHL Global Forward (Thailand) about the challenges and emerging opportunities in connecting major cities in Asia-Pacific that ground logistics services now face.
DHL has developed a trucking service that starts at the manufacturing site of its client as an option that offers flexibility in cross-border logistics services. The service has many options for the type of transportation a client can choose from. For example, an LTL service is available for a smaller shipment, as well as an FTL for a shipment of one container’s worth. Furthermore, DHL offers a number of types of service, such as a door-to-door, hub-to-hub, hub-to-door, and door-to-hub for each operating country.
Mr. Edwin Pinto, Head of Sales, DHL Global Forwarding (Thailand) said, “For clients who don’t need airfreight speed for their transportation or think that ocean carriers take too long; DHL’s trucking services are the most suitable option. A client may want to transport their cargo on a shorter route; for example, from Thailand to Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, or China. These routes are shorter and cost less, so clients can rely on DHL’s ground logistics services to answer their time and cost demands without hesitation.”
Furthermore, Lt.Crd. Rattapat Vanakitsamphan of the Royal Thai Navy, DHL Thailand’s Head of International Road Freight and Transportation told LM about the advantage and flexibility of the ground logistics service, “For both air and ocean freight, shippers are required to book cargo space in advance, which, during the high season, are normally fully packed. Therefore, some shippers cannot put their cargo on the logistics mode that they want. However, our ground logistics services offer more flexibility in shipping dates. Our usual services run daily from Monday through Friday, but if a shipment needs to be shipped anytime outside of the usual daily services an FTL service can be booked immediately. This is our advantage in flexibility for the ground logistics services.”
Cross-border ground logistics inherently has challenges dealing with chassis switching, loading containers onto different trucks, and different rules and regulations between each neighboring country. However, DHL considers these challenges an opportunity to care for and service their clients and deliver their shipment safely and in a timely manner. DHL takes these challenges as their prioritized responsibilities to serve clients with the smoothest and most seamless possible service.
Mr. Atiwath Tanachairatchatanum, International Road Freight Manager, said, “I think the true challenges in cross-border ground logistics are about developing services that really please clients. This is because each client has their own specific needs that varies from one case to the next. Some clients aim to save on costs, while others may emphasize on the shipment’s thorough safety due to the high values of the shipment. Therefore, we have made more services available to cover the varying needs of each client, and they are then able to choose the solution that best fits their needs.”
Apart from the basic safety technologies available for every shipment, DHL also offers value added services its clients can choose from for safety. This includes shipment cargo insurance which covers the actual value of the shipment, to the highest safety service like an armed escort service for high-value shipment.
“Beyond our usual logistics services, AsiaConnect and AsiaLine also offers a dangerous goods service for our clients. We work with professional specialists who check through the type of shipment for both LTL and FTL services for the safety of cargo and overall logistics procedures. This includes the consideration of each destination and pass-through countries’ importing and exporting regulations. We also take the volume of shipment into consideration to give recommendations to our clients about which type of service best suits their shipment. After learning the details about each shipment, we are able to place our client’s cargo into the same LTL service and separate others for FTL for safety,” Mr. Atiwath explained.
DHL serves many groups of clients, of all sizes, who have chosen to use both their LTL and FTL services. These clients have been continuously increasing their cargo volume with DHL’s services, as well as the frequency of shipments. “Before, many clients would wait to fill up a container load before shipping it over an ocean carrier to save on costs. However, we now provided more options that allow clients to ship every day. This allows them to be able to ship their cargo quicker and in greater volume, leading to their business growing. When our clients’ business grows, they will need to ship more cargo, which in turn benefits both us and them,” said Mr. Edwin.
Similarly, Mr. Suthep Thamathada, Head of Ocean Freight, elaborated on DHL’s ground logistics insight and growth tendency, “One factor that drives the growth of ground logistics is the reduced transportation time. This is because we were once required to unload the cargo off a container to load it into another. This has changed since we have adjusted the way we move containers from one truck to another by lift on/lift off method. We can now reduce the time it takes to move containers cross-border at a faster speed and with less complication; this is how we attract more clients.”
Lt.Crd. Rattapat added, “With our competitive cost, study of routes, and route optimization, we are able to develop our routes with better safety and less transportation time. This also helps us directly access each destination’s production plants, which is something other modes of logistics services can’t. This factor plays a part in having more clients choose our ground logistics services.”
With an extensive network and a teamwork-driven service, DHL’s teams in different countries have long aligned their expertise in logistics in able to provide a great service. DHL is able to serve with professionalism and trust-worthiness to clientele of all industries. Furthermore, DHL’s Asia-Pacific ground logistics service network has been connecting ASEAN to China, and extend economies via roads and rails over to Europe via the Silk Road routes. Its services give its clients the opportunities and alternatives in choosing the best service to use. This truly solidifies DHL’s quality as a cross-border ground logistics services expert; offering quickness, flexibility, and business potential through their quality cargo transport and competitive pricing.