2020 has become a difficult year for people all over the world. Many industries were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the logistics industry, due to the decease of worldwide consumption.

However, in these difficult time, Kerry Apex, a subsidiary of Kerry Logistics Network, has grown to become the number one non-vessel operating common carrier (‘NVOCC’) from Asia to the US from January through July 2020 with a growth of 9 percent from 2019, while the overall market has shrunk 5 percent.

The surprising is the growth is mostly supported by the Southeast Asia team to capture the export volume shift from China to other Asian countries.

To learn more about their success, we were honored to speak with Mr. Thikarn Supawirachbuncha, Managing Director of Kerry Apex (Thailand) and Director of Southeast Asia, on the role of the Southeast Asia team and how they achieved such a success during the recent recession.

Mr. Thikarn Supawirachbuncha, Managing Director of Kerry Apex (Thailand) and Director of Southeast Asia

Surprising Growth of US Trade

Kerry-Apex was founded in 2016 from the cooperation between Kerry Logistics Network and Apex Maritime. Since then, they have always been considered as a leading NVOCC provider in Asia. However, the trade war between the US and China and COVID 19 pandemic has pushed them to advance their standards and competitiveness as a leading logistics provider

Mr. Thikarn said, “Since the happening of the trade war between the US and China, the cargo volume in China to US trade has slowly dropped, and it became worse when the COVID-19 outbreak happened in February. So, the carriers decide to pull out the cargo space capacity from the trade route, and that affected the entire market.”

“Although the cargo volume from China to the US has dropped, the demand for essential goods from the US is still high, especially foodstuffs, medical supplies, PPE stuffs, and other things during the lockdown stage. So, when they cannot import goods from China. They have to look for a new production source, which is our Southeast Asia Region.

Strong Presence in SEA Region

Even Southeast Asia has emerged as a new major export destination for the United States during the COVID-19 crisis, but without a strong and experienced team and profitable business plan, acquiring a business is not an easy task which Kerry-Apex has more than ten years of expertise and experience in the region.

When we know that the demand for products from China was shifted to Southeast Asia. Our team has worked hard to meet the needs of those products

Mr. Thikarn said, “When we know that the demand for products from China was shifted to Southeast Asia. Our team has worked hard to meet the needs of those products. With a strong foundation of customer relationships, including more than ten years of experience in this region, this has resulted in a 35 percent increase in the first seven months of 2020. When combined with other regions in Asia, the Trans-Pacific route was also up 9 percent from the previous year. Considering the overall market condition, this is a very satisfying result for us”.

“In Thailand, the export numbers on other routes have dropped, but the export to the United States has increased more than 10 percent. The main products include foodstuffs, rubber tire, and solar cell equipment.”

“During March, April, and May, the export volume of food products has increased by almost double. While the number of tires and solar cell equipment exports to the United States increased significantly due to the manufacturer relocation from China to Thailand and the rush exporting before the completed of US government anti-dumping investigations in November.”

“In addition, the export volume of latex products such as latex gloves, condoms, and various medical supplies has grown as well. Actually, in the past few years, the export volume of these products has drastically dropped because of the competition from other country exporters. But the demand in the COVID-19 crisis has given Thailand’s exporter a chance to grow again.”

Shortage of Space, Booking in Advance

In the present situation, there is a shortage of cargo space in the Trans-Pacific trade route. This cause some exporters unable to export their cargo as they planned.

As a leading NVOCC and logistics provider, Mr. Thikarn advises how to avoid that problem, “Right now, the market cargo space is likely to be scarce until late September. If the customer wants to use the service, please book at least three or four weeks in advance during this time.”

“Currently, no one can predict when this problem will end. It all depends on the COVID-19 epidemic situation and the overall global market. We need to look again in the fourth quarter of 2020.”

Conclusion

Kerry-Apex’s success at a time when the global economy is in a recession is the result of a great vision and quick decision-making to seize essential opportunities from the changing situation of the worldwide market,  including hard work with sincerity for the customer from our Sales Executive in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Management team from Kerry-Apex

No one knows when this economic crisis will end. But no matter what the future holds, with a great relationship with partners and a strong and experienced team, Kerry-Apex is ready to overcome any challenge and give the best service to the customer.