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FROM MAGAZINE : Eyeing more on trans-Pacific business, says Huned Gandhi, Dachser India

With the use of new technologies, the traditional freight forwarding business of simply buying and selling is disappearing. Shippers are comparing the areas of consumption with - where they have their production facilities and warehouses to optimise logistics. Steering logistics networks and capacities is therefore becoming crucial.

Eyeing more on trans-Pacific business
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Eyeing more on trans-Pacific business

With the use of new technologies, the traditional freight forwarding business of simply buying and selling is disappearing. Shippers are comparing the areas of consumption with - where they have their production facilities and warehouses to optimise logistics. Steering logistics networks and capacities is therefore becoming crucial. The innovation in technology has been uplifting the face of Indian logistics and supply chain industry in the recent past. Huned Gandhi, MD Air & Sea Logistics India & Bangladesh, Dachser India shares insight on rolling out Othello, a new transport management system for air and sea for integration and visibility.

How is innovation in technology impacting global supply chain and logistics industry?
Technology and innovation are necessary in order to optimise the way companies are working and to remain competitive in future; and logistics industry is no exception from this.

Many digital prophets praise that technology can do anything, from self-driven trucks and robot-controlled warehouses. However, every technology and every innovation have its own ‘hype cycle’.

It starts with ambitious expectations about what change and how much significant productivity it could bring. From there, ideas need to be checked and tested in terms of feasibility. While some of them find their place in niche markets, only a few become part of everyday processes.

At Dachser, we believe the key is to have a close look and find the right use of tools to assure that technology impacts business positively. Over the past decades, Dachser invested in technologies like electronic data interchange (EDI) and barcoding which have established standards in our core business today. At the same time, our robust IT environment is a solid base for maintaining data security for our customers.

Living in a digitalised economy, how quick are you in adapting new technology?
We started investing in IT infrastructure much before the paradigm shift of digitalisation had happened. We are heavily investing in our own team of IT specialists with 700 people worldwide.

This enables us to develop our own core systems which are Domino, the transport management system for road, Mikado, our warehouse management system and Othello, the transport management system for air and sea. These systems fully reflect our operations and support interlocked processes across different transport modes to create more efficiency for customer’s business. Dachser India is currently rolling out Othello, which will lead to a new level of IT integration and visibility.

Warehouses being a debatable topic, how Dachser tries to make its warehousing facility more promising?
Warehousing in India is developing and switching gears fast enough to address the expected growth, driven by goods and services tax (GST) and economic developments.

For Dachser, warehousing services are an integral component of the supply chain for procurement and distribution of goods. We are offering warehousing in the context of contract logistics which includes transportation and value-added services like quality checks, packing or repacking as per customer requirements. Information flow is reflected in our own warehouse management system Mikado not only in India but also across continents.

Serving around 15,000 square metre of warehouse space, we provides high-quality warehousing services. While offering different storage options like block space, racks or shelves, we apply high quality standards in terms of cleanliness, equipment and know-how. Our dedicated contract logistics experts help to detect appropriate facilities in the most favourable locations and implement the solutions on-site.

Detail on your new direct LCL service between India and Germany. What commodity is driving your LCL growth per se?
Dachser India established two new direct LCL services between India and Germany, offering end-to-end logistics services including hinterland transport between India and Europe.

Weekly consolidation boxes connect Delhi and Bangalore with Hamburg, Germany. While the turnaround of goods is reduced, process management is optimised to quicken the supply chain. Upon arrival in Germany, customers gain direct access to all destinations in Europe via Dachser’s interlocked logistics networks.

From northern India, articles like garments or leather products reach their final destination in Europe using Dachser LCL services. A lot of engineering and automotive organisations are in the vicinity of Bangalore, which therefore becomes one of the major export centres for engineering goods.

Could you please explain about the new facilities in Logrono and Zaragoza? How have they value-added to Spain’s business?
Logrono’s new warehouse has been in operation for the past two months. The opening of a new facility in Logrono after an investment of 3.8 million euro reinforces our commitment in the north of Spain. The new facility provides a 2,000 pallet space area which is dedicated exclusively to warehousing business. It is also equipped with a new sorter for the parcel business in the B2B sector, which can handle 1,500 parcels per hour and can be expanded to 4,000 parcels per hour.

In Zaragoza, where Dachser already has a strong logistics network, a total of 26,660 square metre of additional space has recently been opened to provide customers flexibility in transit times and to fully access any point in Spain or the rest of Europe. Dachser’s commitment to providing reliable and competitive services for export resulted in new direct and daily connections from Zaragoza to Milan and Bologna.

What is your future expansion plans and which markets do you find more promising?
Dachser is well-positioned globally to meet requirements of international markets. In line with our growth strategy in the Americas, we are providing more services for exports to Europe and Asia.

Dachser also has its eyes set on the trans-Pacific business, which used to be firmly in the hands of American and Asian service providers. In Asia Pacific, we are constantly serving by expanding existing branches, for example in Hanoi, Seoul or Gurugram.

How do you ensure sustainability in your business environment?
When it comes to sustainability, Dachser pursues economic, ecological and social goals with a high level of commitment and a sense of responsibility. Our business model itself has a strong focus on sustainable process management by maximising vehicle utilisation. Our groupage and LCL services aim at the most efficient use of space, thus making transportation as ecological as possible.

In terms of social activities, we are acting in line with the principle ‘helping others help themselves’.

Dachser has been supporting development projects together with the NGO terre des hommes which includes a broad range of activities in India for the past ten years. Projects are located in Sitapur and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

On top of this, the project supports environmental activities that preserve and expand natural resources in rural areas.

The new Korean office is meant to serve new talents for growing air & freight demand. How has been the business responding so far?
Dachser Korea’s business is continuously expanding. This year, Dachser Korea is again enjoying solid growth, especially in sea freight. Our efforts in terms of continuous process optimisation are paying off, too. Just recently, we were certified as ‘Authorized Economic Operator’ (AEO). This is a major achievement for Dachser in Korea and marks another significant step towards reaching optimal efficiency and quality in our operative business.

Could you explain about the warehousing and value-added services, you are expanding in Incheon and Busan?
Dachser Korea is continuously expanding its services to nurture warehousing and value-added services at its three locations in Seoul, Incheon and Busan. Serving around 5,000 square metre warehouse space, we are providing value-added services such as packing and repacking, dismantling and assembly, and labelling service. Inventory management and order processes are handled by Mikado.

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