THE WORLD'S leading contract logistics provider, DHL Supply Chain, expects to have 10 per cent revenue growth this year in Thailand, in line with the forecast growth of the Thai warehouse and land transport markets, according to Kevin Burrell, chief executive officer of DHL Supply Chain Thailand Cluster.
He cited Kasikornbank's research predicting 5-7 per cent growth in 2017 of market value for Thai warehousing and land transportation.
He added that the company would invest in developing the transport network and fleet expansion, and also bring in technology to support customer requirements, especially in rapid growth sectors like retail.
Burrell said that DHL's investment would also serve the wider needs of a growing Thailand and an economy expected to return to accelerated growth. Government investment in mega-projects, such as infrastructure, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), and airport expansion plans are attractive elements for foreign investors in Thailand. DHL is keen to support foreign direct investors who wish to build manufacturing plants within the country.
Recently DHL Supply Chain, together with SPAR International, the world's largest chain of independent food retailers and wholesalers, and the Bangchak Retail Company (BCR), announced a partnership to establish up to 300 new convenience stores in Thailand by the end of 2020.
Under the deal, DHL Supply Chain would support SPAR's expansion plans with end-to-end transport, distribution and warehousing services across Thailand, with BCR providing the front-end store infrastructure for SPAR.
DHL Supply Chain Thailand Cluster has provided logistics supply chain services, including warehouse and transport management in Thailand for more than 20 years.
"Customers are confident and choose DHL Supply Chain because of our experience and past performance that prove that we have the solutions that match customer's demands and continuously offer innovation to maximise operations' effectiveness," Burrell said.
DHL has more than 70 warehouses and distribution centres nationwide. The company is planning to build more warehouse facilities similar to the Bangna Logistics Campus (BLC) to cover other strategic locations.
Bangna Logistics Campus is a state-of-the-art multi-user warehouse facility, with over 120,000 square metres and designed to DHL's specific requirements. It acts as a supply chain hub for a variety of customers across a range of sectors and is fully integrated with DHL's extensive country and regional transport networks.
Thailand's retail sector is growing continuously, says Burrell. Many new players have entered the market, not only the well-known big retail brands but also petroleum companies that focus more on the non-oil business and invest in convenience stores at gas stations.
The retail market is changing with many new emerging store formats of different size and products. Online businesses provide new channels as alternatives to bricks and mortar retailers, he said.
"Convenience and choice provided by online retailers is enabling a shift in demand so the retailers will move to e-commerce and online platforms to serve this new buying trend. Logistics providers like us need to adapt ourselves to support customers in the rapid change by customising the system and innovation to optimise the operations for these multiple channels, [including through] real-time inventory, automation, consolidation of orders to maximise truck utilisation," he said.
DHL Supply Chain has also applied intelligent systems like automation, robotics, unmanned vehicles, seamlessly integrated to warehouse and labour management systems. Technology is deployed to reduce human error and increase performance and accuracy.