Enhanced Solutions, Stronger Connections
Damco Introduces Bangkok – US Consolidation Service
Throughout this difficult global economic climate, competition has been extremely fierce for all parties in the logistics industry over the last several years. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the world’s leading third party logistics providers must constantly be looking to improve and expand their skills, assets or services – and more likely, all three.
Damco, a member of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, has steadily grown into one of the industry’s top providers of freight forwarding and supply chain management solutions. In airfreight forwarding, Damco has quickly developed into a respected top player. For each of the last four years, Damco’s airfreight division has grown at least 38% per year worldwide. Within the Asia Pacific region, the company’s growth in airfreight has been even more dramatic, with volumes growing around 60% over the last few years. By 2015, the company hopes to become one of the world’s top 15 airfreight forwarders.
It’s no accident that this dramatic growth has been achieved in spite of a tough economic situation. The company has taken deliberate steps to ensure positive development – namely, listening to their customers and fulfilling their needs with enhanced capabilities and high quality service. For instance, the logistics provider’s new daily airfreight consolidation service connecting Bangkok to the continental US has been designed specifically to meet their customers’ requests. With every step, Damco continues to expand their capabilities in order to meet their clients’ needs even more closely than before. To learn more about their strategies and solutions, we speak with Mr. Erez Agmoni, Head of Airfreight for the Asia Pacific region at Damco Logistics (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
A New Solution
Damco’s new airfreight consolidation service provides a new option for shippers looking to export goods from Thailand to various locations in the US. Mr. Agmoni explains, “This is a daily consolidation service for moving general cargo from Thailand into the United States, entering through several major airports in the US, such as Atlanta, Los Angeles and JFK in New York. From these main locations, Damco has the networks and capabilities to truck goods throughout the rest of the US, meaning that we are able to effectively cover the whole country.”
“Our daily consolidation service provides two different options for transit time. We offer both standard and deferred services –standard services have an airport to airport transit time of two days, while deferred services require four days. Of course, we offer door-to-door service, so a portion of this extra transit time is spent on trucking, which allows us to reach all the destinations our customers request. Basically, what we’re trying to build is a solution for those customers who don’t need next-day delivery.”
Though transit time increases by just a few days, we’re able to give them a much lower rate than they’re used to, along with the same dedication to customer service that they’ve come to expect from Damco.
“Since the consolidation service is controlled by Damco offices, we are able to offer a full range of services at high standards, from customs clearance to comprehensive documentation to standardized visibility milestones. The milestones are especially important to our customers because our systems enable clients to track and trace cargo even beyond the airlines’ milestones. Depending on the customer’s needs, we can track goods from the moment the shipment is picked up, throughout its journey, to its arrival at the final destination,” Mr. Agmoni continues.
Another important facet of Damco’s consolidation service is the company’s dedicated hotlines. Sales managers based in Bangkok and each of the three US destinations have been assigned to serve customers with inquiries and issues regarding this specific airfreight consolidation service. Customers who are based in Thailand can speak with Mr. Ruengrit (Tom) Chaiwiwat at +66 (84) 8742082. This is in addition to Damco’s normal practice of assigning a customer service representative to each customer. Offering personalized services like these are one way for Damco to build relationships and truly understand what their customers need.
Benefits Designed to Meet Your Needs
It’s common knowledge and common sense that cost is one of biggest factors that shippers consider when choosing a service provider. That’s why Damco’s new service focuses on helping shippers cut costs. Though they have only just begun offering the service, Damco is already seeing a great deal of interest from shippers in a wide variety of sectors. “Our customers are finding that this service is a great fit for many different kinds of cargo – we’re seeing a variety of things such as electronics, garments, rubber products and medical products.
We understand our customers’ challenges, so we’ve designed something that we believe is a great solution that allows them to save money without sacrificing quality.
“We created this service based on the requirements of our customers,” Mr. Agmoni continues.
For some time, Damco has been offering this type of airfreight consolidation out of many locations in Asia, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Recently, the logistics provider saw the demand potential in Southeast Asia and initiated the service not only for Thailand, but also Vietnam and Malaysia. Mr. Agmoni says, “In talking to some of our customers, we learned that they would like us to offer this kind of service in Thailand. There was a need in the Thai market for a service that could help reduce costs while still maintaining quality. At the moment, this consolidation only connects Thailand with the US, but in the near future we’re looking to add destinations in Japan and throughout Europe.”
In fact, what Damco is offering is rather rare in the industry. As Mr. Agmoni explains, “This service is made possible because we have block space agreements with several airlines, which allow us to reliably ensure capacity for all of our customers – no matter the market situation. Whether it’s peak season or low season, we’re still able to provide our customers the space they need. At the time there aren’t that many providers offering this kind of service because it’s difficult to manage. Not only do we need to have good relationships with the airlines, but we also need to have dedication to customer service, in order to answer calls from all of our customers, from the smallest to the largest. At Damco, we put just as much care into working with our small and medium customers as we do with our larger customers.”
“Now, we’re also working with our customers to adjust their supply chains so that they can take full advantage of this consolidation service. What some clients have found is that they don’t always need the fastest delivery option, because they end up spending more money on storage at the destination. Spending just a few extra days in transit can help them save double – on both transport and storage costs.”
With more than 300 offices around the globe, Damco is big enough to deliver to anywhere in the world. Yet the company continues to look for new ways to innovate and better serve their customers. Mr. Agmoni concludes, “From numerous surveys, we’ve learned that our customers prefer our people to be based locally, to be in the same time zone or even in the same city. It allows us to communicate better with them and personalize our services to meet their needs, which is why we’re looking to add even more offices in the near future. Our growth is actually helping us serve our customers better. As our daily airfreight consolidation service shows – as Damco grows, we are able to get closer to our clients, expand our capabilities and offer more innovative services.”