My Logistics Logic: Returnable Packaging to Establish a Sustainable Supply Chain – LogiSYM October 2019
What was the motivation for setting up the company back in 1998?
The idea of setting up my own company emerged while I was still working as an employee in a Japanese company. I noticed pallets was a fresh market in China. I also learned how vital logistic system is to the industries, and yet it was still a missing piece in China. That was when I decided to leave and started my own company to provide such service in China and it was in 1998.
The name ‘Anwood Logistics Systems’ (ALSCO for short) was derived from my name Yanan – AN and wooden pallets – WOOD, which was one of the main focuses in the company when it first went into business.
How has ALSCO developed and grown over the last 20 years, in terms of e.g. resources, product/service portfolio, geographical reach?
We started with the products (pallets, containers etc.) and gradually moved towards logistics system. We were involved in logistics equipment trading from 1998 till 2004. At around 2004, we discovered that the standardization in this industry is insufficient. That was when we started the ‘contain concept’. We traded standard size containers both domestically and abroad until the financial crisis in 2008. After the financial crisis, we stopped the exporting business to minimize the risks.
Our standardized containers enabled us to move towards the next stage of development – pooling. We were one of the first companies in China that got involved in Logistics pooling. Although this was a neglected topic back then, it turned out to be a significant cost safer for the clients.
Which are the key regional/country markets for ALSCO – now and in the mid-term future?
Our current focus is on providing logistic pooling services for domestic/local automobile and retail industry. For the mid to long term development strategy, we will be centered upon Europe and South East Asia logistic pooling, which is our EACH project. EACH stands for Europe, Asia and China. We aim to build an EACH bridge that will connect both continents through pooling.
Which are the key industrial markets for ALSCO – now and in the mid-term future?
Our current key industrial market is automobile and will focus on express and transportation in the mid-term future. We are currently developing new container and pallets to cope with specific demands in those areas.
How are you using technologies like RFID, GPS, etc. to improve the customer experience?
We would like to implement tracking sensors to all our assets, including pallets and containers. The clients nowadays are seeking for services beyond just couriers, but also the transport status controlling, which includes location, temperature, shock etc. More and more clients demand the transparency in the supply chain.
What are some of the challenges for Chinese companies expanding to overseas markets?
There are four challenges as far as I am concerned.
- Lack of knowledge of the overseas market as well as insufficient brand strategy to increase recognition in the foreign market.
- Lack of original innovation and technology.
- Differences between business cultures might increase the difficulties in communication.
- Lack of long-term strategy for business development.
Given ALSCO would likely be an unfamiliar name to most people in Singapore and Southeast Asia, what steps are you taking to boost brand recognition?
ALSCO would like to provide global pooling services in Singapore and Southeast Asia and act as the foundation of logistics to provide solutions in returnable that increases sustainability in the industry. We will participate in forums and exhibitions in our target market areas to promote our green concept: Reduce and Reuse.
We also have a pallet volunteer project in five countries in SEA (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine and Myanmar) which involves deploying 10000 pallets in those areas between 2019 – 2020 in the hopes of spreading our green concept.