SINGAPORE and SAN FRANCISCO — Menlo Logistics, the US$1.5 billion global logistics and supply chain management subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), continues to experience significant growth in the South Asia region in 2014 and is targeting increasing its presence in Thailand and Malaysia, and adding to its portfolio supply chain services for two major new industries as key opportunities for 2015. These and other developments, including the company’s recent rebranding initiative, were discussed today in a briefing for industry journalists hosted by Robert Bassett, Menlo’s vice president of marketing and sales, and Desmond Chan, Menlo’s Singapore-based managing director in South Asia.
“2014 has been an excellent year for Menlo in South Asia, where in the third quarter we experienced over 10 percent year-over-year growth,” said Mr. Bassett. “We’ve added 27 new projects so far this year and expanded our client base significantly, positioning us for a good start in 2015.”
The growth trend was supported by major investments in new state-of-the-art facilities — one in Singapore’s Benoi Sector as well as one in Shah Alam — Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — and another multi-client warehouse that opened in Lakrabang, Thailand. Collectively, the three new sites added 69,000 sq. meters of warehouse space across the region, bringing the total warehouse count for Menlo in South Asia to 35, and the total space under Menlo management to 392,000 sq. meters.
New Branding Initiative Supports Growth Objectives Also supporting the company’s growth objectives is a branding initiative designed to better present Menlo’s capabilities and value to the market. Under this initiative, which followed nearly a year of research, the company in September globally refined its brand as Menlo Logistics, launched a new stand-alone website (www.menlologistics.com ) and adopted a new brand tag line, “Customer Innovation,” which research showed more accurately represented the value attribute ranked most highly and often by Menlo’s customers.
“The benefits of the rebranding are easily measurable,” said Mr. Bassett. “We were able to refine and quantify our core strengths, and then present those solution capabilities to the market through a new website and a revamped marketing and business development program. We’re already seeing results in terms of increased prospects coming to us directly for solution proposals, and expanded inquiries into our services from new and existing clients,” he added.
Singapore’s Emergence as Logistics Leader Remains the Foundation “Singapore’s emergence as a regional logistics hub continues to provide the foundation for Menlo’s growth in South Asia,” noted Desmond Chan, the company’s South Asia managing director. “Singapore has established itself as a strong regional hub as it is a time-tested and reliable center of gravity for regional commerce.”
Mr. Chan added that the continued development of Singapore’s world-class port facilities and the shift of the existing port terminals to Tuas have the potential to generate even greater efficiencies for freight transiting Singapore and the region. “Several macro-economic trends also are benefiting the region,” added Mr. Chan. “A growing population, increased affluence leading to a rise in consumption, an improving infrastructure and the development of new manufacturing capacity have also impacted the logistics marketplace positively,” he said. “Transparency of laws, efficient and responsive Customs administration and an improving local transportation infrastructure will remain Singapore’s advantage, although the rest of the region is catching up.”
“Generally, all countries in ASEAN and India show promising signs of growth,” added Mr. Chan. “We currently have operations in five countries — Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Australia. We also focus on specialized services for key industries, which presently include automotive, high-tech, aerospace, consumer and industrial, and wine and spirits. In 2015 we will be expanding these capabilities into logistics solutions for health care and oil and gas development, as well as additional support for automotive and industrial customers in India and Thailand.”
New Vertical Industries, Refined Lean Capabilities on the Roadmap Menlo has a well-defined plan for moving forward in South Asia, including expanding into new vertical industries, refining its capabilities for current industries, and deploying its Lean efficiency and continuous improvement programs more deeply into the solutions it devises for customers.
“Customers expect competency in managing warehouses, transportation and distribution operations from their 3PLs,” said Mr. Chan. “Where Menlo differentiates is in providing these highly developed competencies along with proven skill using Lean methodologies to drive out waste and strive for continuous improvement, year after year. The process and practice innovations we develop with our Lean expertise is a recognized strength, and one that we will continue to develop best practices for,” he concluded.