Interview - Kelvin Wong
FEDEX opened its US$79m Changi base just in time according to Singapore logistics chiefs.
The US based logistics operator joins Panalpina and DB Schenker in making recent investments in Changi, which development boss Kelvin Wong says puts them at the forefront of a logistics gold rush.
The hub will be the US firm’s first express transportation base in Singapore and the largest FedEx consolidated facility in Asia Pacific.
Wong, executive director for logistics on the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), is confident Changi will be vying for to be the top air logistics hub thanks to these strategic investments.
He also hopes the FedEx base will provide a model for other prospective investors.
Wong comments: “The FedEx South Pacific Regional Hub is a demonstration of Singapore’s commitment to helping logistics companies capitalise on growth opportunities in the region to design and manage their pan-Asian supply chain solutions from Singapore.
“Apart from being strategically located at the cross-roads of major trade lanes, Singapore also offers strong air connectivity, the presence of many leading logistics providers, and specialised infrastructure such as our Air Cargo Express Hub and the Airport Logistics Park.
“To ensure that Singapore continues to remain future-ready and at the forefront of transformation of the air cargo sector, Singapore is developing a concept plan that will provide strategic direction for the future development of Changi Airport.
“We at the EDB continuously engage logistics companies to identify opportunities to develop new solutions and innovate new products, allowing us to remain at the forefront of global logistics and meet the demands across various regions and industries.”
It is a plan, which appears to be working. Panalpina opened its regional head office for Asia Pacific in Singapore in July this year and DB Schenker has set up its first global Solution Competence Centre outside of Europe worth US$3.9m.
Fedex’s 282,700 square-foot integrated facility is expected to serve the Singapore market as well as operate as a trans-shipment point for Asia Pacific shipments in and out of Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia countries.
Wong also believes that Singapore has been chosen because it can deliver in the face of terrorism and natural disasters disrupting supply chains.
He says: “Singapore has stood out as a safe, secure and trusted hub for critical supply chains, especially high value cargo including hi-tech products.
“Our goal at EDB is to continue to build on Singapore’s secure and trusted hub status, whilst ensuring that we remain pro-business in policy formulation and implementation.”
Karen Reddington, FedEx Express’ regional vice president, South Pacific, says: “This new hub reinforces FedEx long-term commitment to Singapore, where we already have our Asia Pacific Data Centre and Financial Services Centre. It also underpins our support for Singapore's aim to be a leading air cargo hub in the region.
“Recent reports indicate that more US companies may increasingly shift their investments or businesses from traditional manufacturing markets to the region; and Singapore’s strategic location lends itself to being an important hub for such global trade.
“The enhanced efficiency the FedEx South Pacific Regional Hub brings to our operations is designed to provide our customers with greater, faster and more reliable access to regional and global trade opportunities.”