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Member Interview: Hanshin Logistics, Korea

At IFN, it is important to us to talk with our members, to get their perspective on the industry. We also enjoy hearing more about their background, experience and how they came to be in their current role.

We recently interviewed DH Lee, Manager at Hanshin Logistics, IFN member in Korea. DH was happy to give us his views and expand on ideas for how the industry can respond to the Pandemic.

We were keen to hear his comments on the current situation, the industry's response and his thoughts about the future of forwarding.


How did you start out in Freight Forwarding?

"My major is Chinese Language in college and my first office was trading & inbound forwarding company after graduation. Since then freight forwarding work is very interesting for me. So from that time, my major is freight forwarding only. Fortunately, I have learned many types of cargo and company systems, that was my advantage."   

Can you give us your thoughts on the logistics industry today and how things have changed due to the Pandemic? 

"That’s a good question. I think almost all sales methods will be changed to online. Shipping liners also renew the website and there is very comfortable sites. From quotation to documentation, every kind of request can be solved on the website. Many forwarding companies are also developing that.Moreover, already launched years ago by IT companies are online forwarding platform sites and many customers are using this service. The Platform service is for online rate requests & quotations with comprehensive cooperation. If customers don’t use that platform, they can also find forwarders websites or online sites or blogs to ask for rates. Customers can search forwarding companies and get in touch directly. The online advertising period has come. This is not an option and must be.
 
Of course, some conservative companies do not want that, because that needs a positive attitude from the customer. But the customers' situation will be changed because of tariffs and cheaper quotations than offline sales. And now, what has occurred is an offline service error with COVID-19, and working online-only has been caused by 'force majeure' situation. Customers have experience and that’s not bad if someone quotes better rates online than offline, with the same quality of work. If so, CEOs will decide to use these platforms instead of meeting the salesperson.

And my second thought is, almost big countries don’t have a manufacturing factory of hygiene products and just dependent on imports so far. So I think this industry can also change the domestic production industry after the Pandemic. Then of course it will be to decrease trading traffic."

What are the main challenges facing independent forwarders? 

"Partnerships and networking are the most important issues. The origin or destination agent is very important in the local sales side, because of checking for good rates and for checking the situation - that is, the service for the customer, where the shipment is and what steps and progress have been made? Almost always, customers are asking those questions. And the customer has the right to do that. Independent forwarders have to join an alliance to get many superior partners. Even now, there are so many alliances so choosing an alliance is a very important issue and challenge." 

How do you see the future for independent forwarders?  

"Almost all Freight forwarders will join a networking alliance, independent forwarders will find it too difficult to proceed without EXW/DPU/DAP/DDP service. Otherwise, customers will not use them because can’t trust them."

How relevant is networking in today’s forwarding industry? 

"Forwarding service is networking service. No network, then you cannot do anything. Also, some shipments can send in one way as direct but that is not a forwarding service. We can discuss with partners through Messenger/email/Phone call and give quick responses to our customer with the IFN network."

Hanshin Logistics Co., Ltd. was founded in 2013, and their strengths are long experience and diverse teams. Managers have rich experience and the young staff have a challenging spirit.

Please contact hs@hanshin.biz for more details.

 

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