For logistics providers, the New Silk Road has been one of the topics that has snatched attention over the past years. The confusion around it is immense. For some, this is one of the most remarkable projects to connect Europe and Asia through the Eurasian landmass. For others, it is a series of infrastructural debt traps. Whatever the concern, it is now clear that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is here to stay, as the Chinese Communist Party in 2017 formally included the BRI in its constitution. This means that these developments will continue to occur, and now it is up to us in logistics to leverage the benefits and opportunities.
So why does it matter? While witnessing the global COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that diversifying into new fields and understanding new routes and means of transport is critical in sustaining businesses. Rail freight emerged as the clear winner during the pandemic, and those conducting it understood its importance. But even before, there was a growing curiosity about BRI’s infrastructural developments and their potential applications.
Launching New Silk Road Network
To quickly recap, the BRI was proposed by the Chinese government in 2013, which aimed to connect Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and also parts of Africa. Some of the critical projects include new roads, rail routes, maritime seaports, and even new energy plants. While the political motives are debated often, what concerns us is how these infrastructural constructions impact trade and logistics globally. For those in large logistical organisations, accessing the New Silk Road may appear easy and convenient. But our goal is to understand how do small and medium-sized enterprises benefit and gain more business from this initiative?
New Silk Road Network (NSRN) was founded to cater to small and medium-sized logistics companies conducting or planning to conduct business along the BRI regions. The goal is to provide members with the platform to connect with the right people and expand their global outreach, especially in terms of direct business with China and upcoming hubs. It offers the opportunity to understand the nuances of the New Silk Road while at the same time connecting with some integral players along the way. Finally, members of NSRN can develop a well-rounded service portfolio, accessing new logistics routes and combinations, such as the rail/intermodal routes and, therefore, becoming a part of a growing market whose potential will only grow in the next five years.
NSRN’s Unique Ecosystem
Logistics networks are a dime and a dozen. They are usually carbon copies of each other that barely have the vision to contribute and sustain future markets. NSRN stands apart for multiple reasons but most significantly because it is not just a freight forwarders network. The goal is to select the most efficient solutions while having a variety of companies from forwarders to trucking, warehousing and customs clearance companies, and terminals/ports, operators, consultancies, and other relevant service providers. Ultimately the goal is to build an ecosystem of companies working and interested to work along the New Silk Road by taking up strategic advantages and leveraging opportunities from the growing trade along the New Silk Road, as we enable our members to have the best local resources when needed.
Benefits and Services of NSRN
NSRN offers several benefits to its members and partners. Primarily, it offers access to the NSRN Database, which includes a detailed overview of each members’ scope of service, key markets and expertise, as well as primary contacts.
Since networking is one of the core concepts, our members and partners receive invitations to all network events (virtual and live). Regularly, NSRN hosts online networking events and discussion groups. Once a year, all members get together for our Annual General Meeting in person (members and partners only). The AGM takes place in a different city each year and is sure to be a memorable event. Through an agenda of 3 days, we have presentations, case studies, and 1 to 1 networking sessions.
Apart from networking opportunities, our members and partners can also utilize our professional marketing services, such as our newsletter, LinkedIn channel, and member in mails. NSRN conducts monthly interviews with members and circulates newsworthy content on their behalf to a targeted audience. This also allows us to nurture a knowledge-sharing platform given the unique theme of our network, which in turn benefits our members and partners. Furthermore, it enables the companies to keep on track with the latest developments along the News Silk Road with our monthly recaps of new projects, new routes, services, etc.
Recently, NSRN also launched the Payment Protection Plan to provide added security to your business transactions within the network. NSRN’s Payment Protection Plan offers safety against bad debt. Finally, NSRN members also have access to chat groups to facilitate easier RFI’s.
After a successful 1st Annual General Meeting in Warsaw, Poland, NSRN is gearing up to host their 2nd AGM in Dubai, UAE, from 17th to the 20th October at the W Hotel, The Palm. As we slowly approach the post-pandemic world, this opportunity will bring together our members and partners, allowing them to brainstorm, collaborate and ideate together the future of the New Silk Road. In the end, NSRN is more than a network, it is a community of like-minded individuals who share a common purpose of exploring the various nuances of the Belt and Road Initiative.