Businesses across the globe have witnessed very different scenarios because of situations created by the novel coronavirus. Our NSRN members also had their fair share of challenges and discovered inventive ways to conduct the daily business. One of our founding members Shenzhen Anda Shun International Logistics was kind enough to interview their representative to gauge the scene firsthand. Star He, who is the Assistant of Overseas Market Executive Director of Ltd (ADS), informed us on how this China-based logistics company functioned during the pandemic, the lessons they learnt and the values that sustained them through these times.
In a video call with Star, sitting in her conference room with a wall full of trophies and certificates behind her, we quickly gathered the credibility of this company. Star was kind enough to make time for us from her busy schedule, which was overflowing due to the number of shipments that ADS is conducting as manufacturers in China are functioning at full swing.
Here is the conversation that we had with her.
NSRN: Would you like to briefly tell our readers about your company, so that we may know more about its expertise and experience.
Star: Shenzhen Anda Shun (ADS) was established 13 years ago, in 2006. We are not only situated in Mainland China but Hong Kong and Taiwan as well. We have also entered Southeast Asia this year. In total, we have 26 offices. In the first five years, we mainly focused on air freight; at the time we worked only with China Master Loaders as we sold our space to them at the time. After that, we began owning Master Loaders. Right now, we sell air rates to three thousand Chinese forwarders. Around seven years ago, we opened a sales team with an overseas team that looks into the development of foreign partners. Now, we have diversified to 60% of air freight and 40% of ocean freight. Three years ago, we started rail freight as well. We conduct rail consolidations to and from Europe and China. In 2019, our rail freight operations increased to 10%. So, we do rail, ocean and air. We are quite a famous brand in China for air freight, and now gaining significance in ocean freight. We are young in rail freight, but we see sustained growth for ourselves.
NSRN: In recent times, how have you conducted business with Europe? Have you faced any troubles?
Star: Largely, we have been transporting PPEs and other medical supplies to Europe during this period. Right now, it is very tough even though we have a lot of business on hand. The supply chain needs to continue without breaks because many lives depend on it. A supply chain worker is essential during this period. We don’t get a lot of sleep these days, and we work very late because the goods need to arrive. It’s a crazy time!
But it’s not just Europe; we have been shipping to other countries that are majorly hit by the CoVid-19 such as UK, US and many in Africa as well. We are doing at least one cargo charter every day. Apart from medical supplies during this time, we organise several shipments from different parts of China. We move tech equipment, clothing, auto parts, daily necessities and even chemicals. Now, since we have expanded through Southeast Asia, we export from there as well. That was just the exports. We also do import such as food essentials, and even cosmetics from Europe!
Sometimes, the trouble occurs when the shipper does not know how to prepare a medical license. Admittedly, we only transport if the license is available, but sometimes, we try to help them because we have a medical license. After thoroughly checking their products, we sometimes help them transport their goods. But this is a case by case situation.
NSRN: Were there any other troubles that you faced while transporting to Europe, especially as the coronavirus epicentre moved towards Europe and custom regulations became stringent?
Star: We had heard of some trouble, but since the 1st of April, the Chinese authorities have applied tighter regulations on medical exports from China. They are conducting strict quality control, certification and customs inspection. With these measures that China has taken, problems in Europe and the US with pieces of equipment are getting better.
NSRN: With your experience, would you like to give a word of advice or caution for companies who are a part of the supply chain industry, in these difficult times?
Star: We need to make sure that people know how to protect themselves from the virus. The daily protection must be undertaken by the company to safeguard its staff. When businesses begin to open, and people start going to work, they need to have enough PPE related necessities for the employees. In China, many companies have cut down the salaries of upper management to allow the smooth functioning of their setups. If a company is in good hands, the staff are in good hands, and therefore clients are looked after. Our end goal is to make sure our customers feel secure and comfortable.