Freight forwarders connect Asia to the world

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Photo: Dimerco


Already a focal point of global trade, Asia’s share of the air cargo market is expected to grow as cargo hubs in the country play an increasingly key role in the international supply chain.

Dimerco is among the companies that have recognised the potential of the Asia-Pacific region, describing itself as a company that “connects Asia with the world like no other 3PL (third-part logistics).” With over 130 owned officers across Asia-Pacific and strong relationships with carriers, Dimerco has its finger on the pulse of the region’s air cargo market.

“Unlike the largest freight forwarders, we get to know customers and respective business, and our global freight and logistics solutions are customised to customers’ exact needs,” Dimerco’s Central Service Center (CSC) said.

Fast and flexible 

For freight forwarders, it is crucial to avoid supply chain disruptions, providing companies that are moving goods around the globe with the most efficient method of shipping possible to ensure a smooth and simple process.

This became all the more important in recent months, as global challenges have emerged to disrupt trade, including the conflict in Ukraine, strike action and rising tensions between China and Taiwan. In a bid to tackle that, Dimerco provides up-to-date information on global freight operations in a bit to keep trade moving.

“We maintain strong carrier relationships with pre-booked block space agreements in place. That allows us to commit the space customers need – often when others can’t. With Dimerco, customers get the freight buying power of a large forwarder with the fast, flexible approach of a smaller 3PL,” Dimerco’s CSC highlighted, citing how this has made it a top-20 freight forwarder by volume with all major Asia air and ocean carriers.

Read more: Speeds to meet your needs

Technological developments drive growth 

Across the air cargo, logistics and transportation sectors, new technologies are being adapted as the industry modernises and looks for potential ways to thrive in the face of challenges.

“This rapid and comprehensive improvement of AI technology, application of Big Data and Semi-Automation technology in the Internet+ environment underpins Dimerco’s re-positioning of the company as a “Mobile Intelligence Logistics Service Provider”,” Dimerco’s CSC stated.

“Facing a critical COVID-19 outbreak with a serious impact on flight cancellation and different lockdown modes of the countries, Dimerco not only provided its service at anywhere as long as there’s internet connection but also coordinated with strategic partners on alternative solutions, such as multimodal transport and customised charter flight service, to enhance international logistics,” the freight forwarder added, showing how technology can minimise disruption from a global pandemic or other similar challenges.

“Dimerco’s self-developed IT system, Dimerco Value Plus System features including an intelligent mobile application, tracking visibility, customised application and reporting while this patented EDI solution with global visibility is also able to link with robotic process automation (RPA) so that Dimerco can operate in a mobile environment and service customers at any location at any time, wherever there is internet connection,” Dimerco’s CSC said, recognising the need to be able to adapt to cope with rapidly changing events

Photo: Dimerco

Monitoring market movements  

On Dimerco’s website, it states that “the globalisation of trade will shape the future of international transportation.” With that vision in mind, Dimerco looks to monitor market movements on a regular basis, seeing that as crucial to supporting international logistics.

In Asia, where fears around growing tensions between Taiwan and China could cause further global disruption, flights were cancelled in August amid military exercises. “We closely monitor the situation as China’s central government has hinted that the exercises will become more regular,” Dimerco admitted. While air freight remains the desired mode of transport, due to its speed and, usually, ease, freight forwarders are prepared to turn to alternatives, such as ocean cargo ships that can easily manoeuvre around restricted zones.

With so many potential issues affecting logistics, Dimerco begun providing monthly freight market reports in 2022. “When facing the challenges of capacity issues, dedicated teams study to work out not only charter flight and cross-border train/road freight but also multimodal transport and new flexible solutions, such as our air and road transport from China to Mexico, in response to the latest market situation,” Dimerco’s CSC said.

Read more: Digital fleets help cargo fly

New hubs reflect Asia’s expansion as global hub  

Dimerco recently worked with Cathay Pacific to arrange the first flight to the new north cargo terminal at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, a 160,000 square metre addition that added 600,000 tons of freight capacity. The terminal has been “growing in importance as China’s Central Plains area continues to open up to more manufacturing and trade activity,” Dimerco stated.

Dimerco is very involved in managing freight to and from China’s inland regions, as well as its east coast hubs. The new addition terminal provides advanced automation for scanning, weighing and moving cargo within the terminal, for shipments from Cathay Pacific, Aviastar-TU, VI Airlink and Hainan Airlines.

But it is not just China that is a growing hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have seen freight services grow in 2021, compared with the previous year. Dimerco expects this to continue after the Region Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement, began earlier this year.

As part of its mission to connect Asia to the rest of the world, Dimerco has worked to expand its US network to Phoenix and the Southeastern US to further strengthen its services for companies in the semiconductor, automotive, aerospace, industrial equipment, power/energy, healthcare, and other industries requiring time-critical, service sensitive shipments.

Photo: Dimerco

Contingency measures are crucial  

Despite Dimerco’s best efforts though, sometimes disruption is unavoidable due to outside pressures or government decisions in the regions where they operate. While Covid restrictions have been largely lifted globally, China’s strict response to the threat of the virus has seen lockdowns imposed that have affect transport routes and shipments.

While no freight forwarder can find a way around these challenges, it is possible to have contingency plans in place to do all that is possible for customers to find another way to avoid any barriers to trade that emerge.

This was reflected in Dimerco’s recent work, fulfilling an urgent request to transport six civil light aircraft from the US to China. Lockdown port congestion, unfavourable weather and sensitive deadlines put pressure on the company, presenting challenges but also learning opportunities for future crises.

Similarly, when the Chinese government requested that airlines reroute via 12 cities due to the Shanghai lockdown, impacting 22 lanes and 106 flights, Dimerco was ready. With time critical cargo, electronic components and other shipments, the freight forwarder’s teams arranged for goods to be sent to alternative destinations and be transferred to domestic transport options for the final leg of their delivery.